"Do you have to go?" My sister couldn't mask the concern in her voice. "You remember what happened when Stewarts closed."
I flinched. The Stewarts closing had been particularly emotional.
They dropped the charges, I reminded her. Besides, Leedmark was different. I had been there at the start, I should be there at the end.
In the beginning it had been exciting. A hypermart here in Glen Burnie -- the only one in the nation. Fishing poles next to fish sticks. Tube socks around the corner from tubs of margarine.
We applied for check cashing cards, watched TV at the check-out counters and dutifully handed over our 25 cents to rent a shopping cart.
We bought really cheap turkeys and had photos of our children superimposed on a sheet cake. We bought Keds.
But it didn't last.
We sensed the end was coming when the only free food samples were clam chowder and scrapple. The shopping carts rusted and ate our quarters. They were out of chunky peanut butter -- always.
In the coming weeks we will stand in long check-out lines patiently waiting for that extra 10, 20 or 30 percent off, trying hard not to make eye contact with staff members who are looking into an uncertain future.
* The community is invited to join the congregation of Faith Baptist Church as they recharge their faith with a Renewal Weekend. Three days of worship, discussions and fellowship are scheduled for Friday through Sunday at the church, 7378 Furnace Branch Road.
Rick Phipps, minister of outreach and nurture at Faith Baptist, has coordinated the event. He sees it as 42 hours of sharing and support.
"This is along the same lines as a revival but with a different approach," explained Phipps. "There are no guest speakers. A team of 34 lay people from churches all over the state, Virginia and Delaware come in on Friday night and just take over."
The team works with both large and small groups.
"The smaller groups allow you to open up and share, to see how others deal with their problems," said Phipps.
A schedule of the weekend's activities is available by calling the church office, 761-5346.
Roast beef, oysters and oyster stew are on the menu of the Bull and Oyster Roast being held by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 160, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday at the post home, 2597 Dorsey Road.
The $18 admission includes dinner, beer and set-ups and dancing to live music by the band Just Enuf. Patrons must be 21 or older.
A portion of the profits from the event will be used to purchase holiday food baskets for 35 to 40 area families.
0 Tickets can be reserved by calling 766-9802.
Hand-made holiday decorations and gifts will be available at three local craft fairs this Saturday:
* The Pascal Senior Center, 125 Dorsey Road, is having a Holiday Bazaar, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Seasonal gifts, handmade by local senior citizen artisans, will be for sale.
Santa will stop by to visit with the children.
Refreshments will be sold all day.
Proceeds will benefit the many programs and services the center provides for senior citizens.
* Stained glass decorations are only one of the many interesting crafts available at the 8th Annual Craft Fair being held by the Harundale Presbyterian Church, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
More than 70 exhibitors are expected.
Lunch will be available, with home-baked cakes, pies and cookies.
Harundale Presbyterian is at 1020 Eastway, across from Harundale Mall.
* Each week throughout the year, a group of women meet at Messiah United Methodist Church to work on craft projects. The results of their efforts will be sold at their annual Holiday Bazaar, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the church's social hall, 7401 Furnace Branch Road.
In addition to the craft items, a bake table will offer an assortment of sweets. A light lunch of barbecue, hot dogs and chips will be served.
Crafters are needed for the Marley Elementary School Christmas Bazaar, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4. Spaces with tables can be rented for $10 each.
C7 To reserve a space call Marketta Beckman, 360-2469.
Environmental responsibility is on the agenda for the Point Pleasant-Shoreland Improvement Association meeting, 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Church of the Good Shepherd, 1451 Furnace Ave. Hurst Hessey of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation will be the guest speaker.
Information on the countywide yard waste and composting program also will be discussed. The program is scheduled to begin in the Point Pleasant neighborhood on Tuesday.
Members are encouraged to bring canned goods to contribute to a community food bank.
Storyteller and historian Oscar "Skip" Booth will share stories and songs celebrating a Colonial Thanksgiving when he visits the North County Library at 7 p.m. on Monday to mark Children's Book Week.
Participants will make a craft project. Information: 222-6270.