Spring can help mend the hurt over an old friend's departure NORTH LAUREL/SAVAGE

NEIGHBORS

April 02, 1993|By LOURDES SULLIVAN

My seed packets slump forlornly on the counter, the clay pots fill the rest of the kitchen. The peas and spinach so carefully planted a week before the snow are stillborn.

Neither the dogwood nor the incredibly inedible plums are in blossom. And the pine tree fell. It fell in a rainstorm. The roots could not hold in the sodden ground.

A shiver, a sigh, and a 30-foot pine leans against the shorter holly. The pine is too heavy to return upright. Down it comes, with the help of Dale Fixsen, who says he's planted more trees in his life than he's cut down.

All day I see birds fly in and around the fallen trunk. Are they gobbling up the homeless insects, or looking for where they used to roost?. "I know there was a tree here this morning," the blue jays chitter.

My living room is brighter now, without the shadow of that pine. I can see my neighbor's yard from the kitchen. Next winter's supply of firewood is ready. There was no damage to the house or the power lines.

But gone is what I cannot replace in my lifetime, what I did not plant or nurture. Gone is the canopy that sheltered life for 30 feet above the ground. All that remains is three inches of grass, and a gaping hole.

*

The Savage Community Association and the Howard County Department of Parks and Recreation are sponsoring a family Easter egg hunt in Savage Park tomorrow.

Caroline Adami, a board member of the SCA, called to tell me about the hunt. It seems that Ms. Adami used to run the Easter egg hunt years ago, but for the last three years she had been been busy with other matters.

This year, with her son off to college, she found herself with a little more time on her hands and she's off arranging things again.

She asks that children bring baskets to collect the candy-filled eggs. Thank goodness for that. No one has to eat egg salad sandwiches for days after the hunt. The best hunters from each age group will get a prize.

For those of us who are a little too old and too stiff, not to mention too dignified, to look under bushes for candy, there will be pie-eating contests, egg races and my favorite, the raw egg catch. Wait a minute, did I say too dignified to hunt candy?

So bring your family, play clothes, gathering baskets, and if you have one, a baked good to share with the other grass-, pie- and egg-spattered hunters to the Savage Park at 1 p.m. Cost is $3 per person, $7 per family.

Call Brian Puhg, parks and recreation coordinator, at (410) 313-7280 for more information.

*

Remember that tomorrow Bollman Bridge Elementary holds a health fair for the entire community. Come for the free health screenings held from 9 a.m. to noon. Then go race around with raw eggs in the park.

*

The Children's School of Laurel announces open registration for next fall for 3- and 4-year-olds.

The Children's School is a 20-year-old nonprofit, nondenominational, cooperative pre-school that emphasizes hands-on activities and parental interaction.

Said Anne McGhee, a parent: "When I was looking for a school for my daughter, I thought, if I were 3 years old, which school would I pick?"

Mrs. McGhee chose Children's because it was "one step from a home environment." Parents and the teacher are stationed at activity areas and encourage the children to try each activity, but the choice is the child's.

Some days, says Mrs. McGhee, you can't get the boys away from the block table. The school suggests that children attend in their play clothes, as they will get messy, what with three art projects, a rice and water table, and a "dress-up and pretend" box.

The program for 4-year-olds is more structured, as the preschool prepares the children for kindergarten the following year. The school is trying to accommodate parents who like the idea of a cooperative school, but cannot make the time commitment usually required.

Call the registrar for more details at 490-4548, or stop by the school, located in the First United Methodist Church of Laurel, 424 Main St.

*

The La Leche League meets at the Savage Library on Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. This month's topic is "Needs as Baby Grows."

Mindy Sperling and Cindy Clemmens invite all to-be, new and nursing mothers to this casual but informative session. Babies are welcome, and cooed over, but do bring a quiet toy to keep them entertained. Call (310) 604-4964 for more information.

*

Bethany Community Church of Laurel will host a dramatic presentation of the Gospel According to St. Mark, by Bruce Kuhn, at 7:30 p.m. on Easter Sunday.

Admission is $4. The 7-year-old nondenominational church has been at its new quarters in the Laurel Lakes Corporate Center for two years.

The church was founded by two couples, Anne and Kevin McGhee and Rick and Laurel Mastroianni.

The four settled in the Laurel area and set out to discover, using door to door surveys and informal ice cream socials in their homes, the unmet spiritual needs of area residents. The surveys suggested that many residents felt isolated from the larger community, had no area friends or support network.

The surveys also revealed that many of the unchurched, those who previously attended services in other denominations, found aspects of liturgy irrelevant, and resented the constant appeals for money.

Bethany Community Church tries hard to answer these concerns, yet maintains cordial relations with other area churches. Ms. McGhee sees the mission of Bethany to reach out to those who have given up on church or who wish to investigate God in a contemporary, orthodox, Bible-centered church.

To that end, in the new 6,000-square-foot space, the church holds programs for couples, families, singles and a mother's support group and also holds time management seminars, Sunday children's programs and, of course, Sunday services.

The church is located at 13966 Baltimore Ave. in Laurel. Call (301)725-7838 for more information about their programs and the Easter performance.

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