It's that time of the summer when the heat and humidity are still relentless, but mail-order companies are sending their fall catalogs to lure us into purchasing wool sweaters and snow boots.
In the stores, a few remaining swimsuits are displayed next to the winter coats. Halloween decorations and make-it-yourself costume ideas are in full force at the fabric stores.
And the same kids who couldn't wait for school to let out are restless and a little bored now -- they're tired of the pool, all their friends seem to be on vacation, it's been too hot to take a bike ride or play an impromptu game of baseball.
If this scenario sounds familiar, then you can re-energize your kids and take a few evenings off yourself when St. Paul's United Methodist Church offers is annual Vacation Bible School from Aug. 7-11 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the church, 200 Main St. in New Windsor.
Betty Roop, a Sunday school teacher at the church, is the program's director, and her enthusiasm is contagious. If anyone can energize your kids during the coming dog days, it's Betty and her volunteer staff. They're charged with making the evenings fun.
Any child from age 2 through sixth grade is welcome to attend the program. There also is a class for young adults, plus a nursery for the wee ones. Both operate concurrently with the Bible school program.
The program is very child-friendly. "What I think would be fun for kids is what we're going to do," Ms. Roop said. "I always think, 'If I were a child, would this activity make me happy?' "
In addition to the classroom teachers, Todd Roop will lead recreational activities during breaks, and Donna Alban will teach music. Classroom teachers are Carolyn Wood, Jennifer Dolch, Kim Diggs, Lisa Hardin, Marcia Smith and Neal Roop.
There will be plenty of nightly learning and activities, with a parents' night Aug. 11.
Ms. Roop emphasizes that the Bible school is a community effort. Lehigh Portland Cement and Roop Grocery have donated money to buy all participating kids T-shirts with the Bible school's logo. Members of St. Paul's church have given money to help buy snacks and other necessities. Church secretary Shirley Gorman has taken care of the mountains of paperwork. New Windsor artist Barry Hardin painted the eye-catching sign on the church grounds. And Rebecca Price made the recruiting posters.
"The congregation has been so supportive," said Ms. Roop. "Everyone's been wonderful."
Preregistration is nice, but not necessary. Registration forms are at Roop Grocery, New Windsor Hardware, New Windsor Carryout and the St. Paul's church office, all in New Windsor. Information: 857-1017.
St. Paul's Lutheran Church is getting ready for an anniversary celebration -- it's the big 125th birthday at the church this coming year.
The church also has scheduled its annual flea market Sept. 9 at 7 a.m. This is a great place to browse, meet neighbors, eat some good soup and sandwiches, stroll through Uniontown, and also sell the stuff you don't need anymore. If you're interested in renting space to sell your "fleas," call 848-9415.
It might be the dog days of summer, but it's peach season! That's cause enough to celebrate, and two area churches are sponsoring Peach Festivals.
Head to nearby Woodsboro on Aug. 9 for festivities that will begin at 4 p.m. at the new fire hall. Crab cakes and country ham dinners, plus peaches and ice cream, will be sold. Tickets are $7.50 for adults and $3.50 for children. The event is sponsored by St. John's United Church of Christ.
On Aug. 12, the Pipe Creek Church of the Brethren will offer an array of activities and music, plus peaches and other food from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. The church is in a picture-perfect country setting on Linwood Road. Information: 775-7343.
Day-tripping update: Many of us in northwest Carroll gravitate to Gettysburg for an escape into another world.
The history, the ghostly feel of the battlefields, the lore, the site where Abraham Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address, and the mood of the town instantly transport us to another time and place.
Add to your Gettysburg experience a walk to the Dobbin House on 89 Steinwehr Ave.
The oldest structure in Gettysburg, built in 1776, it currently houses a gift shop and restaurant.
Before you go, call Dobbin House to see if staff members can accommodate a brief tour; we browsed in the gift shop while waiting. Information: (717) 334-2100.
Kids: Wax and polish your bicycles for a bike rodeo Wednesday at the old Taneytown High School park.
The fun begins at 7:30 p.m. The event is part of the Taneytown Park and Recreation Council's Wednesday night series. Information: 756-2677.