Tuesday, February 22, 2005

A Priceless Jewell

In response to my request for individual reminiscences about special places in Anne Arundel County, I received this gem from J in Chalk Point:

Would it surprise you that all my secret places are no more? I grew up on a farm in the community of Jewell in south county (turn right off rte 2 at intersection of Jewell/Fairhaven roads) with 111 acres at my disposal. My favorite two spots there were our woods where the only sounds were birds going about their daily comings and goings and chirping at my two dogs that accompanied me wherever I went. The other place was our meadow - it was so cool in summer and the little stream
that ran through it trickled aimlessly along the property - the water was ice cold
and clear as crystal. My mom would pack me a lunch and the pups and I would
head for the meadow - they, to jump up a rabbit and yours truly to sit by the stream and daydream or find faces in the clouds overhead. Sadly, my parents sold the property when daddy could no longer maintain the farm so I don't have access to my 'little corner of the world' anymore. I understand the family who owns it now has built homes on my secret places and they are now only a memory. There are other places in Jewell and surrounding areas that I used to frequent but they, too, are gone to 'progress?'

The other secret place that I treasured was the sand beach in Fairhaven just beside
the bridge. Used to ride my bike there and sit on the beach for hours enjoying the
once clear and lovely Chesapeake Bay. That, also, is no more as the land has
been allowed to erode through the years. Our youth group at Friendship Church
had many a pleasant time, too, swimming in the Bay and building a bonfire on the
beach to roast hot dogs and marshmallows.

I'm sorry that you and others will never know the TRUE loveliness that was once south county and the places that we native souls knew of in their virgin states
and were free to roam at our pleasure that are no more. I mourn this loss of a rural
existence and is why it is so important to save lands such as Franklin Manor and
other sanctuaries and woodlands that the governmental powers-that-be care less
to revere and preserve in this county.

My only secret place now is the backyard of my home in Chalk Point where
I sit and watch the poor little deer foraging for food in it (because most of their
woodland habitats here now contain developments); and, the squirrels scampering
around devouring acorns from our, over one hundred year old willow oak, that towers majestically over the house.

It would be great to hear from others as well.



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