She stood in the dining room, her arms full of Martha Stewart books, silk sunflowers and a melon baller. She was prepared to plan a party. My party.
I had casually mentioned that there was going to be a boating regatta on the creek next to my house. Wouldn't it be fun to have a few friends over to watch the races? Hot dogs on the grill, a bag of Cheetos, some potato salad?
"Potato salad!" She blanched. "No, no. This could be the social event of the season. Would the Kennedys serve a mayonnaise-based vegetable dish? I think not."
I stammered an apology.
"I suggest cucumber and watercress sandwiches, petit fours and perhaps Cornish game hens on a bed of wild rice," she mused. "Oh yes, and mimosas to drink. You do have matching Waterford crystal?"
Closing the cupboard door on my set of glasses from the McDonald's trading card series, I lied.
"I lent my stemware to my sister."
She handed me a shopping list -- croquet set, Adirondack chairs, sand trucked in from Martha's Vineyard to fill in the beach. Did I know where we could rent swans?
I gently led her to the door. I'd changed my mind. Perhaps next year. Yes, we'll even let her call the house the Formwalt Compound on the Marley. In the meantime we'll allow her one concession . . .
Hold the mayo, Glen Burnie.
Two hundred and fifty rowers are expected to participate Saturday in the second annual Ariel Head of the Patapsco rowing regatta on Marley and Furnace creeks. Sponsored by the Baltimore Rowing Club with the cooperation of the Country Club Estates Recreation Association, the event is expected to draw rowers from throughout the mid-Atlantic region.
Singles, doubles, foursomes and crews of eight will compete. Rowers will begin the three-mile course on Furnace Creek, turn at the point at Curtis Creek and finish on Marley Creek just past the CCERA pier. Furnace and Marley creeks surround the communities of Point Pleasant and Shoreland.
Steve Seninger, a member of the rowing club and a race organizer, was impressed with the course's favorable rowing conditions.
"We chose this course primarily because it is a very scenic, protective body of water," Seninger explained. "Everyone who came to the race last year was impressed with the water. It was very, very calm with not much boat traffic."
Janie Ballard of the CCERA sees this event as an opportunity to promote the creek, the community and the sport.
"The association has always been concerned for the welfare of Marley Creek," she said. "This is probably the most positive event ever organized on the creek. We just thought it was wonderful to be chosen for the race waterway. This is such an environmentally friendly sport."
Members of the CCERA swim team will sell refreshments throughout the day.
"This is a chance for them to see other water-related activities that won't damage the shoreline through erosion or pollute the water with gasoline."
Although most participants are expected to be from rowing clubs, several college and university teams also are expected to compete, including teams from Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland.
Races are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 3 p.m., rain or shine.
Rainbows, a six-week program to help children cope with the stress that accompanies changes in their family situations, is being offered at St. Paul's Evangelical Church, 308 Oak Manor Drive, at 6:15 p.m. Tuesdays. The program is open to the community.
Prekindergartners through eighth-graders are invited to participate in the support group.
The program is targeted at children in single-parent homes or step-parent families to help them accept their new families.
"Kids suffering any kind of loss are welcome," St. Paul's secretary Pat Reese said.
This year, St. Paul's is offering a class for parents that runs concurrently.
For information, call 766-2283.
The YWCA Friendship Center is presenting a one-day seminar to assist small business owners in complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act, from 9 a.m to 2 p.m. Tuesday at the center, 97B North Langley Road. The seminar is sponsored by the Maryland chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
"Nuts and Bolts: Removing Barriers From the Workplace -- Accessibility and Employment" is a workshop that addresses practical problems and solutions of bringing employers into compliance.
Presentations by local business leaders include: Lynette Phillips, attorney at Piper and Marbury; Stacey Menis and Scott Martin, architect associates with Lee Warner Architects Inc.; Jon Ferguson, remodeling division manager with Mandrin Construction; Joseph Roeder, owner/president and Marvene Patterson, CEO/vice president of PC Partners Inc.; and Michael Dunn, vice president/manager of Maryland National Bank.
The registration fee of $10 includes all materials and lunch.
For information, call 768-2500.
Marley United Methodist Church is holding a flea market from 8 a.m to 1 p.m. Saturday on the church grounds, 30 Marley Neck Road.
Tables, indoors and out, are available to vendors for a $7 rental fee.
The Marley United Methodist Women will sell lunch, drinks and baked goods.
To reserve a table, call 768-0569.
A cast of 50 surrounded by special sound and lighting effects will dramatize "Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames" at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Calvary Temple, 649 Old Mill Road. Additional performances are scheduled for 7 p.m., Monday and Tuesday.
Admission is free.
For additional information, call 987-4714.