I wake most mornings to the sound of an argument being waged inside my head: the Farmer's Wife vs. the Urbane.
The one side of my brain has an overwhelming urge to wake up before dawn, feed the chickens and light the fire under a five-gallon pot of coffee. The other side believes it's uncivilized to rise before the time to dress for the matinee.
Despite efforts to the contrary, the bossy Farmer's Wife always wins, and hurries me out the door to make tracks in the dew, admire the promising morning sky, and startle the trash men.
Reluctantly, the family dog, Holly, who prefers to sleep until brunch, is by my side. She has no farmer's dog barking inside her head, and wonders about me. Her breed (the gentle golden retriever) managed centuries ago to leave its hunter origins far in the evolutionary past to become the dog known today as Domesticato Rugus Potato.
Judged to be the dog least likely to bite anything bigger than a T-bone, the golden retriever (with the exception of a coat that keeps its domicile looking like an unswept barber shop) is the world's best pet.
A gift from Santa Claus, Holly lives to love, and the only thing she likes better than another dog is a human being, any size or shape.
Speaking of kids, here's a list of winners in the decorated bike category of the Greater Severna Park Fourth of July Parade.
* Best in Parade: Charles and Kathy Dennis and their children, Laura and Chad;
* Most Original: Sara Miller, first; Laura and David Melton, second; and Matt Piccioto, third;
* Most beautiful: Jamie Leigh Roop, first; Sara Lang, second; and Hallie Ertman, third.
Judging the festooned bikes, wagons and carriages were: Roy L. Mason, Mark Mason and Cliff Roop. The competition was sponsored by the Manhattan Beach Civic Association.
Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., is Child Appreciation Day at the Perry Patch in Arnold Station.
The goal of Deborah Perry, who opened her women's and children's consignment shop in April, is to combine sales with service: parent/child education, products and community service.
Children will be given free balloons and prizes and get to meet Luvabelle the Clown and the Black Belt team from Kim's Karate. Parents can chat with representatives from Safe-T-Child, Safe Kids, Dr. Mom, Children's Chariots and Future Kids.
The American Cancer Society's Discovery Shop celebrates its fifth anniversary this Saturday. In honor of the occasion, the shop will offer free refreshments and balloons, and 20 percent off all merchandise.
Clothing donations for fall are now being accepted. Information: 544-0568.
The 1994 winner of Severn School's Rolland M. Teel Distinguished Alumni Award is Robert B. Pirie Jr.
Pirie, a retired Navy commander, graduated first in his class from Severn in 1950 and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1955. He continued his studies at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.
A naval officer for 20 years, he was nominated by President Jimmy Carter to be assistant secretary of defense in 1979. He was recently nominated by President Clinton to the post of assistant secretary of the navy for installations and environment.
Pirie is a recipient of the Legion of Merit and Meritorious Service Medal for his work on the National Security Council staff in 1972 and 1973.
The annual Teel award, created in 1984, recognizes Severn graduates who have made a meaningful contribution to society. The award is based on the Teel philosophy that whatever a person undertakes in life must be worth something to others in order to be worthwhile to that individual.
* Severn School alumni association officers are: President Garry Jenkins, Class of '80; Vice President Nick Codd, Class of '69; Secretary Ginger Steele Jenkins, Class of '81; and Treasurer Scott Burns, Class of '69.
5) Reach the school by calling 647-7700.