Waning of summer brings season of mixed emotions

Neighbors

August 18, 1999|By Heather Tepe | Heather Tepe,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WE'VE ALL seen the television commercial: A man takes his son and daughter shopping for school supplies. Dad dances through the aisles with glee, and the kids follow scowls on their faces. In the background, you hear a song: "It's the most wonderful time of the year. "

Howard County schools open in 12 days , and west Columbia neighbors are preparing for the new school year with mixed feelings.

Amy Holcomb, 10, is entering the fifth grade at Swansfield Elementary School. She echoes a sentiment shared by most children when she says, "I sort of want to go back to school, but I don't want summer to end."

Jane Holcomb says her son, Scott, 16, was excited when he got his class schedule from Wilde Lake High School Friday.

"He was on the phone with his friends, finding out what classes they were in," she said.

But she knows that none of her children are happy that summer is drawing to a close. Her daughter, Bridget, 13, wants to spend time with school friends she has not seen over the summer. Yet she is not ready to go back to school.

"I'm going to miss hanging out at the pool," she said.

Holcomb says that when everyone goes back to school, she'll miss having the kids home every day but adds that "we need to get back to a regimented schedule."

During the summer, Gina Flynn has her hands full keeping up with sons Jack, 2, and 8-year-old twins Charlie and Neal. The Flynns spend summer days at the pool in Dorsey's Search or riding in paddle boats on Centennial Lake. And the summer would not be complete without a lemonade stand, set up by Charlie and Neal.

"The boys are definitely different in the summer," Flynn said. "They have more down time, which brings out their creative side."

She says she will miss the freedom to "stop, drop and go" on summer adventures when school starts.

"As the boys get older, we have more and more fun during the summer," she adds. "Every year it gets better."

Charlie is excited about starting the third grade at Thunder Hill Elementary because "I get to learn how to write cursive." And Neal can't wait to use his new school supplies. "I got glue sticks and glue bottles and notebooks and pencils and lined paper," he says.

Local teachers also are going to lament the end of their summer vacations. Longfellow resident Nancy Mendoza is a reading specialist at Thunder Hill. This summer, she and her husband, Joe, enjoyed a seven-day cruise on the Delta Queen, a Mississippi River steamboat. The boat crawled up the river at a snail's pace from Memphis to St. Louis.

"The deck was filled with rocking chairs with big, old cushions," she recalled. "They called it `America's Front Porch.' People would sit on the deck and read or talk or play cards."

The Mendozas enjoyed the good weather and seeing a different part of the country.

Now Nancy Mendoza is trying to gear up for the new school year. Although teachers are not required to report back to work until next week, she has spent time at the school, trying to get situated.

"I'm getting my mind ready to get back into the school groove," she said. "I always look forward to school. I'm anxious to see who my new students will be."

"Endless Summer" is only a movie. But we've still got 12 days before we have to worry about homework and making school lunches. Grab a picnic basket and your sense of adventure and make the most of it.

Dinner dance

The Florence Bain Senior Center has scheduled a Summer's End Dinner Dance from 6: 30 p.m. to 10: 30 p.m. Aug. 27.

The band Now and Then will perform as guests feast on a twilight dinner prepared by Brian's Catering.

The cost is $7, and registration is required by Aug. 25. Information: 410-313-7213.

Artists' exhibit

The Artists' Gallery, in the American City Building on Wincopin Circle, is presenting its annual "Summer Invitational" through Aug. 27.

Paintings, drawings and photographs by 13 guest artists, and works by gallery members are on display.

Longfellow residents Nancy Timer and her son Paul have photographs in the exhibit. The work of Joan Forester, another west Columbia photographer, also is represented.

Scott Brenfleck, a resident of Clary's Forest, is showing pastels. Watercolorists Al Bishop of Clemens Crossing and Judy McCaughey of Clary's Forest are also participating.

Artists' Gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5: 30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 9: 30 a.m. to 12: 30 p.m. Saturdays.

Information: 410-740-8249.

People Tree dancing

Let loose the rhythm in your soul.

Tatia Zack leads the crowd through country line dances, salsa and swing under the People Tree from 6: 30 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Friday through Sept. 17 at the Town Center Lakefront.

This program, new to the Summer Lakefront Festival, is sponsored by the Community Services Division of the Columbia Association.

Information: 410-715-3000.

Pub Date: 8/18/99

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