SPRING HAS sprung the grass out of the ground, so it's time to get the ol' lawn mower out!
And time to plan a barbecue, plant flower gardens, gear up for softball and tennis, open the windows and let nature's fresh scent blow out the stuffy indoor air -- if you don't mind the cold.
So with all this going on, who has time to cook?
Our neighbors do. Fresh from the hectic activities of the Easter season -- and, no doubt, having had the foresight to finish their taxes early -- several associations are planning benefit meals to raise cash for worthy causes.
Boy Scout Troop 424, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, has had a long relationship with Savage Methodist Church. The Scouts have met in the church for decades.
As a token of their gratitude, the Scouts are holding a fund-raising spaghetti supper for the church's building fund Saturday.
The Scouts will serve pasta and salad to hungry diners from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the church, at Baltimore and Foundry streets in Savage.
The cost is $7 for adults, $3.50 for the elementary-age crowd, and $2 for those under 5.
If spaghetti doesn't fit the bill that night, how about heading to the Savage Volunteer Fire Company for the Ladies' Auxiliary's baked chicken dinner, where you can indulge in a meal created by some of the best chefs around.
The cost is $7, and proceeds will help with the fire company's expenses.
Spruce-up time has, indeed, arrived.
An anonymous civic-minded citizen has arranged for the county to place a large trash container in the parking lot in front of Carroll Baldwin Hall on April 19 and 20.
This is the perfect opportunity to get rid of the stuff that's been lying about all winter -- rusty bicycles, medium-sized branches, broken toys and just plain junk.
But do not place hazardous materials in the bin, such as refinishing chemicals or flammable liquids.
Bill and Ellen Waff -- perennial partisans of all things political -- don't really spend all their time testifying at Planning Board meetings. The couple serve on a number of civic groups, including the Savage Community Association.
But they have found the time to collect beautifully illustrated children's books, now on exhibit at the Savage library.
There are copies of Tenniel's illustrations for "Alice in Wonderland," and some Tasha Tudor watercolors, along with more recent work.
It's interesting to see how the art of illustration has changed.
Now that spring has arrived, it's time to get a little exercise.
The First United Methodist Church of Laurel will sponsor a health fair from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow.
A two-mile walk along the Patuxent River starts at 8 a.m.
Registration begins at 7: 15 a.m., and the Jazzercize warm-up is at 7: 45 a.m.
Later that morning, there'll be a fire safety demonstration, a sports nutrition presentation, blood pressure screening, health food samples, health seminars and arthritis specialists to answer questions.
McGruff, the crime dog, will be in attendance.
The Laurel Volunteer Fire Company will let everyone take a close look at a fire truck, beginning at 9: 30 a.m.
The sports nutrition talk will be at 10 a.m. and a talk by the Laurel Police Department about personal safety will be at noon.
A bike safety and maintenance discussion will be at 1 p.m.
The church group is so well organized, it has community support enough for it's own Web site: www.fuumcl.org/health.htm.
The church is at 424 Main St. in Laurel.
The health and wellness fair is free, but donations of canned goods to Elizabeth House are appreciated.
Meet our representatives
Anyone with opinions to express about the General Assembly session is invited to meet Republican state Sen. Martin G. Madden and Democratic Del. Shane Pendergrass at 7: 30 p.m. April 29 at Hammond Elementary School.
The politicians will comment on the session and listen to voters' concerns.
It's midmonth again -- time for gifted sign-language interpreter Kathy Pongor and children's librarian Lynn Starman to join forces in another of their Signed Storytimes, at 7 p.m. Monday.
This month's theme is "transformation": the two will read and sign stories about caterpillars and other things that change.
There's no registration for this program, but if you go, remember to thank Pongor for volunteering her time.
Later in the week, Dr. Louis Wiest brings his pet Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs to the library. A story program of piggy tales from around the world will be at 2 p.m. Thursday.
The staff has been busy making pig noses for participants.
Registration is not required. Parents may want to bring cameras.
Pub Date: 4/11/97