4After last year’s virtual lunch, it was good to be back in person (and masked) this year at the Town Hall for the annual Seniors’ Luncheon. Now, I don’t really live in Morningside, but every year I get an invitation. That’s special.

Mayor Benn Cann opened the celebration with welcome and a prayer before inviting us to sit down to a delicious turkey dinner, replete with mashed potatoes & gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, string beans, rolls and beverages. Dessert was a choice of assorted cakes and apple or pumpkin pie. (I chose pumpkin pie.)

Servers were Karen Rooker, Regina Foster, Sharon Fowler, Mike Johnson and Councilman John Anthony.

There was an early drawing, by Mayor Cann, for prizes. Winners were Bonnie Kamenicky, Helen Nichols, Mary Lampson — and me.

I enjoyed visiting with other guests, hoping to drum up news for this column. I didn’t get any.

I left after lunch so I could work on the column (which I do every Thursday) but, as I was leaving, Morningside Police Sgt. Szmidt was calling the numbers for bingo. I had given my bingo card to seatmate Marge Trembly and have just learned that it produced one of the wins. They’re holding my prize for me.

Thank you, Morningside, for a delightful Thanksgiving.

Town of Morningside

I talked with Morningside Chief Wesley Stevenson at the Luncheon. He was asked if Morningside has any problem with crime. He said there was nothing special in the town, but in the surrounding area there have been several car-jackings. Also, car thefts sometimes with children left inside. He said you must lock your car, and if you can’t take your purse with you, lock it in the trunk.

Breakfast with Santa in Morningside is coming up on December 18. I’ll soon have details.

Festival of Lights opening Nov. 26

The Winter Festival of Lights will shine bright this holiday season at Watkins Reginal Park with 3 miles of drive-through whimsical lights! Dates are Nov. 26 to Jan. 2, nightly, 5 to 9:30.

For your safety and the safety of our staff, they suggest you purchase tickets online at pgparksdirect.com. Save Time! Save Money! Buy Online! Cars pay $8 with online purchases or pay $10 admission at the gate. Face coverings are required if interacting with personnel.

To avoid longer than usual wait times, they encourage the public to attend the Festival on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday evenings. On Saturdays and Sundays, please arrive before 6 pm.

Neighbors and other good people

Judy Nyers thanked me for Tom Stakem’s obit in last week’s column. She wrote that her husband grew up across the street from the Stakems and that “the boys were all in Boy Scouts together.”

Naomi Gallegos, my granddaughter, passed her national board exam on Nov. 13 and is now a licensed histologist in the pathology lab at the University of North Carolina Hospital, Chapel Hill.

You might wonder what a histologist is. I looked it up: A histologist prepares tissue samples for a pathologist to study. As a histologist, you are specially trained to cut samples from organs or other pieces of tissue and stain them with materials such as dyes, which can aid in microscopic tissue analysis.

Changing landscape

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will be visiting Andrews on its way to the West Lawn of the Capitol. Festivities during its visit will include food trucks, ornament making, games, music from the Air Force Band Brass Quartet, and banner-signing (to be hung with the tree). Activities are limited to DoD ID holders.

Surratts-Clinton Library has opened a pop-up location at Davies Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 7400 Temple Hill Road, to provide books, computers, browsing, reference, material requests, WIFI, and returns. Hours are Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This service provides us with library service until the beautiful new Surratts-Clinton Branch opens in 2022.

CVS will close hundreds of drugstores over the next three years. No word on whether it will involve our CVS stores.

A home at 4104 Skyline Drive, in Morningside, recently sold for $369,000.

Mary’s Covid report: 11 more Marylanders die

Education officials in Maryland are rethinking the state’s mask mandate for schools, and how long it needs to continue.

However, there were 781 more Covid cases on Wednesday, Nov. 17, bringing the Maryland total to a whopping 573,835.

And 11 more Marylanders died, bringing that total to 11,086.

Sharon Chalmers, taught reading, loved to discuss books

Sharon Ann Chalmers, 74, La Reine HS graduate, teacher at Thomas Stone, died Oct. 26. She was the daughter of Catherine “Kitty” and Todd Stoffel.

She graduated from Trinity College in Washington and taught English literature for 12 years at Cardinal Gibbons HS in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., before returning to the DC area. She taught for 25 years at Thomas Stone High School in Waldorf.

She met her husband Walter Stoffel on a blind date, and they had 52 happy years together. They enjoyed running and biking together. Sharon raced in many 10Ks and completed a half-marathon.

She’s survived by her husband Walt, and many in-laws and cousins. Viewing and Mass were at St. John’s in Clinton.

Sharon loved books; her favorite was To Kill a Mockingbird.

Milestones

Happy birthday to Stephanie White and Devin Kane Blade, Nov. 29; Karen Windsor, Alexis R. Paige, Ramona Britt, Patricia Branch and Kimberly White, Nov. 30; Mary Doyle, Susan McKay and Jon Foster, Dec. 1; John Anthony, Jr., Vonn Branch and Tyonda Simms-Taylor, Dec. 2.

Email me at muddmm@aol.com with the date of your birthday or anniversary.

Happy Thanksgiving

Mary’s Morningside column will return on Dec. 9. There will be no column in the Dec. 2 edition.