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Mother Nature's sense of humor almost gave us a White Halloween

ThanksgivingHalloweenFrosty the Snowman (fictional character)

Continuing our unusual weather year, wasn't it amazing to see snow covering the brightly colored autumn leaves before Halloween? I guess if anything will put us in the winter holiday spirit it's snow, but maybe not quite this early.

My husband, Tom, and I always wager on the date of the first snow — loser has to take the winner out to their choice of dinner. Well, since both of us selected December dates I guess we both lose and two dinners are up for grabs.

Gearing up for the holidays, I see many delivery trucks lining Main Street when I drive through, and I know the shops are well stocked already. As always, I recommend tearing yourself away from the computer and interacting with the gracious and knowledgeable folk who man the shops in the historic district. Several of my friends shop there exclusively for their holiday gifts and you should, too.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is almost upon us. I'm really looking forward to it. My older son, Dave, and his girlfriend, Kristen, will be traveling from Brooklyn, N.Y., to join me, Tom and our younger son, Rob, to share our feast. I like it that the kids are at the age where they can pitch in and make the preparation so much easier

Another thing that makes it all easier is ordering our fresh turkey from Yates Market. For many years now we have ordered a turkey, Yates' secret recipe homemade sausage for the dressing and Faidley's oysters (yes, Yates can get them for you) to make a special meal that we all enjoy.

Kristen isn't from around here, so in earlier years was quite surprised to see sauerkraut as part of our feast. Yes, we cling to that old Baltimore tradition, if only to enjoy our own tradition of Reuben sandwiches later in the week with the leftovers.

Call Betty at Yates to order your turkey and extras today. She's at 410-465-3222. And I bet you won't leave the store without some Pfefferkorn coffee, freshly ground, and some old-fashioned hard candies for snacking.

Holiday Festival of Trains

Don't let the placid façade of the B&O Railroad Museum, Ellicott City Station, fool you. It may look quiet from the outside, but right now it's a beehive of activity inside preparing for the opening of the Holiday Festival of Trains Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving. Every year tireless volunteers work for months to make an entirely new display that is always a delight.

When the exhibit first started decades ago, it was called, in Baltimore tradition, a train garden. That stopped when out-of-town folk complained that they expected to see plants arranged in special displays

This year's brand new, custom built layout is on display Wednesdays through Sundays, Nov. 25 to Jan. 29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to the huge special display of trains, the fun also includes "Thomas the Tank Engine" and special appearances by Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman.

The Museum also is continuing "The War Came by Train," in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

For more information, call 410-461-1945.

Beaujolais Nouveau

If you need a respite from all of your holiday preparations, a great diversion is the Beaujolais Nouveau celebration at Tersiguel's French Country Restaurant Nov. 17 at 6:30 p.m.

To celebrate the arrival of the new wine, they are offering a multi-course meal with wine pairings for $100. They are also a good choice to visit if you aren't up to cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

They are planning an a la carte menu all day, as well as a traditional turkey dinner for $30.95 for adults and $17.95 for children younger than 12. For reservations, call 410-465-4004.

Ghost Tours

Howard County Tourism's Ghost Tours continue on weekends through the season. The cold weather and deep dark nights only enhance the bone-tingling experience. For reservations — highly recommended at this time of year — call 410-313-1900.

Women's Hall of Fame

Take a good look around you. Is there some special woman you know, working hard to improve our community and not being particularly recognized for her efforts? Well, now is the time to nominate her for the Howard County Commission for Women's Hall of Fame.

Deadline for nominations is Nov. 18 and forms can be obtained by calling 410-313-6400.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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