On Tuesday, someone broke into our vehicles, parked on the driveway by the house we have lived in just two years, and trashed them.
I don't think anything was taken from my car, though there was stuff that could be used or sold. My husband fared less well, losing a handful of change from the --board, a new and favored hat, and a nearly new lined winter windbreaker. Why the jacket was in the van is one question; why someone would covet it in 90 degree heat is another.
I suppose we should be grateful that the navy blue blazer, the outboard motor, the sails, tools, wheelchair lift and dog dish were left. But gratitude gets lost in anger at the invasion, the mess and the insult.
I know that in the light of the real outrages perpetrated on others, what happened to us was paltry; doubtless tomorrow I will have perspective. As I write, however, I'm angry -- and sad that the attitude that promotes random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty isn't more widely held.
If you're inclined to try a random act of kindness, think about the Anne Arundel Medical Center Blood Donor Center. Officials there have issued an appeal for blood donors, sparked by a diminishing emergency blood supply in the region.
A blood donation takes only about 45 minutes, says Carolyn Mull, blood donor center coordinator. Donations are taken from 8:15 a.m. and 7:15 p.m. at the medical center, on Franklin Street. ZTC Appointments can be made be calling 267-1619 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
This year marks the 300th anniversary of Annapolis as Maryland's capital and the 150th anniversary of the Naval Academy, and on Sept. 22 there will be considerably more candles on the proverbial birthday cakes than anyone can extinguish with one breath.
City and academy officials are planning a Grand Illumination of Annapolis that night, encouraging everyone to light their homes or businesses to celebrate.
The last Grand Illumination was 100 years ago to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Annapolis as Maryland's seat of government.
This year, the Brigade of Midshipmen will hold a pep rally at the City Dock at 7:30 p.m. Then dignitaries, midshipmen and anyone who wants to join will parade up Main Street, around State Circle and down Maryland Avenue to the academy. The owners of public buildings, churches, businesses and homes along the route are encouraged to participate by lighting their buildings. (OK, where DID I put those electric Christmas candles?) Luminarias will light the way, and light sticks will be provided for participants in the procession.
For more information, call 268-3333.
One of the increasing challenges for people responsible for raising money for good causes is figuring out how to reach the zillion people who are more likely to give if there's the possibility of a happy return on their money (in addition to perhaps saving a life).
The fund-raising team for the Auxiliary of Anne Arundel Medical Center has found a winner in its annual Big Raffle. A $3 ticket could win you a baker's dozen meals at wonderful area eateries, or a weekend for two in New Orleans, or a closer-to-home stay at Loews or the Historic Inns of Annapolis, or a diamond solitaire, or even (tough to take) $10,000.
The deadline for entries is 9 a.m. Oct. 9. Winners will be drawn that day. For a description of the prizes and rules, including tax liability for prizes, write to The Auxiliary of AAMC, P.O. Box 587, Annapolis 21404-0587.
Margaret Ellis is the raffle chairwoman and Regina Stansbury the auxiliary president.
A proven winner for the Shady Side Rural Heritage Society in the fund-raising department is the annual Southern Anne Arundel County Familiar Scenes calendar, published jointly with the Galesville Heritage Society.
Artists whose work appears in the 1996 calendar are David Colgan, Laura Emley Dixon, George Dobbs, Harriette Dukes, Betty Gilman, Clara Govin, Barbara Lambert, Allison Pearson, Lisa Steele, Pat Tittle, Richard Twomey and Alberta Witzgall.
The calendar is being printed and will be sold for $7.50, with an additional $1.50 charge for mail orders.
For more information, call Newell Cannon at 867-4763 or the Captain Salem Avery House Museum at 867-4486.
This would be a great gift for former South County residents who live in other parts of the country.