Green spears of daffodils are poking up through the mulch. It's less than two months until spring, and there are signs of hope all around. Snowdrops are in bloom in some gardens. One glimpse of the tiny white flowers blanketing the soil warms the soul. Each day is longer than the last, and the average daily temperature is rising. Some folks are mentioning the feeling of spring in the air.
Here is a sign that spring isn't far away. The Western Howard County Youth Baseball League is looking for umpires for spring games. Dan Gilbert of Glenwood is in charge of umpires. He is seeking people interested in being paid to officiate games played by boys age 9 to 12. If you want to join Mr. Gilbert's crew, call (301) 854-6621.
Baseball registration for Western Howard County has been extended until tomorrow. If you want to register your child, call Barbara Patterson at 313-5421.
Spring may be around the corner, but skiers are still enjoying the slopes. If you want to join them for a day, register for the Western Howard County Ski Trip to Ski Liberty. The Department of Parks and Recreation is sponsoring the trip.
The $65 fee includes bus transportation, ski rental, a lift ticket, a lesson, and skiing from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. If you bring your own equipment, the cost is $50. You must register by Feb. 12 for the March 6 trip. The bus will leave from West Friendship Elementary School at 1:30 p.m. and return at 11:30 p.m. Call Ms. Patterson at 313-5421 to register.
Parents won't have any trouble getting their kids out of bed next week, if they attend St. Louis Catholic School in Clarksville. It's Catholic Schools Week, beginning Sunday with a liturgy at the 9:15 a.m. Mass. A quilt made by school families with their family names on it will adorn the altar.
Monday is Student Day, when youngsters can create their own sundaes. Tuesday is Parent Day, with an open house planned for the morning and a Talent Show on the agenda for the afternoon. Wednesday the eighth-graders will teach kindergarten through fourth grade, and Collier's will present a Hands-On Science demonstration. Then the seventh- and eighth-grade will battle for the right to be called the school champions in basketball.
On Thursday the teachers will be honored with a lunch prepared by the eighth-graders, and the teachers and students will pray for the ministry of teaching.
Tomorrow is Awards Day for students who participated in the recent Math-a-thon. This event raised money for the area homeless. The students solicited pledges for each 100 math problems they solved correctly.
Imagine our surprise last Saturday. We drove up our short street to see for sale signs springing up everywhere. We just couldn't believe so many people were contemplating moving. It turned out that some neighbors were playing a joke on Rick and Bunny Lokey.
The Lokeys are about to move into their lovely new house, making 12 families on our street. The signs weren't real, and I think the joke was on more than the Lokeys. They have owned the lot next to ours for many years. Building their house and moving to the place they've called their own for so long is a dream come true. We welcome them and wish them great happiness.
Famous Reader Day was held again at Bushy Park Elementary School on Friday. Besides the enthusiastic parents who came to read to the children during the 80-minute event, some people famous at Bushy Park and elsewhere read.
Among them were County Executive Charles I. Ecker, school Superintendent Michael Hickey, former Bushy Park Principal Dave MacPherson, retired school secretaries Elaine Andrew and Louise Hubbard, and retired Bushy Park teacher LuAnn Estes.
Guest readers from the Department of Education included Shelley Day, Joan Palmer, Chris Wood, Jackie Shulik and Phyllis Utterbach. Student Government members graciously greeted the readers. The building became very quiet at 10 a.m. when visitors began to share stories and poetry to classes throughout the school. It's a wonderful program, originated and developed by Principal Phil Arbaugh. I don't know if the staff, the students, or the readers enjoy Famous Reader Day more.
Want to ride on a fire truck? Well, you can. The West Friendship Volunteer Fire Department is looking for some willing helpers. There's one simple requirement: Be willing to help your neighbors and friends.
Men and women, boys and girls are welcome to participate as part of the West Friendship Volunteers, and you don't have to fight fires to help. You can serve as a paramedic or an emergency medical technician. Volunteers are needed to help on committees and at the Howard County Fair. There is something for everyone, from cadet to senior citizen.
For more information, call Ronald Van Sant at 489-5199.
The Clarksville Elementary School PTA Cultural Arts Committee brought Ronald McDonald to the school recently. He presented a program on respect, self-esteem, and substance-abuse resistance.