October 2015

11th Annual Pumpkin Patch


Pick from thousands of pumpkins, enjoy live entertainment, family activities, crafts, baked goods, local handicrafts and more. Pumpkin purchases benefit Light House residents. Thru Oct. 31. M-F noon-6pm, SaSu 10am-6pm, St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Annapolis: friendslhs.org.

There’s a great spy story in the middle of this bloated epic

James Donovan (Saving Mr. Banks) knows how to strike a deal. The insurance lawyer is used to haggling for his clients. Though his expertise is litigation and payouts, Donovan is asked to defend Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance: Wolf Hall), an accused spy.

If you don’t love this show, I will personally refund your money

What do you expect from an iconic musical winner of five Tonys, a Grammy and an Oscar? A show so revered it cemented the careers of Shirley Jones and Robert Preston, and launched little Ron Howard to stardom?     At 2nd Star Productions, expect the perfect delight of screen and vinyl.

CPR Training

The Men's Group of Centenary United Methodist Church in Shady Side, MD is sponsoring a non-credited CPR training taught by Anne Arundel Fire Department on Wednesday, November 4 from 6-8 PM.

The view was breathtaking — until the sun set, leaving us alone with a guide we didn’t know

It was late afternoon when I caught up with Sharon in the hotel bar. She was the roommate assigned to me by the travel company that ran my 1974 trip to Spain and Portugal. A teacher from New Jersey, she was older than me by 15 years, and, I thought, more worldly wise.     She was chatting with a man whom she introduced as Robert, a ­fellow American. “He’s an archeologist,” she told me. “He’s working on an old castle that’s not yet open to the public. Want to ride out with us and take a look?”

It was a school night when I awoke from a deep sleep to my sister’s piercing cry

Mother was away for schooling and Daddy was in charge. He was doing pretty well until the night of the attack.     It was a school night when I awoke from a deep sleep to my older sister Heather’s piercing cry. Our rooms were adjacent and I heard everything: the banging, the fighting, the blood-curdling screams. My sister and I weren’t the best of friends, but I had never wanted anything bad to happen to her.     “Daddeee!” I heard her shriek.

22, alone and 4,500 miles from home

Imagine her: 22, attractive, alone, more than 4,500 miles from home. In a country whose native language is not hers. In a city of five million. On a Metro nearing midnight.

Tapping into the Ouija board like a phone line to ghosts

One month before college graduation with a blank future looming, I accepted a coworker’s invitation to a séance. She made it sound like such a good idea.     “A ghost saved my cousin’s life,” Barb insisted. “She warned him against a cross-country bike trip where his friend was hit by a semi-truck two days into the journey.”     She said that ghosts were omnipresent and omniscient. They were trapped souls looking for resolution to their own problems, tapping into the Ouija board like a phone line.

Prepare to be scared

What’s the scardest you’ve ever been?         Our bio-clocks tick in bodies built of ancient stuff, with primal alarms still set. Autumn’s fading light sets off those alarms big time. Three hours had drained from our days between the 15 hours of the Summer Solstice, June 21, and the 12 hours of the Autumnal Equinox on September 23. Soon after Halloween, the night of the spirits, our daylight hours have shrunk to 10, with worse to come. By the Winter Solstice, December 21, we have light for a mere nine hours.

The loudness of their voices filled the darkness of the sleeping house — A memoir circa 1951

The house breathed noisily around the sleeping girl and dog.     This house was too new for ghosts to have gathered, but floors creaked and walls settled in stealthy metabolism. Blown by the whirring fan, summer-light white eyelet curtains sucked the screens. Outside in the big dark beyond the open windows, cicadas shrilled. When a breeze stirred, enclosing junipers ran their green fingers down the screens’ outer skin.