Congratulations to Carrie MacMillan, who celebrated her 100th birthday July 12! A century of living, watching the world change, going from horse and carriage to jet travel. A century birthday is an event everyone would like to experience. She was born in Nova Scotia and spent a good part of her life in Detroit. Now, she lives with her daughter, Marjorie, and son-in-law, Robert Hever, in East Columbia.
A family party brought granddaughter Roberta Lipe from North Carolina, grandson John from Indiana and grandson David Neil from Ohio to share the special occasion. Neighbors gathered for another party on the weekend.
East Columbians may have noticed two teens with a bit of brogue around and about this month. They are County Londonerry's Orinda Bellingham of Limavady and Majella Lagan of Magherafelt who are visiting Linda and Leo Potsiadlo in Kings Contrivance Village for the summer.
"I saw 'Children in the Crossfire' a few years ago and I knew then that I would like to meet some Irish children," explained Ms. Potsiadlo, who has a teen, David, at home and John, a recent college graduate who has entered the world of business.
"It's a wonderful experience to learn about their life and to share experiences here. They have visited the Naval Academy in Annapolis and Baltimore's Inner Harbor; cooled off in our neighborhood pool courtesy of Pam Mack and the Columbia Association, and will visit Sen. Robert Dole and Congressman Joe Kennedy in Washington, D.C., as well."
Jan and David Ecker of Harper's Choice village are playing host to Irish teens Mark Hill, of Limavady, who attends Limavady Grammar School and Ruairi O'Kane, of Dungiven, a student at St. Patrick's College.
They are sharing a summer of East Coast vacation spots: New Bern, N.C., Williamsburg and Jamestown, Va., New York City and Pennsylvania points of interest with Gregory and Brian Ecker and their sisters, Kate and Laura.
Peggy Barrett, national coordinator for "Children Friendship Project for Northern Ireland," is responsible for bringing teens to nine states: 14 are visiting Maryland, 30 are in Virginia.
"There are 500 girls and boys on the waiting list. So, I always welcome hearing from families who would like to be hosts next summer. A Catholic and a Protestant teen have the opportunity of living with an American family, getting to know each other better and sharing an experience of a lifetime.
"We bring Northern Ireland teens because they are old enough to understand and appreciate their homeland and being in the United States, too."
Host families provide transportation and insurance costs; the teens are chaperoned to and from Ireland. Sometimes, hosts hold carwashes or sell cookbooks to raise money.
St. John the Evangelist sponsored the girls' travel costs. Tom McCarthy coordinates St. John's program; the Rev. George DeMass of Perryville is state coordinator. Last Sunday, St. John's held a welcoming reception for the Irish visitors after the noon Mass and shared Irish soda bread, baked by parishioners, with one and all.
The young men and women visit for six weeks. Returning to Ireland is not the finale. A reunion of teens, their families, their U.S. hosts and the organization's board meet in Dyngannon, County Tyrone on the second Saturday in November. Families interested in more information on being hosts should call Ms. Barrett at (800) 786-8788.
"Getting To Know You" could be the theme for host families needed for a group of teens arriving from Europe -- Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Spain -- in three weeks.
All of the students speak English, so linguistics is not a problem. Lisa Soloman coordinates this group. Some will be students at Oakland Mills High School. Host families need only provide room and board; the teens will have funds to provide for necessities and recreation. Full information and details: 461-7362.
Tonight's free concert at 7 o'clock, sponsored by the Eastside Community Associations at Lake Elkhorn's bowl, will be country music played by Channel One.
This Thursday, at 8 p.m., Oakland Mill's Courtyard Concert will bring the music of the 1930s, '40s and '50s played by D.C. Express.
Families are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, relax and enjoy another summer concert.
Aug. 1 is the deadline to save money -- and possibly make money, too. Renters of space for the Sept. 23 Lake Elkhorn Festival will save $10 of their rental fee if they apply by Aug. 1.
For full details and festival information, call 381-0202.
Volunteers can apply anytime.
What are you doing this Saturday, or the next? Volunteers are needed for the rehabilitation of a three-bedroom rowhouse. Passive solar energy technology will be used in the home. So, time can be well spent helping and learning. St. John the Evangelist needs your name and the days you can help; call 964-1438.
What better memory of this summer than a balloon sculpture. That's the souvenir each child will take home after artist Bryce Aspen Stillwater demonstrates balloon twisting while telling fascinating stories to the children on Aug. 16 at the Other Barn in Oakland Mills village. Reservation information: 730-4610 or 596-5237.
There is still a lot summer left to enjoy swimming at East Columbia neighborhood pools.
Can't swim? A free beginner's swim lesson can be scheduled for children and adults. Children must be 6 years old and 48 inches tall.
And, did you know that Stevens Forest pool remains open during inclement weather? Except, of course, in an electrical storm. Stevens Forest pool is closed on Mondays.
Next time you visit one of the pools, add a nonperishable food to your beach bag. The aquatics department is collecting food for "Harvest for the Hungry" at all 23 neighborhood pools until they close for the summer.
Some donations have already been made. A truckload would not only be impressive, it would signal that neighbors care about neighbors. All donations will be delivered to Grassroots, which helps many families over rough times in their lives.
A musical note: audiences who enjoyed the Hammond Jazz Combo last week may want to make note of the fact that the high school students are available for parties, picnics and any event that requires good music. Call Hammond High School, 313-7624, for available dates.
Do you have a green thumb and don't know what to do with it? Call (301) 776-8962 and join the Kings Contrivance Garden Club which is forming now to share fall planting ideas.
Theresa Shaw, East Columbia Library's children's librarian, has planned "Cool As A Cucumber" stories and activities all about vegetables for 5- to 8-year-olds. Registration for the Aug. 8 program begins at 10 a.m. Friday in person or by phone. Information: 313-7730.