What an unforgettable year.
When it began, the world was at war in the Persian Gulf. When it ended, our nation's No. 1 enemy, the Soviet Union, was no more.
As our military moved into the Persian Gulf, I became addicted toCable News Network, night and day, never moving too far from a television screen for fear I would miss the latest Pentagon update or thatone improbable chance to see my son-in-law's face among all those young men and women performing their jobs so bravely so far from home.
I never did see Dan on television, but in April our prayers were answered when he brought his company from the 2nd Marine Engineering Battalion back to Baltimore safe and sound.
Drawing a collective breath, our family joined the American celebration. The first time I experienced this kind of national pride, I was a child watching newsreels of soldiers and sailors returning home from World War II.
Closer to home this past year, amid an outpouring of patriotism and support for the military, residents of Greater Severna Park kept the home fires burning.
January's headlines noted a desperate need for blood, and although the end of the war reduced that terrible demand, the need is ever-present.
A Red Cross blood drive, co-sponsored by Woods Memorial Presbyterian and Severna Park United Methodist churches, will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. Jan. 29 at the Methodist Church, 731 Benfield Road.
For more information, call the church at 987-4700.
Residents were creative in their expressions of support for our Middle East involvement.
Students at Severna Park Middle School tied yellow ribbons onto the school's chain link fence to create the message, "We Care."
Despite everyone's concern, life at home was kept on an even keel by the efforts of our dependable Park institutions and organizations.
The band and athletic boosters worked hard to support high school programs; the annual March concert was a roaring success with "Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay," which saw some of the school's best talent take the stage.
That same month, Ralph Nader spoke at the community college.
The Severna Park Elks honored Officer William George as Policeman of the Year and William Mark Wilhelm asFirefighter of the Year.
In April, the Severna Park Assistance Network (SPAN) celebrated its first anniversary at an open house at its offices in the parish house behind Our Shepherd Lutheran Churchon Benfield Road.
In January and February, SPAN assisted 86 county families with donations of food and money for utilities, rent and prescriptions.
To contact SPAN, call 647- 0889.
In July, Lars Egede-Nissen took over at Arundel Hospice when Beverly Bassford retired.
The Arundel Hospice, located in Millersville, is a home-health agency committed to the care of the terminally ill, making it possible for them to spend the last few weeks or months of their lives at home, surrounded by loved ones.
It also has a Bereavement Centerthat provides all kinds of counseling for those grieving the loss ofa loved one.
The Arundel Hospice served 223 patients last year; 174 have passed away. Since opening 12 years ago it has served 1,200 people -- the youngest patient was 2 days old and the oldest 101 years.
Reach the hospice office by calling 987-2003.
The international organization of Jaycees turned 70 last year, and our own Severna Park Jaycees continued its dedicated leadership training and community service begun in 1985.
At the annual fall board meeting in Salisbury, Anne MaGrath was named a Top 10 Jaycee. A two-year veteran of the group and currently the community development vice president, McGrath was honored for dedication to all Jaycee goals: personal growth, community service, management and membership recruitment.
If you're between the ages of 21 and 39, get details about the Jaycees bycalling 647-2771 or 768-9148.
In October, Lynne Dowling Rockenbach was named Woman of the Year by her chapter of the Maryland Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs Inc.
Rockenbachwas honored at a luncheon in Columbia for her commitment to helping women and her professional experience.
A computer systems analyst for the federal government, she has been involved with the Girl Scouts since 1974 as a trainer and later by holding elected office. Rockenbach, who is a member of the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland board ofdirectors, says her lifelong love of scouting began at the age of 7,when she became a Brownie.
Rockenbach lives in Severna Park with her husband, Craig, and their 3-year-old son, Lee.
Did you resolve to improve your mind in 1992?
The county Office of Continuing Education is offering more than 100 classes during its spring semester, beginning in February.
Sample classes: a home-improvement series; high school completion; creative arts; parenting; self-improvement; business and office skills; and computers.
A free booklet describing all the classes and how to register should be available at your library.
Call the Severna Park branch at 222-6290.