Computer-buying ordeal puts things in perspective SOUTHEAST -- Sykesville * Eldersburg * Gamber

NEIGHBORS

October 13, 1992|By MAUREEN RICE

Buying a new computer is as much fun as buying a car.

There is a strange feeling of grief when your old one dies -- how can you mourn a box? Believe me, you can, especially when you read your MasterCard bill.

For me it began one evening when innocently enough I went to type a newsletter on the old favorite. Nothing. "DOS boot!" I shrieked, to no avail. The dinosaur had burned its last chip.

So I did the American thing: I called around and opted for the most smooth-talking salesman I could find and placed an order.

Two days later the new computer arrived. We were instructed how to use the mouse, and we discovered a games program that was placed in the memory.

Two days later the salesman was back because we were having problems.

So was the salesman. His wife was due to give birth at any moment, and was, at that moment, talking to the doctor about a potentially dangerous cyst. His car was in the shop, so he had borrowed his boss's car to come to our home and service the computer.

I should have felt guilty.

And I did.

He disassembled the box and removed a few parts. Then the phone rang. His wife's car had broken down, and she needed a ride from the doctor's office.

I'm a good Christian so I knew what to do. I gazed cheerfully at the unrecognizable detritus, smiled, waved him on, and prayed fervently for his wife.

Then I prayed for my computer.

*

There's a new "old" face at Piney Run Park, teaching the "Mother Nature, Mom and Me" and "Babes in the Woods" programs. Lynette Lenz, who for two years has staffed the desk in the Nature Center on Tuesday mornings, began teaching the popular programs for preschoolers when Gerry Flaim left.

"This is the first year that I thought I'd have some time to myself," said Ms. Lenz, "now that my twins are in first grade. But Elaine Schweitzer came to me and asked me about it, and how can you say no to Elaine?"

Ms. Lenz says that, after participating in all the programs with her three children, she enjoys being on the other end of it. So do her children, who love all the books she uses for research. The children she teaches have enjoyed learning "where all our little friends go in the cold winter," she says, and she is really looking forward to her next sessions.

The classes fill up fast, partly because of a limit of 12 children. Parents who are interested generally must call Piney Run within three days of receipt of their newsletter to enroll a preschooler. If the classes are filled, there often is room at Bear Branch Nature Center. For information on these programs call Piney Run at 795- 6043.

*

The Ladies Auxiliary at the Sykesville/Freedom Fire Hall needs a new name.

Why?

"There are almost as many men as women working the weddings, and so forth at the hall," said member Nancy Bowman.

Ms. Bowman says sooner or later the named will be changed, but for the time being the men don't seem to mind.

"We always tell people that they don't have to run out fighting fires or ride the ambulance to help out here," she said. "And I guess they took us seriously."

The firehouse is staffed entirely by volunteers, some of whom work long hours to ensure prompt response times to calls for help.

"Some people don't realize we're volunteers," said Deputy Chief Mike Hill.

Call the friendly folks at 795-9311 for information.

*

Watch out, Great Pumpkin! Preschoolers are out to get you.

The 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in the Messian Lutheran nursery program are visiting the Waterford Farm tomorrow to grab their favorite pumpkin.

The children of Wesley Freedom's Early Years Learning Center are visiting Larriland Farms Oct. 22.

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