The misery of a mother is nothing to sneeze at


THERE'S NO FOOD IN here," my sister announced as she surveyed the hardened remains of a lemon and a half-empty bottle of Tabasco sauce. "When was the last time you went shopping? Slacking off on the mother/wife/career-gal thing?"

I started to respond, but the sting of my comments was diminished in the raspy, phlegmy noise that had become my voice.

"She's sick," my son noted with an accusatory tone. "And because of that there's no food in the house and no one to show me how to footnote my research paper, and I can't have any friends over because she scares them when she blows her nose."

Taking a swig from the bottle of Vicks Formula 44 that I had begun to carry with me as if it were a friend, I explained that, yes, I was ill. Hadn't anyone noticed that my column didn't run last week? Didn't anyone care that I wasn't at work? Was there no one who noticed I had been asleep for six days?

"I wondered why most of your hair was pointing left," my sister said.

Adding to the humiliation of a really big red nose, I discovered I hadn't even been missed. My cooking had been replaced by six consecutive visits by Pizza Express -- a different topping every night. Life in Glen Burnie continued without my insight, and the family rented "The Horse Whisperer" without me.

"Mom, that's not true. Life wasn't the same," my son said sincerely. "No one did any laundry."

Gesundheit, Glen Burnie.

New chorus

The lilting melody of women singing four-part, barbershop harmony soon will fill the air of Glen Burnie. That is, if a determined group of singers succeeds in establishing the New Spirit of Maryland chorus at a meeting at 7 tonight at the Glen Burnie United Methodist Church, Second Avenue and Crain Highway.

Coordinated by Rose Swicegood of Glen Burnie, the chorus would be the first Maryland chapter of Harmony Inc., an offshoot of the Sweet Adelines. Harmony Inc. operates with different goals, including less pressure to participate in competition. Swicegood says there is more of a social atmosphere with the club, whose logo is "Blending with Friends."

"We're looking for quality singers, but we're also looking for singers who want to have a good time," says Swicegood.

The chorus would perform at schools, nursing homes and shopping malls.

Swicegood said she hopes tonight's meeting will draw the 18 members required to start a chapter. She is hoping the meeting will provide a director willing to work for free, at least for now.

"Experience with barbershop harmony is preferred but not required," said Swicegood.

"When it all comes together, the weaving of the harmony creates a chord that is a fifth voice. It causes goose bumps," Swicegood said.

The weekly singing sessions could serve as a respite from life's daily pressures, she said.

Swicegood, who has three children, including a 12-year-old autistic son, said she finds her night out invigorates her for the challenges of being the mother of a child with special needs. She also finds a special joy because Harmony Inc. has designated the Autism Society of America as its international charity, with a portion of the proceeds from concerts donated to the charity.

For information on the chorus, call Swicegood at 410-761-3931.

1979 class reunion

Gretchen Daniels Smith and members of Glen Burnie High School's Class of 1979 reunion committee are looking for fellow Gophers to celebrate their 20-year class reunion from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Oct. 16 at Michael's 8th Avenue.

Tickets are available for $29 for the shrimp feast/bull roast. The price goes up to $31 after Sept. 1.

For ticket information call Smith, 410-437-4362, or Lynda Moyer McPheron, 410-761-7402.

Winter dance

The Church of the Good Shepherd, 1451 Furnace Ave., is sponsoring a winter dance from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday in the church fellowship hall.

Admission is $10 and includes dinner, beer, setups and snacks.

Information: 410-766-1102.

Pub Date: 1/27/99

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