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Howard County Conservancy offering virtual tour of Hodge Podge Lodge | MOSTLY MAIN

Happy New Year! I hope that the New Year brings us all some welcome peace and joy. When I looked back at the first column I wrote in 2020, I saw no mention of masks or respirators, social distancing or quarantine and wouldn’t have known how these terms would apply to most of us. That was the “before times” for sure.

For me, the high points of 2020 were the frequent FaceTime visits with my grandson Henry, who lives in Brooklyn with his parents. It wasn’t as good as in person but much better than not having them.

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Henry turns 4 years old in a few days and has weathered the huge changes in his young life with good cheer. He put things in perspective for me when his best friend, Luca, moved to Toronto with his family. Henry’s dad, my son Dave, was showing Henry the planet Mars in the night sky one evening, and Henry said that that was where Luca was. Well, logistically he might as well be there. They won’t be playing together again anytime soon.

My last indoor restaurant meal for the year was at Kelsey’s, the Sunday before St. Patrick’s Day. People were streaming in to the restaurant, celebrating the holiday early, or so they thought. That was the last day we celebrated. Restaurants closed the next day. After a few months of carryout only, my husband Tom and I ventured out to LeeLynn’s at the end of September for outdoor dining. A familiar waitress served our table. I told her how much I had missed her. She said she missed us, too. We continued outdoor dining until mid-December; the snow kind of slowed us down, and we are back to carryout. The vaccine can’t come soon enough.

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The Howard County Conservancy is offering a virtual tour on its Facebook page of Hodge Podge Lodge, the former set of the popular public television show from the 1970s, which is now located at Mt. Pleasant farm. The tour will take place on Jan. 8 at 11 a.m.

The Howard County Arts Council, at 8510 High Ridge Road, has several exhibits going on, in person and online at its website, hocoarts.org. The HOCO Open, featuring works by artists who live, work or are studying in Howard County, runs from Jan. 9 to Feb. 20, daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Another exhibit, Traces, features the abstract mixed-media work of Pennsylvania artists Jeremy Siedt and Will Wolf. It runs from Jan. 16 to Feb. 20.

On Main Street, the Artists’ Gallery at Taylor’s Collective, 8197 Main St., features over 20 artists in its winter show, which runs through Jan. 13. It is open daily, except Monday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 443-325-5936.

Hodge Podge Lodge, the former set of the popular public television show from the 1970s is now at Howard County Conservancy's Mt. Pleasant.
Hodge Podge Lodge, the former set of the popular public television show from the 1970s is now at Howard County Conservancy's Mt. Pleasant. (Nate Pesce, Patuxent Homestead)

Howard County Restaurant Weeks and Craft Beverages will run this winter from Jan. 18 to 31. Check the VisitHowardCounty.com website for participants and their menus. I feel like I have my favorite restaurants’ menus memorized for takeout by now, so I’m really looking forward to some new choices.

The Howard County Historical Society had a delightful virtual Holiday House Tour in December. It was very different from its usual bus tour around the county, but it was a lot of fun. If you missed it, you can still take a virtual tour of Main Street and such landmarks as Mount Pleasant and the Patapsco Female Institute by visiting its website, hchsmd.org, where an interactive tour allows you to set your own pace and linger at places that especially interest you.

The society is also offering Saturday morning historic district walking tours, originating at the Museum of Howard County History on Courthouse Drive, and limited to 10 people at a time. Go to its website for tickets.

On Jan. 16, the Wine Bin will offer a new class, Marie and Dave’s Lazy Night Faves. This virtual class will be interactive, with Marie preparing dishes live, and participants will be provided with all materials to make the dish along with her. The cost is $95, with enough to accommodate two people including food, wine and cocktails. Go to its website to sign up.

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