Bull roast will chase away winter blahs SOUTHEAST--Sykesville * Eldersburg * Gamber

NEIGHBORS

February 09, 1993|By MAUREEN RICE

It really is cold outside. But the good news is that the groundhog saw his shadow -- oops, I forgot. Down here in sunny Maryland, that's bad news.

I can just never get used to it. . . . Up in the snowy region where I grew up, if the groundhog saw his shadow we cheered: "Only six more weeks of winter!"

The first year we lived here, I was dancing with glee that the sun was shining on Groundhog Day, when my neighbor asked why. I pointed to the sun and chortled, "It's Groundhog Day!"

It took two more months to understand her baffled look.

Now I understand that when the sun shines, the correct behavior is to report that there will be a whole six more weeks of awful winter. It's just a matter of perspective, I guess.

*

For those who are tired of winter and are looking for a cheerful evening of fun, the Freedom District Optimist Club is holding its annual Bull and Oyster Roast at 7 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Sykesville/Freedom fire hall. Tickets are $22 per person.

"This is the right time of year for this," said Optimist member Bill Merrith. "The holidays are over, people have cabin fever, and they're looking for some fun. This is just the ticket -- and it's for a good cause."

The Optimists, who call themselves "Friend of Youth" and sponsor activities for young people ranging from sports to essay contests, are offering a delight for adults this time. The Mill Race Tavern of Baltimore is catering the affair, a band called Spring will play a mixture of favorites from the 1950s, '60s, '70s and '80s and, if experience holds true, a sellout crowd will have a wonderful time.

"We've been selling out every year," Mr. Merrith said. "I just took a phone call from a woman who booked 40 spaces."

Interested in reserving your place? Call Bill Merrith at 795-4592.

*

History buffs, take note.

St. Joseph's Catholic Community in Eldersburg is celebrating its 125th year, and on the agenda is a description of the history of the Catholic church in America. Open to the public, the trip through time begins at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18 in the church hall.

The Rev. Donald Gryzyzmski, secretary of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual, will conduct the lecture. A native of Baltimore ordained in 1980, Father Gryzyzmski holds a master's degree in history, among other scholastic honors.

"This is part of the yearlong celebration of our 125th anniversary," said John Hoyas, parishioner. "The presentation is to provide background to understanding why and how the Catholic church and faith have grown and adapted to world and societal changes over the years."

The congregation is collecting memorabilia and stories from members as part of the celebration, and plans to share the memories during the Shrove Tuesday pancake supper that begins at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 23.

"Shrove Tuesday is the last day before Lent begins. Lent is a time of denial, so traditionally people have eaten a large meal on the last day," said parishioner Harry Haight. "We serve pancakes and sausages. We make try to make a Mardi Gras atmosphere, with a dixieland band and a children's parade.

"The children particularly love the parade; we throw them candy while they march."

For information on either of the events, call the church office at 795-7838.

*

Interested in raising your own pesticide-free produce and lowering your grocery bill?

Now is the time to plan this year's harvest. These chilling days are a wonderful time to dream of luscious fruits, berries and tomatoes that will ripen in the warmer days to come.

If you've never raised your own food, but would like to get started or want to expand your horizons, join me at the Nature Center at Piney Run Park at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16 for a discussion of "The Edible Landscape." The program is free.

To register call 795-6043.

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