Just when you think you have reached a point in your life when you're comfortable -- POOF! -- along comes the post office, the phone company and a few politicians. And before you know it, your business cards, your resume and your existance needs some white-out.
Within thepast year, the community:
* Has been split into two ZIP codes (prompting people to say things like, "Oh, you live on that side of town?").
* Is part of a plan that has carved up the county into four congressional districts. I'm concerned that my new representative in the House may be Hilda Mae Snoops.
* Has been given a new area code, 410.
ButI didn't take any of this personally until the new C & P phone book misprinted the number of the Laurel Library. It's amazing, switch a seven to a six and my life has taken a new turn. You see it's MY number listed as the library's.
Now a library's phone number isn't one people tend to have memorized. They just look it up and then call me.
At first I was very polite to the confused callers (library callers are, for the most part, very gracious). But after four weeks of this I'm getting a little testy, as is reflected in the greeting on my answering machine.
Whether I tough it out until the new phone books come out NEXT OCTOBER or toss in the towel and change my number is still a matter of debate in our house.
Or I may apply for a government grant and start a Glen Burnie branch of the Laurel public library.
It works for me.
Any party that includes free refreshments AND Sparky the Fire Dog shows promise of being a lot of fun.
Add Smokey the Bear and Vince and Larry the Crash Dummies and we're talking about the Glen Burnie Volunteer Fire Company's annual Open House from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the station, Central Avenue and A Street.
Also on the day's agenda is a drug search demonstration by the Maryland State Police K-9 Unit, CPR techniques and blood pressure screenings.
The residents of Glen Burnie will have the opportunity to see the company's newest piece of equipment -- a $300,000 rescue unitpurchased through fund-raising efforts: donations from the community, proceeds from an annual boat raffle at the Glen Burnie carnival, weekly bingo games and selling family portraits.
"The truck will have an air cascade that refills the firefighter's air tanks with compressed air," said Earl Lowe, president of the volunteer unit. "It also has emergency lighting."
The rescue truck is the second piece of equipment donated by the volunteers in the last year. In January, a second ambulance was put into service to supplement the county's ambulance.
The majority of the fire and ambulance equipment operating out of Glen Burnie Station 33 has been donated by the volunteer fire company: an engine, a brush fire truck, a jeep and the new rescue truckand ambulance. The county has one engine at the station, which it staffs around the clock.
Lowe estimates there are more than 50 active volunteers, all of them county-certified as emergency medical technicians, firefighters or both.
The volunteers must pass written andskills tests before they are permitted to ride the equipment.
"The old days of grabbing a guy off the street, giving him a jacket and 'let's go' are over. Someone without the training and experience could be a problem in an emergency," said Lowe.
Professional ambulanceattendants are on duty from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The remainder of the time, the ambulance is staffed by volunteers.
"We have a sign-up sheet to make sure the building is staffed," explained Lowe. "Several of our volunteers also use pagers in case they need extra help."
For additional information on the volunteer program, call 766-5153.
There are two types of people in this world: people who can take a sock, two gloves, a baby's blanket sleeper and create a clever Christmas reindeer doll and people who take a sock, two gloves, a baby's blanket sleeper and create laundry. Needless to say, I am in the latter category.
But you don't have to be talented. Just stop by one of the many craft shows in the area this weekend, buy a few gifts and tell people you made them.
There are three craft shows in the community this Saturday.
The Women's Club at the Harundale Presbyterian Church, 1020 Eastway, has scheduled its annual holiday craft show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. More than 60 crafters will display their wares.
Refreshments will be sold throughout the day.
On the other side of town, the Methodist Women at Messiah United Methodist Church, 7401 Furnace Branch Road, are having a Christmas Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
In addition to handcrafted holiday gifts and decorations, there will be a specialtable selling homebaked cakes, pies, breads and cookies.
The UMW's special homemade vegetable soup will be served as well as other luncheon specialties.
Shoppers can end their Saturday with a visit to St. Alban's Craft Fair and Turkey Dinner.
The craft fair will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will feature gift ideas and holiday decorations.