Employment is affected by the state of the economy; however, the weather may also be an indicator of job security. If our winters continue to be so mild, Punxsutawney Phil may have to find another line of work.

With the spring-like temperatures we've been enjoying, who cares what the season is called?

Phil and his cousins -- the woodchucks, squirrels, and badgers --have controlled the spring-is-right-around-the-corner market since the first settlers from England and Germany came to America. But if interest doesn't pick up, there could be a public demand for a return to the earlier tradition of Groundhog Day when the fat, furry fellows were not only observed but trapped and roasted.


The Severn River Lions Club, that's Severna Park's own, has set 6 p.m. Sunday as the deadline for ordering fresh Florida oranges and grapefruits.

Toplace your order, call 647-4551 or 647-4761 between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. The fruit can be picked up between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Severna Park High School.

More great news, if you like Vidalia onions. The Lions will be selling these sweet Georgia onions in May. More information later.


One of my favorite lines fromthe movie "Steel Magnolias" is spoken by the character played by Olympia Dukakis: "The only thing that separates us from the rest of the animals is our ability to accessorize."

Not only do we embellish ourselves, but also our surroundings; Severna Park offers plenty of opportunities to select accessories for home and office.

The ArundelHospice Auxiliary invites you to a benefit art show and auction on Saturday evening, March 16, in the Anne Arundel Community College cafeteria. The auctioneers, Heisman Fine Arts Gallery, Inc. of Ardmore, Pa., will begin the evening at 7 p.m. to give bidders time to look at the prints and original art. The auction follows at 8 p.m.

Delacroix, Picasso and Wyeth are among the dozens of artists whose work willbe represented, with most bids starting between $50 and $150.

Tickets are $5 each or six for $25. For more information, call 255-9529 or 255-3907.

The Severna Park Newcomers Club is offering two activities designed to expand your ability to accessorize. At 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 26, the antiques group will meet at the home of Nancy Robertson. The topic will be Heisey glass, 1896 to 1957. Save yourself a spot; call 987-0945 by Feb. 24.

If you like baskets and wreaths, you'll love them decorated with Stiffy Bows. Carol Simer will teach the group how to make bows by Stiffy.

Learn how to make the bows at the next Newcomers craft group at 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 27. This is a members-only function. Information: 987-2150.

I just received my calendar of arts and crafts classes for March and April from the B-Hive craft shop. There are projects for the novice and the expert. Included are a variety of techniques: beginning folk art, Ukrainian art, methodpainting, stenciling, calligraphy and theorem. Call early to reserveyour spot: 647-7400.


As Lent approaches, Severna Park churches are scheduling special events. The annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner will be at Severna Park United Methodist Church Tuesday. Seatings are at 6, 6:30 and 7 p.m.

Tickets at the door are $4 for adultsand $3 for children under 12. The event is sponsored by Boy Scout Troop 993.

Information: 987-2084.

The Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper at Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church will feature mask-making at 5 p.m., pancakes and sausage at 6 p.m., games following supper and a brief worship to conclude the evening.

Tickets are $3 for adults and $8 for a family. To make reservations, call the church at 647-2550.


At Our Shepherd Lutheran Church has announced its Lenten service schedule: Ash Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. and 8 p.m.; Maundy Thursday at 6:30 a.m. and 8 p.m.; and Good Friday Tenebrae at 8 p.m. Services are set for 7:30 p.m. each Wednesday during Lent.


A Red Cross Blood Drive will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 16 in the fellowship hall of the Severna Park United Methodist Church.

To be a volunteer or a donor, please call 544-5091 or 647-3439.

Your body, which contains about 10 to 12 pints, quickly replaces the blood you give.

It takes an hour (actual donation time is less than 10 minutes)to give blood that will be separated into components and used to treat several patients. Red cells are prescribed for anemic patients. Platelet concentrates control bleeding in leukemic patients. Plasma from many donors is pooled to make derivatives such as anti-hemophiliac factor, albumin for the treatment of shock, and gamma globulin, whichmay prevent or make less severe certain diseases.

In our population, the percentages generally break down this way: 38.4 percent will have O positive blood; 7.7 percent will have O negative blood; 32.3 percent have A positive; 6.5 percent have A negative; 9.4 percent haveB positive; 1.7 percent have B negative; 3.2 percent have AB positive; .7 percent have AB negative.


Registration for the fall session of Severna Park United Methodist Nursery School for 3- and 4-year-olds is scheduled at 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 19. Snow date is Feb. 21. Information: 544-1719 or 987-4112.

All county parents are invited tohear Betty Asplund, coordinator of the Bereavement Center of ArundelHospice, speak to the PTA of Crofton Meadows Elementary School at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 20.

The presentation, "A Child's View of Grief," will include a video by Dr. Alan Wolfelt, director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition in Fort Collins, Colo.

Information: 721-9453.


The shrimp boats are in and the dinner bell is ringing.

The Severna Park Elks have scheduled a Shrimp Feast from 7 p.m. to midnight, Feb. 23, at the lodge on Truckhouse Road.

With a reputation for good food and entertainment, the Elks offer this menu: steamed shrimp, fried chicken and hot dogs, with all the trimmings. There will be a cash bar for mixed drinks. Music will be furnished by "TheZimpsons."

Tickets for members and guests are $20 per person. Call 647-2811 or 647-3708.


The Arundel Hospice is offering a bereavement support group, which will meet from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays March 5 through April 9 at Severna Park United Methodist Church.

The group is open and free of charge to anyone who has experienced the loss of a family member or friend.

The deadline for pre-registration is March 1.

Information: 987-2129, Monday through Friday,between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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