Never admit you live in the Baltimore-Washington corridor to out-of-town friends.
About two months ago we were entertaining friends from Philadelphia who were going on to a party in Virginia. Our friends said something like, "Gee, we'd love to have you and our Virginia friends over to a barbecue for roast suckling pig, but we're so far north, it's too far to ask everyone to travel."
And that's where I made my big mistake. I said, "Have the barbecue here."
So last Sunday, 50 people representing three continents, six countries and about four states frolicked on my lawn. The party turned out better than I had any reason to expect, but I find this generally true when you anticipate a disaster.
John and Linda Cox began cooking Link Hogthrob, the pig, at midnight Saturday and basted him every half-hour. Link should have been cooked by 2 p.m. He was done by 10 in the morning. Amazing how a five-minute-per-pound recipe discrepancy adds up in a 42-pound pig.
So there we were with a pert porker and no diners. Fortunately, there is a class of guest who always arrives early to help. So after setting up the Maypole (drain pipe with ribbons attached), carting out tables, laying out the croquet course and moving the 4-foot plastic castle for the Nerf weapons war, it was almost time for the party to begin.
Despite some surreal moments, the party went well, but I do wonder what I'm going to do next year.
The Savage Library isn't just a collection of good books and a charmingly efficient staff to guide your selection. There are also volunteers who put in long hours to make the library truly a community resource.
I've already mentioned Waunetta Wine, who reads to young children as a library grandparent, and Mary Spence, who maintains the best-filed and most up-to-date coupon box in the area, but I've sadly neglected the others.
So next time you admire a lovely display, thank Barbara Mann, whose artistic creations embellish the bulletin boards. She convinced her neighbors Ceal and Jim Neally to lend the library their collection of Hopi Katchina dolls for a month to enhance a display of American Indian books.
Mr. and Mrs. Neally worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs out west and acquired the figurines there.
Pat Ganley is a two-fer volunteer. For the past two years, he has volunteered two nights a week, both in Project Literacy and as a video technician. This last term means he repairs damaged videos if he can.
Holly Mlnarczyk has volunteered at the Savage Library for the last four years. She began when the library was still housed in one room in Carroll Baldwin Hall. Her good cheer never fails.
Mary Love works with the children's librarian's, putting together the children's programs.
Of course the library is always looking for more volunteers to enhance the quality of services provided. If the company of literate fellows and charming companions appeals to you, call Louise Reimer at (410) 313-7918 for an application form.
Bollman Bridge Elementary School is sponsoring an early dance from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 14 in the gymnasium of neighboring Patuxent Valley Middle School.
For a really low price of $1 per person, $6 maximum per family, a deejay will provide all the music you need for dancing. The desserts on sale will cost a nickel or a dime.
For more information, call Karen Berger at (301) 776-4371 or Pam Paper at (301) 776-7753.
Next week, Hammond Middle School will be a bit quieter. The entire sixth-grade will have disappeared into the mountains.
From Wednesday through Friday, the sixth-graders, about 40 of their parents and teachers will be in Summit Lake in Emmitsburg for a series of hands-on outdoor lessons.
They plan to stop off at Catoctin State Park for an hourlong hike, then on to the lake for canoeing, boating and fishing.
During the three-day session, the kids will learn about nature and symmetry, study a graveyard, and make leaf prints on T-shirts.
That makes sense -- after all, what's a trip without a souvenir T-shirt?