The Laurel-Beltsville Senior Activity Center is hosting a Thanksgiving Fellowship Luncheon on Monday, Nov. 20, from noon to 2 p.m. The luncheon is free, but you must register at the front desk at the center. Spaces are limited for this special event. Share the spirit of the season and enjoy the fellowship of our fellow seniors as well as the great food.

Holiday events at Montpelier Mansion include self-guided tours to view the lovely traditional holiday decorations provided by local garden clubs. These tours are available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting Tuesday, Dec. 5 through Saturday, Dec. 30. While there, browse through the Artists’ Boutique for ornaments and crafts, and the book store for books, old-fashioned toys and Montpelier Mansion memorabilia. Call 301-377-7817 or contact historian and museum educator Holly Burnham at holly.burnham@pgparks.com.

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On Saturday, Nov. 18, Oaklands Elementary School hosts PGCPS the Family Institute’s child safety workshop. Presentations are in English and Spanish. Completion of the session provides the opportunity to apply for fingerprinting and a background check to qualify to volunteer in the classroom and chaperone the students on trips and other events. The purpose of the session is to provide information about keeping our children safe. For more information about this and other Family Institute programs, contact the Department of Family and Community Engagement at 301-618-7356 orpgfamily.org .

Lots of changes to the topography in our community are underway. The intersection of Odell and Muirkirk roads appears to be progressing nicely. Sadly, for many of us, our beautiful Bradford pear street trees are being removed. There are many good reasons to replace these trees. The pear trees do become prone to splitting as they get older and the county is planning to replace them. The replacements will be young trees, not the gracious ones with white spring blossoms that drew my eyes up to the heavens. In Sonnet 73, William Shakespeare refers to that time of year “when yellow leaves or none or few do hang” upon those boughs that shake against the cold, “bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang.” I thought about these lines as I observed the ruins of the Bradford pear trees which have lined Bedford’s streets for over 40 years. Right now, many are just bare skeletons with their arms raised to the sky, as if in supplication. Along with the dreary, rainy and chilly weather this week, the bare trees, which had formed graceful arches along our way, make for a gloomy path through the neighborhood. The Sonnet’s theme is one of aging, but to paraphrase: “I love that well which I must leave e’re long.” We bid farewell to our Bradford pears and await the spring and the new beginnings.

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