THE CURMUDGEON IN me, who knows beyond a doubt that television and overpriced toys have ruined our children and turned them into lumps who can neither think nor play, got a wonderful comeuppance during the storms this winter. I had the delight of seeing, and particularly hearing, kids on sleds and slides and cardboard taking the hill behind our house again and again and again.
The hill is perhaps as tall as our house, steep down to our fence, longer and gentler toward the back of the neighbors' lots. The children have polished those hillsides to Olympic luge standards, shrieking with laughter all the way.
They weren't just out in the fresh powder for the few nice days between storms. They've been out at dusk during the wicked freezes, early in the morning on snow days and just about every other opportunity, having free fun, getting wonderful exercise and just being kids.
It's nice to be reminded, as my patience with the inconvenience of this winter wears thin, that there's an entire population out there, mostly under 4 feet tall, that wishes it would go on forever.
Healthier, safer schools
That population of kids is at the center of a forum Feb. 22 at Anne Arundel Community College. The Chambers of Commerce of Annapolis, West Annapolis and Severna Park; the Anne Arundel public schools, Medical Center and Trade Council; and a wide variety of educational, civic and parental groups have joined forces to present educator and motivator Mike Vance in a program titled, "Creating Healthier, Safer Schools in Anne Arundel County."
Billed as "an adventure in creative thinking for parents, business lTC leaders, health providers, teachers, administrators, and students," the 7 p.m. program is free and open to anyone who believes that good schools are a critical component of a healthy society.
Mr. Vance is known for helping people see solutions to major problems as well as their own roles in those solutions.
To register, call 267-1666, 757-6709 or 222-5312. The two-hour program will be held in the Pascal Center for the Performing Arts.
You've been alerted
Another organization that works hard for creative change in the community and positive personal development among disadvantaged children is the Junior League of Annapolis, which has scheduled its annual gigantic rummage sale fund-raiser March 2 at the Medford Armory on Hudson Street.
I mention it this far in advance to give everyone time to clear the calendar and arrange for a baby sitter very early that morning. Though the sale, called the Carousel, opens officially at 9 a.m., the lines begin far earlier, and the best items disappear first.
As in years past, this Carousel will feature new and used toys, baby equipment, furniture, collectibles and men's and women's clothing. Admission is $1, and the sale ends at 3 p.m. Information: Traci Bands, 974-4977; or the Junior League office, (410) 224-8984.