Area mothers celebrate their day


WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Mother's Day means quality time with family, a brief escape from busy lifestyles, and a chance to have fun and "leave the men at home," according to local mothers interviewed Sunday.

Mothers played with their children in parks on a picture-perfect day while others ate dinner out with family members or pampered themselves.

Mary Friend of Sharpsburg said her granddaughter Chariti Friend took her out to eat at Red Lobster on Wesel Boulevard. Then the two ended up at Valley Mall.

"It's an excuse to spend money on myself," said Chariti Friend, referring to a necklace hunt on which she was about to embark as she motioned toward the mall.


Deb Householder of Smithsburg relaxed on a bench inside Valley Mall with her daughter, Anna, and her mother, Rosemarie Barnhart of Hagerstown.

Householder said after helping organize a mother-daughter tea at the Church of the Nazarene in Hagerstown over the weekend, she was happy to have some downtime with her mother and daughter.

In fact, it was a good break from a busy schedule that includes commitments to a parent-teacher organization, a full-time job, volunteering at the church and helping to coach a girls softball team, Householder said.

"We like to relax tonight, right?" said Householder, looking down at her 6-year-old daughter, who nodded in agreement as she snacked on pretzels and a frozen drink.

Linda Starkey of Hagerstown said she started cooking at 6 a.m. Sunday for a family gathering of 11 people.

Then Starkey and some family members came to the mall to do some shopping.

"I went in here to shop for myself. I haven't found anything yet," said Starkey.

Shopping paled in comparison to the things that are really important to Starkey.

"I'm blessed to have such a great family," she said.

Many area mothers chose to spend their day with their families and enjoying the weather at Hagerstown City Park.

Ellen Prete, 47, of Smithsburg, and her son, Spencer Prete, 9, attended Mass at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Hagerstown before going to the park. The pair had lunch at the concession stand before making their way to the playground.

Spencer likes the swings, Prete said.

"It's 'Push me. Push me,'" she said.

Before heading home to play games, Spencer threw pennies in a park fountain and said he was making wishes.

"Make wishes for a good Mother's Day," Prete said. "You have to save some of your wishes for me."

Amanda Elliott, 27, and her sister, Melissa Bolinger, 29, both of Hagerstown, also spent the day with their five children at the park.

"It's a beautiful day," Elliott said. "I thought it would be nice to get them out and have some free time."

She was with her two children, Dylan Elliott, 3, and Melanie Elliott, 7. Melanie, a first-grader at Winter Street Elementary, gave her mother a plant for Mother's Day that she brought from school.

Bolinger said she was looking forward to spending the day with her family, including her three children: Zachary Bolinger, 9; Miranda Bolinger, 3; and Angel Bolinger, 9 months.

She said Zachary brought her flowers from school for Mother's Day.

"The other ones are just spending time with me," Bolinger said.

Emily Schouller, 32, of Hagerstown, and her husband, Jim Schouller, were spending Sunday afternoon at the park with their children, Jimmy, 2, and Fenway, 10 months. Emily Schouller said the family was planning to barbecue later that evening and maybe go to Maugansville Creamery for a treat.

Elaine Mason, of Hagerstown, said she spent time Sunday with her three daughters, her grandson, Cameron, and her husband, Byron Mason.

Mason said she received perfume, plants and jewelry for Mother's Day, and her family was planning to take her to see a movie Sunday evening.

"We're Trekkies," Mason said. "We want to see the new 'Star Trek' movie real bad."

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