If I had seen "Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House" back in May, instead of last Friday, I wonder if the summer would have unfolded (or unraveled, depending on my mood) the way it did.
There are few things, I think, as seductive as the prospect and process of creating a nest with and for your family. The lines between practical, possible and ideal get very blurred.
There's a great deal to be said for having a plan that details a remodeling project down to the arrangement of bottles in the new medicine cabinet, and counts the pennies for every nail and picture hook.
Doing it that way, with no changes and no rushed decisions, is safe and dependable -- and boring, I suspect. Not being candidates for boredom, we chose the opposite route on our grand project, working backward from what we knew we wanted the finished product to be -- with the result, of course, that we ran out of money long before we ran out of finish!
But there's a lot that's special in our new home that a pedestrian approach wouldn't have allowed, and to paraphrase the Blandings' friend, Bill, at the end of the film, there are some things that should be measured in love, not in money.
Next time, perhaps, we'll find a route somewhere between the two extremes. Meanwhile, I think I'll get a copy of "Mr. Blandings" and make it required viewing for any friends contemplating a project similar to ours.
On Thursday, Sept. 9, lovers of theater, comedy, Gilbert and Sullivan and good food can indulge themselves in all of it, while supporting the YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.
The Y is presenting "The Pirates of Penzance" at the NEW Annapolis Dinner Theater.
The doors open at 6 p.m. A buffet, featuring carved roast beef, Virginia baked ham, chicken Dijon and fish Florentine, begins at 6:30, and "Pirates" begins at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $30 per person and may be picked up at the YWCA at 40 State Circle, or charged by calling 647-1500. The YWCA is a United Way agency.
The NEW Annapolis Dinner Theater is at 339 Busch's Frontage Road, reached via Exit 29A from U.S. 50.
Amateur and professional artists are invited to submit pen-and-ink drawings of south county sites and landmarks for consideration in the Shady Side Rural Heritage Society's 1994 calendar. Twelve sites or notable South County features have been chosen. The angle and attitude for the drawings are up to the artist.
The sites are: the Weems House, a fish fry at Lula Scott Center, the Captain Salem Avery Museum, Ford House, workboats at the dock at Parrish Creek, a view of Cedar Point Creek, the Galesville Community Hall, Dixon's Station at Routes 255 and 468, West River Market, a Chesapeake 20 sailboat, Woodfields' Fish and Oyster House, and the Topside Inn.
Drawings should be submitted by Sept. 26 to Calendar Project Chairman Newello Cannon, 1127-A Cumberstone Road, Harwood 20776.
For details, call 867-4486.
One of the things our remodeling inadvertently created was a small patch of ground surrounded by deck, ramp, fence and house, totally inaccessible to a lawn mower. It's the perfect place for container plants and a bird feeder, and, happily, it's right outside the window over my desk.
The bird feeder idea was triggered by a release from Quiet Waters Park, announcing a birdseed sale.
The Friends of Quiet Waters Park, in conjunction with the Anne Arundel Bird Club, will be offering black oil sunflower and striped sunflower seeds, special and premium mixes, and gourmet items such as thistle millet, cracked corn and suet cakes.
Order forms are available at the park office or gatehouse, or by calling 222-1777. Seed pickup days are Oct. 16 and 17 and selected weekends afterward.
Prices are reasonable, and the proceeds benefit FQWP and bird club activities.
It warms my heart to learn that television and Nintendo have not killed reading.
The Anne Arundel County Public Library reports that nearly 9,500 children participated in the Library's Summer Reading Program, logging a total of more than 100,000 books during the six-week program.
Candyce Offer, 10, of Rose Haven, was the champion reader, winning tickets to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va. Her local library is the South County branch in Deale.
The Edgewater branch had the highest number of summer readers, at 1,385. The Annapolis main library had 1,025, Eastport-Annapolis Neck, 344; and South County, 283.
The Maryland Renaissance Festival opens Saturday and runs from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 17, and on Monday, Sept. 6.
Many popular features that make the festival required recreation for thousands will be back. New attractions include the jousting troupe Heroes and Villains, with four jousts a day instead of three, illusionists Tom Crowl and the Mrs., shortened productions of "Twelfth Night" and "Much Ado About Nothing," "character tours" of the village and a wine pavilion.
The festival is more attractive to families thanks to a change in the ticket schedule. Children under 7 (instead of under 5) are free, and the children's ticket ($4.95) covers youngsters between 7 and 15. The adult ticket is still $10.95, and the senior ticket, for those 62 or older, is $9.25.