Just when I smugly thought I had it all together, life has slipped another "gotcha" in.
It wasn't the tax man. Even Peter Cottontail hopping in Sunday has not caused a ripple in my cool exterior. Around here, we have progressed past the chocolate rabbit stage to the "Gee,I wish the Easter Bunny would bring me a shiny Rabbit with four wheels" stage.
The latest "gotcha" is that in eight weeks, thousands of county youngsters (mine included) will be released for summer vacation. For those of you really into numbers, that works out to less than 40 school days.
When I informed my kids about the imminent end of this school year, the cheering didn't stop for at least five minutes. They did not think that summer would ever get here. I secretly hoped (as anyself-respecting parent would) that it wasn't so soon.
Don't panic, you still have time to plan summer activities to keep your little darlings busy.
Our Recreation and Parks Department has just issued a sneak preview of its summer schedule for youngsters. Programs are available for preschoolers, school-age kids and teens, and many are located in the Pasadena area.
The summer brochure listing programs available throughout the county will be out soon.
* Summer playgrounds for children ages 5 1/2 to 12 are scheduled at Fort Smallwood, High Point, Jacobsville, Lake Shore, Pasadenaand Riviera Beach elementaries. Playground meets from 9 a.m. to 2:30p.m. Mondays through Fridays, June 29 to Aug. 7. Preschoolers have their own playground at Sunset Elementary, with morning and afternoon sessions available.
* Downs Park Day Camp will return for another season of all-day sessions for campers ages 5 1/2 to 12. The fee is $130 per two-week session, with bus transportation included.
For your own Indiana Jones, a Wilderness Challenge Camp will be offered to boys and girls ages 8 to 16. The agenda includes hiking, caving, rockclimbing, tubing, rope courses and an overnight camping trip.
Campers are grouped according to age, with the first session to start July 6. Transportation is provided from selected sites. The cost is $140 per session.
* Tennis lessons for children ages 7 to 12 will return to Lake Shore Elementary this summer. The popular program features 50-minute lessons, taught twice a week for six weeks, for a bargainfee of $15.
* Youngsters 10 to 14 with a special interest in nature can join the Junior Naturalists Program at Downs Park starting June 22. Park staff will offer information and hands-on opportunities during the six weekly programs. Kids attending at least five of the sixsessions will earn a junior naturalist badge and certificate.
Sessions will be from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Mondays. An enrollment fee of $15 must be paid at the Downs Park office.
What's Easter without flowers? If you still have not purchased your Easter posies for mom, granny or whomever, check out the annual Easter flower sale sponsored by the East Anne Arundel Lions Club this weekend.
Traditional Easter flowers and plants will be on sale from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today andtomorrow at the Dash-In parking lot at Fort Smallwood Road and Duvall Highway. Proceeds will benefit Lions community projects.
The fastest event in Pasadena is slated for 11 a.m. tomorrow at Lake Shore Elementary School on Mountain Road. It's the annual Easter egg hunt, sponsored by the Mountain Road Optimists, for area youngsters.
Fred Rausch and a dedicated group of Optimist egg layers will be busy hiding hundreds of eggs and lots of prizes for kids to find.
If all goes according to plan, their hours of work will provide about five minutes of fun to all those who attend.
Children ages 12 and under are invited to participate. Remember to bring along a bag or basket for collecting.
Give the gift of life at a blood drive, sponsored by Magothy United Methodist Church, 3703 Mountain Road, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 25.
Church spokeswoman Norma Martel said everyone in the community is invited to donate.
"You must be healthy, at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds to donate," Martel said.
To schedule an appointment, call 766-3286.
Students from Northeast, Chesapeake, Glen Burnie and North County high schools are invited to attend the Northeast PTSA's first Career/Job FairNight from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday in the school cafeteria.
Studentsand their parents can meet and discuss career options with more than50 representatives from businesses and the military. College representative from Catonsville, Salisbury and Anne Arundel community colleges will be on hand to discuss post-secondary educational opportunities.
"This year marks the 500th anniversary of Columbus' discovery, and our young people need to know that there are still new worlds waiting to be discovered," said PTSA President Carlene Heilman. "We hopestudents will come with an open mind and lots of questions, eager tofind out more about what they could do with the rest of their lives."
Light refreshments will be served.
For more details, call theschool at 437-6400.