I found her, swaying, in the frozen food section of Giant. It was almost midnight. She appeared to have dozed off holding a large box of Steak-Umms.
With two children in middle school, my friend had recently returned to work full time. The transition was apparently taking its toll.
As I pryed her fingers from the pressed meat product, she awoke with a start. "Wait! I have a coupon!"
We wandered over to the pharmacy and sat down.
"Somewhere there may be a woman who can work 40 hours a week, locate the actual floor in the laundry room and still remember the dog's worming schedule," she said glumly. "It just isn't me."
"What about some help from the kids and your husband?" I asked.
"The first two weeks I worked, the children called repeatedly to discuss flesh-eating bacteria, spontaneous combustion and other topics addressed on 'Hard Copy' and 'A Current Affair.' This only stopped after I took the television remote control to work with me," she replied.
"So far my husband's contribution to the household has been to take my first paycheck and buy a gas grill. Now he burns hamburgers every Tuesday, thinks he's Chef Boy-ar-dee and wonders why I lock myself in the garage periodically."
Lost in thought, we sat contemplating a life that had never been fully addressed in Lamaze class.
At 2 a.m. the store manager woke us both.
8, Here's to 24-hour shopping, Glen Burnie.
Health care, welfare reform or the environment -- Rep. Wayne Gilchrest will meet with residents of his congressional district to discuss a variety of issues at a town meeting, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. tomorrow at Glen Burnie High School.
Anyone unable to attend the meeting can reach the congressman at his local office, Room 509 in Arundel Center North, 101 Crain Highway. For more information, call 760-3372.
Community spirit will be celebrated at the third annual Freetown Community Day, noon to 6 p.m. at Freetown Improvement Center, 7825 Freetown Road.
Scheduled activities include a parade featuring the Blue Angels Marching Band, entertainment, games and arts and crafts for the kids. Light refreshments will be available.
The event is sponsored by the Freetown Improvement Association.
"It's an opportunity for the community to get together and have some fun, a chance to do more
things within the community," said association member Elaine King.
For additional information call King, 255-1836, or Diane Scurry, 437-2770.
Messiah United Methodist Church is having a flea market, 8 a.m. 2 p.m. Saturday on the church grounds, 7401 Furnace Branch Road.
Refreshments, including home baked goods, will be sold throughout the day.
In the event of bad weather, the flea market will be moved inside the church.
Spaces with tables can be rented for $10. To reserve a space call Amy Smith, 766-5977.
* The church also has a crafts fair in the works for Sept. 17. Reservations are being accepted for spaces with tables. There is a $20 fee for one space, $35 for two.
For information or reservations, call Virginia Hann, 761-3575, or Mary Holste, 761-0178.
Cartoonist Jim Sizemore will teach children how to make cartoon animals by using simple shapes at two workshops tomorrow at the North County Branch Library, 1010 Eastway. Presentations FTC are scheduled for 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
Reservations are not required but seating is limited to first-come, first-served.
The workshop is part of the library's summer reading program. Open to children entering first through sixth grades, the program offers reading activities, prize drawings and special events.
For information, call 222-6270.
While vacation plans occupy most of our thoughts this time of year, the North County Emergency Outreach Network issues a reminder that helping the less fortunate is a year-round commitment.
Donations of food and money dwindle in the summer, and network volunteers are turning to church and civic groups for assistance. Suggested service projects include collecting food or fund raising.
Volunteers are always welcome to assist with everything from food distribution to service on the board of directors.
For information, call 766-1826, or stop by the center, 304 Fifth Ave.