January: the fresh start, the new beginning.
Unknown people to meet; unexpected events to experience; the starting square on 12 pages of possibilities. Each year it's our chance to be reborn; thanks, we do need that.
Before we proceed, let's look back at 1990.
The year began with the reopening of the Severna Park Branch Library, with a splendid new look, increased office space and a much larger parking lot. We were to benefit from two other firsts: When a new library card was issued it no longer had an expiration date, and the library opened Sunday afternoons. Experience the library this year.
For more information, call 222-6290.
The American Cancer Society's Discovery Shop, featuring used clothing and accessories, opened in Didonata Plaza on Ritchie Highway.
The store can be contacted at 544-0568.
On April 1, the Severna Park Assistance Network opened in a building behind Our Shepherd Lutheran Church on Benfield Road. SPAN is an ecumenical Christian ministry providing food and financial assistance to individuals and families facing critical or emergency situations. It is staffed by trained volunteers under the leadership of a part-time director and a volunteer board.
The number is 647-0889.
Also in April, Shipley's Choice Elementary School dedicated a bronze sculpture, "Dancing Partners," in memory of Nancy McCutchan, a parent and volunteer who worked endlessly to have the school moved to Shipley. She died the year before her idea became reality.
The figure of a mother and child, crafted by Maryland artist Priscilla Buxton, is located in the foyer of the school.
At the Earleigh Heights Volunteer Fire Co., new Engine 122 was dedicated by the firefighters "to the community we serve."
John "Ford" Slavin, longtime resident of Severna Park, was grand marshal for the festive Fourth of July parade sponsored by the Park Chamber of Commerce.
It came as no surprise when the United Way named Arundel Hospice director Beverly Bassford recipient of the 1990 Management Distinction Award for her accomplishments and dedication to her profession and the community.
Under her leadership during the last decade, Arundel Hospice has grown to more than 150 trained volunteers working out of its spacious Millersville offices, caring for terminally ill patients and their families.
After an interesting campaign, Republican Diane Evans replaced retiring Democrat Carole Baker when she prevailed over her opponents to become representative from the 5th District on the Anne Arundel County Council.
The past year has seen visitors from around the world: Students from Italy were the guests of students from Severn School, and female field hockey players from London were treated to matches and sightseeing by Severna Park High School athletes.
Junior high-ageice hockey players sponsored by the Baltimore Skipjacks traveled to Finland and the Soviet Union to play hockey and share experiences with native youngsters.
Even though some of our sharper residents have been ecology-minded for years, many of us joined them in September when the county's recycling program went into effect in selected neighborhoods.
Citizens who had never separated their garbage were eager to do their part, and now the yellow curbside recycling bins have become symbols of our participation.
And now let's look ahead. . . The Severna Park Newcomers Club offers residents an organization for meeting new people and becoming involved. Annual dues are $12, and meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the month, September through May, except December.
If you're interested, call Peggy at 757-0901.
Newcomers have found the perfect solution for warming their wintry spirits: a square dance. Don't snicker. This social is back by popular demand.
At 8 p.m. Jan. 12 at the St. Andrews Swim Club on Kinder Road, folks will have so much fun honoring their partners, bowing to their corners and promenading that they will forget about the ice and snow.
Beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks will be served before the dancing and, to regain one's strength, dessert and coffee will follow.
The cost is $15 per couple, and reservations must be made by Saturday by calling Linda at 647-7646.
The popular Luncheon Gourmet Group will feature recipes from the Newcomers Club's own cookbook at its next luncheon, 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.
For details, call Reggie at 987-3964.
Finally, the club asks these important questions: Do you know the safest action to take if you are in a potential rape situation? What would you do if your home was broken into and you were there alone?
On Jan. 16, the regular general meeting of Newcomers will feature a guest speaker from Citizens Against Crime, an organization that teaches techniques for personal safety.
The buffet luncheon, at McKeever's Restaurant on Ritchie Highway, will begin at 11:30 a.m. The cost is $10.75, with a choice of chicken Marsala or warm beef platter.
Reservations and payment must be made by Jan. 14 by contacting Leyla at 544-1797.
Another way to chase the winter blues is to get out of the house and put that college training to good use and augment the family income.
Because of the cold and flu season, Severna Park High School needs substitute teachers. To qualify, you must have at least 60 college credits, be available to work one or two days a week (on the average) and be willing to work with various groups of students.
Call the school at 544-0900 and ask for the administrator in charge of substitutes.