No one has to tell you how hot it's been the past couple of weeks. It's July in Maryland, and we're running for cover.
To beat the heat, senior citizens in northwest Carroll have been heading for the air-conditioned comfort and familiarity of Taneytown Senior Center on Roberts Mill Road, where card games, board games, camaraderie and lunch await.
"We've been hanging out this summer," said Kitty Devilbiss, the center's administrator.
Ms. Devilbiss also has planned several day trips for folks who want to take their minds off the weather by exploring nearby points of interest. She said a trip to Cunningham Falls State Park in Thurmont was a big success. Planned trips include visits to Union Mills Homestead and Cordoris State Park in Hanover, Pa.
"We're out for about four hours, including lunch. The trips cost about $10," Ms. Devilbiss said.
Teen-agers have been using the center this summer as a home base while they look for work helping seniors. Volunteers seeking to fulfill social service hours for a graduation requirement, as well as teens involved in a county summer youth employment program, are making themselves available to do chores for senior adults, from lawn and garden care to window washing, free. The effort is designed to give teen-agers job skills as they help folks who find it difficult to perform heavy chores.
"They painted a garage for one lady, and they're great window washers," Ms. Devilbiss said.
The Taneytown center has 10 teens who are willing to serve.
The senior center also is a headquarters for SHARE, a food cooperative open to anyone willing to volunteer two hours a month for community service.
"If you eat, you qualify for this program," Ms. Devilbiss said.
The Taneytown SHARE program needs a volunteer with a pickup truck who is willing to drive to the food warehouse in Linthicum, Anne Arundel County, once a month to get the co-op's food.
The next registration for SHARE is July 29, from noon to 1 p.m. at the senior center. The cost is $14 in cash or Independence cards, which buys $40 worth of food. You'll do your volunteer service before the August food delivery.
For information about events at the Taneytown center, the youth employment program, or SHARE, call 751-1656.
For family entertainment, a chance to meet neighbors and an opportunity to let your hair down, be sure to attend the first Christian Coffee House at St. Luke's Lutheran Church on Saturday. The fun starts at 7:30 p.m. The coffeehouse is free and open to everyone. The church is at 701 Green Valley Road in New Windsor.
Coffeehouses were popular places during the 1960s, and such groups as Peter, Paul and Mary got their start singing folk songs in the informal setting that coffeehouses provided. You'll have a chance to reminisce, relax and relate to the music of groups from Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Gordon Cheeks, a New Windsor resident who's a member of the group First Fruits, which will perform at the coffeehouse, will emcee the evening.
"Most of the music groups have been together for years, and will perform contemporary, country and gospel music," Mr. Cheeks said. "There will be a lot of music, a lot of laughter and a lot of fun."
Part of the entertainment will come from people in the audience who want to make use of the open mike.
"If you have an instrument you want to play, a song to sing or a poem to recite, just check in at the door, and we'll put you on the program," Mr. Cheeks said.
He emphasized that people of all ages are welcome. Freshly baked cakes and pies, snacks and sodas will be offered as refreshments. They will be complimentary, but a donation basket will be available for those who want to contribute to the event.
"It's just an old-fashioned get-together, with babies to 92-year-olds," Mr. Cheeks said.
Uniontown Bible Church on Clear Ridge Road welcomes children entering kindergarten through sixth grades to its annual program. This Bible school will be July 24-28 from 6:45 p.m. until 9 p.m. Information: 857-9644.
The Caring and Sharing Ministries of Taneytown are sponsoring a Bible school at St. Joseph's Catholic Church on the same dates from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
A family picnic is scheduled July 29 at Taneytown Memorial Park. Information: Nancy Wagner, 756-4540 or Sue Schildwachter, 840-9355.
Join the water aerobics class at Taneytown Community Swimming Pool, beginning Tuesday.
Classes will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays for five weeks.
A free trial class will be offered at 7:30 p.m. today.
The cost is $25 for pool members, $30 for others.