It's Thursday in Severna Park, and I'm out early to pick up a new garden hose connector at the hardware store.
My errands take me to Park Plaza, where I purchase a bag of Chesapeake Bagels to be slathered later with cream cheese and munched between sips of hazelnut coffee.
Next door at Annapolis Seafood, a big fellow looking very much like Neptune sells me an assortment of shrimp and scallops to be brushed with lemon juice, garlic and butter and broiled to perfection for dinner.
The thought of sweet Queen Anne corn lures me to Doug Diehl's produce stand, where I count out a half-dozen ears and fill a bag with fresh green beans.
Tonight, we dine Maryland-style.
It's pure pleasure for many of us, poring through favorite cookbooks, searching for delicious ways to prepare summer's bounty of fruits, vegetables and seafood.
But for others, abundance applies only to hunger. A need for enough food to feed their family is what brings most clients to the doorsteps of the Severna Park Assistance Network (SPAN).
During May, SPAN served 123 clients and disbursed $3,263 in financial aid. In June, the numbers climbed to 163 clients and $5,315 disbursed.
SPAN is supported by community churches and residents.
Right now, supplies are short in canned potatoes, spaghetti and sauce, crackers, snack food, canned fruit, Tuna Helper and flour.
Donations may be brought to the office located behind Our Shepherd Lutheran Church on Benfield Road.
For more information, call 647-0889.
* Renew America, a national environmental organization in Washington working to preserve our natural bounty, has presented a special merit award to the Environmental Center at Anne Arundel Community College.
Each year, the National Environmental Awards Council coordinated by Renew America recognizes the top 20 environmental programs in the country. This year it also presented special merit awards.
The college was recognized for its work establishing a wetlands nursery to produce aquatic plants for wetlands creation and restoration.
Originally funded by Nevamar Corp. to establish a pilot wetlands nursery for marsh grass production, the program has been expanded to include the Providence Center, an employment facility for the developmentally disabled. Providence clients grow marsh plants from seeds from the Nevamar nursery.
With the cooperation of government, citizen groups and the business community, the plants have been used in projects throughout the county, state and mid-Atlantic region, director Stephen Ailstock says.
He listed the program's five objectives: shoreline stabilization to curtail erosion, storm-water management, controlling undesirable marsh vegetation, monitoring water quality, and enhancing fisheries.
The college's program is one of 62 from 33 states and the District of Columbia named this year as models for protecting, restoring and enhancing the environment.
* Carrie Griffin, daughter of Peter and Charlene Griffin and a sophomore at Archbishop Spalding High School, attended the Democratic Convention in New York City as part of the Junior Statesman Summer School at Yale University.
The 15-year-old is taking advanced courses in government studies and speech communications, while participating in a mock congress and debates on current political issues.
Her acceptance to the program was based on grades, letters of recommendation and an essay.
* Barbara Schwitzer, principal at Archbishop Spalding High School, reports that fall enrollment is strong.
The school is accepting applications for the sophomore and junior classes, but freshmen are now being placed on a waiting list.
For further information, call 969-9105.
* A midsummer afternoon of mostly classical music will be presented at a 4 p.m. concert Sunday at Severna Park United Methodist Church.
The group Beaucoup Baroque includes flutist Betty Brewer, a county public school music teacher; oboist Jerry Lewis, who has taught music since his retirement from the U.S. Navy Band in Washington; and Dorothy Lewis, a key board player who is the organist and music director at Grace Lutheran Church in Easton.
For more information, call 987-4700.
* Some shopping bargains are on the horizon courtesy of the American Cancer Society's Discovery Shop.
The quarterly Countdown Sale in the Didonato Plaza shop on Ritchie Highway begins Monday, but the highlight is the Bag Sale on Saturday, Aug. 8.
That day only, from 10 a.m. to noon, cram as much as you can into a Discovery Shop bag and pay just $5.
On opening day, all clothing items will be marked $5, but each day of the sale they'll be reduced by $1. If you dare wait until the weekend, you'll find some real bargains.
All merchandise is donated, and all proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.
At the end of each season, the store is completely restocked. The shop will be closed all day Aug. 10 and will reopen Tuesday, filled with fall fashions.
For more information, call Judy Dooley at 544-0568.
The International AIDS Conference just concluded in Amsterdam, Netherlands, resulted in new ideas for action. But members of the United Methodist Baltimore Conference have already established a supportive way to help: a "Quality of Life" retreat on the West River for AIDS patients.
Several retreats are scheduled throughout the year, and the cost is $50 per person.
Donations to this program are being accepted at Severna Park United Methodist Church. Gifts can be given in memory of a friend or relative.
For more information, call 987-4700.