I've been gadding about Ellicott City, so I'll give you a little travelogue.
No, I don't have any slides for you to watch.
Last Saturday, I wandered down Ellicott Mills Drive to Ellicott City's Country Fair, sponsored by the Department of Recreation and Parks.
I arrived early enough to be part of the crowd waiting for the fair's opening.
After a short stroll down Main Street, I entered the fair area and was delighted with the variety of the wares being sold.
Every type of homemade item was offered, from stained glass to soap, from southwestern wood art to jewelry, from quilts to dried herbs, with dolls and bears watching on their shelves.
Mothers were buying for holiday giving, getting a jump on the hectic shopping season. Children enjoyed the entertainment, including Ellicott City's Patapsco Guard, Howard County 4-H Club face-painting, scarecrow and pumpkin painting workshops, historical interpretation, along with music and dancing.
And the entry fee was only $1. I'm planning to attend next year.
Then my cousin Patti Griffin and I visited "King's Gift," Historic Ellicott City's 10th Decorator Show House, which opened earlier this month.
Although I acted dignified to blend in with my classy surroundings, inside I said, "Wow! This is gorgeous!"
King's Gift sits on a parcel of Doughoregan Manor, granted in 1711 to Charles Carroll by Lord Baltimore. Now owned by Jean Dickey, the house is newly built, an energetic blend of architectural styles.
Bits of Victoriana, the European chateau and English castle mixed with natural materials of wood, stone and clay.
Large clerestory windows allowed generous amounts of light into each room. More than 30 interior designers, landscape designers and florists worked to create a memorable home environment.
Each designer was given a room or area in which to play, and play they did.
Some memorable motifs included "Adam's Room," designed for the small boy who enjoys fishing, and the "Persimmon Library," painted a deep rust and furnished to commemorate India. Even the work spaces were beautiful. The "Gardener's Retreat" was one of the prettiest rooms of the home.
I left from the Show House energized by the beauty, wondering if it's time to do some redecorating at home.
Historic Ellicott City supports Howard County's historic sites, such as the B&O; Railroad Station Museum, the George Ellicott House, the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin, the Patapsco Female Institute Gardens and Pfeiffer's Corner School House.
Proceeds from the Show House go directly to these projects.
King's Gift is open until Oct. 23. This year there are evening hours Tuesday and Thursday, when dinner will be served by Tersiguel's Restaurant of Ellicott City.
Tersiguel's will also serve an a la carte luncheon between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day the house is open.
House hours are as follows: Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
The house is closed Mondays.
Patti Mackey, PTA president at Waverly Elementary School, reminds her school's volunteers to attend the Volunteer Tea from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. tomorrow in the school cafeteria.
The tea is a social event held to give parents a chance to meet each other. They will be shown the location of materials and demonstrations of equipment.
In addition, each volunteer who runs a school program will introduce a committee to allow new volunteers a chance to choose the one that best suits them.
To enable mothers with preschoolers to volunteer, a baby-sitting cooperative started Aug. 31. Preschool children and their mothers met other families at a party. Some nice relationships are already being established.
Burleigh Manor Middle School began its community service with the annual Down Syndrome Walk on Sept. 18.
Many members of the staff and student body walked and ran the 8K distance, led by Principal Jim DeGeorge and staffer Cindy Bernard.
All proceeds went to Down Syndrome Organizations of Howard County.
Sixth-grader Jamie Hilliard won first place in the run for her age group of 15 and under.
On Thursday Burleigh Manor begins a magazine fund-raiser. Please help the school by renewing or initiating a subscription when a middle schooler comes to your door.
Direct questions to parent volunteer Susan Kuhn at 461-9178.
Back-to-School evenings continue in Howard County schools, giving parents a chance to meet teachers.
Elkridge Elementary School holds its Back-To-School tonight, Wednesday and Thursday. Tonight, kindergarten and first-grade parents will meet; Wednesday evening, second- and third-grade parents will meet; Thursday evening, parents of fourth- and fifth-graders meet. Each grade meets separately, so call the school at 313-5006 to confirm the hour.
All meetings take place in the cafetorium, and PTA memberships will be sold.
Centennial High School will hold its Back-to-School event tonight at 7:30, with a short business meeting and introduction of the teachers.
Then the parents' school day begins, with each class lasting 10 minutes.
"School" is over at 9:30 p.m.
The new Manor Woods Elementary opens its doors to parents tonight at 7 for a general PTA meeting, followed by a Back-to-School evening for parents of children in kindergarten, first, and second grades.
At 7 p.m. tomorrow, Back-to-School night will held for parents to children in third, fourth, and fifth grades.
Burleigh Manor Middle School will hold its Back-to-School night at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6.
From 6:15 p.m. to 7 p.m., David Lee will hold an orientation for the Gifted and Talent program.
All parents are welcome.
Cathy Prior of the Elkridge Fire Station's Ladies Auxiliary reports that she still has some craft spaces left in the station's Craft Bazaar.
The bazaar, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 12, will rent 8-foot-square spaces for $25.
Tables will be available for crafters' use. For information, call Cathy at 379-0315.
Boy Scout Troop 944 attended Camp Tuckahoe in Pennsylvania from July 24 to 30.
Fifty-one Scouts and nine assistant Scoutmasters had a week of fun and hard work.
Twelve boys advanced in rank.
Shelby Lane reached the rank of Star; Patrick Barrett, Robert Clickner, Nick Keim, Dan Martinez, Greg Murach, Ted Rogers and Patrick Watts reached the rank of Tenderfoot; Tim Evans, Ryan Justice, John Kerwin and Jason Phillips reached the rank of Scout.
The boys in Troop 944 earned a total of 114 merit badges.
That week, Troop 944 was the largest troop at Camp Tuckahoe, and it also brought the largest number of adults.
Acting Scoutmaster was Paul Madden. Additional adults included Anne Madden, Paul Trexler, Al Keim, Shawn Lane, Dave Queen, Bob and Sue Weigl and Marty McNamara. Tom Bricker, Donna Bricker, Jack Fisher, Chuck Sehman, John Ritter and current Scoutmaster Bernie Blain joined the group by the end of the week.
The troop recognizes two Scouts who put in extraordinary effort. Jeremy Cavey worked instructing the Basketry Merit Badge all week in camp. Geoff Blain was elected "Honor Scout" for best demonstrating the Scout spirit on the trip. Geoff served as Troop Guide for a new boy patrol and assisted all of the new boys.
He was rewarded with a walking staff bearing his name and "Camp Tuckahoe '94."
With the primary elections behind us and the general elections to come, have you wondered about the proliferation of signs in the county?
The Howard County code bans signs in county rights-of-way, road, and median strips and on utility poles and trees. The laws began to be strictly enforced Friday, with the intention of reducing clutter along our roads.
If you're working for a political candidate, be mindful of changes in policy. For specifics, call Jim Rawle at 313-1830.
This issue marks the end of my second year writing this column.
To all the wonderful Elkridge and Ellicott City residents who have phoned me with their news: Thanks for calling me.
The size of the area I'm covering prevents me from knowing all that's going on, and I rely on your phone calls for information.