Local families get more than they give as exchange student hosts.

It’s a phenomenon we see time and again in student exchange: while selflessly giving of their homes and hearts, a host family will often gain just as much as they give! But what does that really look like? We want to highlight five offbeat benefits of opening your home to an exchange student.

1. See Your “Daily Grind” With Fresh Eyes

We’re living in an age of speed, convenience, and automation. As calendar pages fly by, days turn to months and months turn to years in the hustle of our jam-packed schedules.

            Hosting an exchange student provides a tangible way to “stop and smell the roses” as we begin to see daily life through new eyes and with new appreciation.

           

“When you have to explain so much of what you do to someone else, you are given the chance to see it again like it’s the first time, and that is precious. Life became something to notice again instead of being routine.” – Host mom Charlotte Powell

2. Come Face-to-Face with a New Culture

Cultural interaction has always been a hallmark of student exchange, and it’s arguably more critical than ever in today’s world. If we want to break down prejudices and build understanding, investing in relationships is the most likely antidote!

            When we invite exchange students into our communities—to share in our schools, play on our teams, and sit at our tables—we invite a new perspective. We share what is sacred to us and learn about that which is foreign. These interactions with the “other” lead us into new layers of empathy and understanding, and we, in turn, model to our children exactly what it looks like to embrace differences.

“The magic of student exchange is that you get to look behind the curtain into how people actually function in their day-to-day life. We find that we are different, but we are much, much more the same.” – Host mom Jill Amunrud

3. Adopt a Mentor for Your Kids!

Exchange powerfully shapes the worldview of children of all ages, giving them a lasting relationship with the outside world. It’s a common misconception that host families should have a teen son or daughter in the home. While teens generally love the chance to help a student plug into the high school, younger children make fantastic hosts as well.              Young children are generally very open and bond easily with their new “big brother” or “big sister.” And since the very nature of hosting requires learning about and “adopting” somebody who is different than one’s own family, the life-lesson of growing up with an exchange student is invaluable. Of course, the daily connections are perhaps the sweetest in the end!

“I thought it would feel a little weird having someone other than family in our house all of the time, but it’s not weird at all.  She feels like she really is part of our family. And I love to show her stuff, and she tells me all about her country. It’s really cool!” – Host sister Emily, age 11

4. Stay Connected for Life

Time and again, host families report an ongoing relationship with their student and his/her natural parents that outlasts the original 5- or 10-month program. These family connections that span continents are probably the most unique and impressive component to student exchange. Host parents are truly expanding their family throughout the world.

“You get to know people, and it [student exchange] gives you a more long-term relationship.  I was an exchange student in Denmark when I was younger, and I’ve kept in touch with my Danish host families. We were even able to take the kids to Denmark to visit them, and I know that for the rest of our lives we’ll be in touch with our German exchange student, Stina, too. Exchange shows you that the world is still big, but it’s not that big.” - Host mom Jill Fisher

5. Laugh! (Seriously!)

You might be surprised to find that foreign exchange students don’t need a lot of possessions, excursions, or special treatment. What do they need? They need you! A warm, supportive “home away from home.” A place where they feel safe. A place where they can be goofy. Candid connections and good-natured fumbles—these are often the most memorable and endearing!

“It’s like our family expanded when we hosted Henrik. We have so much fun remembering all the silly things we did together, like teaching him that shouting ‘shotgun’ meant you wanted to ride in the front seat of the car.  When the kids first did this in front of him, he couldn’t figure out what we were doing. Were we going to shoot guns or what?! I can now say I have three children: two in the U.S. and one in Germany.” – Host mom Sharon Parry

Curious about what it takes to become a host family? All you need is a spare bed, an open heart, and a desire to be an involved and active family!  Students come with their own spending money and insurance. Hosts provide room and board, help with local transportation, and (most importantly) the support of family. w

If you think your family would be interested in hosting, visit iE-USA.org or contact Regional Director, Tracy Mabry, on 757.550.1865 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. 

You don't have to go far to have a wonderful trip.

The past is present in Calvert County, Maryland, where 15-million-year-old Miocene cliffs rise above the banks of the Chesapeake Bay. The ebb and flow of the tides reveal fossils—if you’re lucky enough to find them—dating from five to 24 million years ago. Over 600 fossil species have been found: shark teeth, shells, coral, and barnacles, among them.

On a warm fall afternoon, I stroll along the shore at Calvert Cliffs State Park, stooping at times to scan multi-colored shell bits, hoping to find a fossil myself. All of a sudden, a shiny shark tooth appears out of nowhere. I look up at Mike Mannion, a volunteer who’s showing my husband and me around, and say, “You put that there, didn’t you?”

Mike grins sheepishly and admits to planting the fossil so I could find it. I pick it up and cradle the tooth in my palm. Never mind that I didn’t really find it. The tiny relic connects me to another era, a time before industry and pollution, a time when nature was pristine and humans were nowhere to be found.

Calvert County, Maryland’s smallest at thirty miles long and nine miles wide, celebrates its connection to nature and to the past. Here visitors can explore history, archaeology, marine heritage, and beautiful preserves of forests and wetlands. An emphasis on eco-tourism fits in perfectly with the county’s preservation efforts. And don’t forget the bounty of seafood brought to shore by local watermen, continuing a tradition that has lasted for centuries.

ANCIENT SAND DOLLLARS

Start getting to know the county by visiting local museums. In North Beach, exhibits at Bayside History Museum give an overview of the resorts that developed along Chesapeake Bay beaches. A few miles away the Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum, housed in the original depot, also displays memorabilia from the region’s resort heyday. From the late 1890s to 1935 trains filled with passengers from D.C. would chug into town, and visitors would flood the beaches, boardwalk, amusement park, and casino. The Great Depression ended the resort era, and today North Beach and Chesapeake Beach retain a peaceful small-town vibe.

Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons is home to an extensive collection focusing on three themes: paleontology, marine history, and estuarian life. The museum’s director, Sherrod Sturrock, shows us around the galleries, starting with the family-oriented Discovery Room, a “microcosm of the museum,” she explains. A touch tank with horseshoe crabs, diamondback terrapins, sea stars, and prickly sea urchins invites curious visitors to have a sensory experience, as volunteers stand by to assist.

We chat with a member of the museum’s fossil club, who’s busy extracting ancient sand dollars from cement-like sediment. You can see it’s a labor of love. Other clubs at the museum include a canoe/kayak club and a boatbuilding club. We meet a gentleman putting the finishing touches on a small pleasure boat he built, rigged with batteries to make it eco-friendly. He can’t wait to take his grandkids out on the bay.

WINDSWEPT WAVES

People are friendly in Calvert County, happy to share their stories. During warmer months visitors can join a Watermen Heritage Tour, which typically includes a ride in a workboat, and a chance to try your hand at using tools and gear—think long-handled oyster rakes. The best part is hearing stories from watermen (and women) who have spent their lives scudding along the windswept waves of the bay and nearby Patuxent River.

In a remote fishing village called Broomes Island on the Patuxent, we meet Jill Buck, owner of Island Girl Oysters, whose aqua-cultured oysters grow on leased land under the river. She also harvests wild oysters and lets me taste test each in a small shop where she sells her gifts from the sea. The farmed oysters, which can’t reproduce, are larger and creamier looking. “They use all that energy they would spend on reproducing into getting fatter and fatter,” explains Jill. Both are tasty, but the brinier, wild oyster is my favorite.

Oyster aquaculture operations are multiplying along Maryland’s shores, we discover at the PEARL Lab, an educational facility located at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum. PEARL Lab’s mission is to help the oyster industry grow, says Rebekah Borgert, hatchery operator. She and her assistant, Amber DeMarr, research best practices for ensuring healthy life cycles of oysters, beginning with tiny oyster larvae, which turn into seed and then spat, finally growing into mature oysters, ready for shucking. As a bonus, oysters are good for the bay since, as filter feeders, they constantly clean the water of impurities. That’s what I call eco-friendly.

ECO-HAVEN

Protecting the bay and its tributaries has become a mission for Steuart Chaney, owner of Herrington Harbor, an Eco-Lifestyle Marina Resort located just north of Calvert County. After buying the property in the late 70s, Chaney began building a luxury resort with two marinas and a picturesque inn overlooking Herring Bay. More importantly, over the years Chaney has incorporated green initiatives on his property, ensuring the local environment stays pristine and healthy.

For example, he created marshes and living shoreline buffers to filter storm-water runoff, set up recycling programs, and installed pervious pavement. Eco-trails invite guests to wander through some of the resort’s 550 acres of preserved land, home to migrating birds and waterfowl.

The inn, which also incorporates eco-friendly practices, recently completed an expansion and now offers eight tastefully decorated suites as well as guestrooms—some with screened porches—overlooking the bay. Resort activities include paddle boarding, kayaking, and swimming in the pool and the bay. It’s an ideal place to savor quality time with family and friends. The best part is knowing the pioneering owner of Herrington Harbour has created an eco-haven for you—and the local wildlife—to enjoy.

THINK GREEN

A beautiful oasis called Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center near Solomons celebrates art and nature on its 30-acre campus. A 1/4-mile nature trail winds through the woods, where visitors can view art installations that encourage reflection. The children’s area called Fairy Lolly brings out the child in everyone with gaily painted structures and decorations. Inside the soaring arts center, programs, art classes, and changing exhibits keep visitors entertained year ‘round. The arts center uses recycled materials for kids’ art programs—think cardboard creations—and also hosts Calvert Green Living, an annual event with demos designed to encourage residents and visitors to think green!

Back in Calvert Cliffs State Park, Mike takes us to a dense wooded area that smells of ancient times. “You almost expect to see a dinosaur come walking up,” Mike says. “It feels primeval.” His love for the forest is palpable. Everyone I meet is proud of Calvert County’s commitment to preserving and enjoying nature. It’s an ideal destination for eco-minded travelers, especially if you look beneath the surface, where little bits of history wait to tell their story. w

           

For more information, visit www.choosecalvert.com.

Recommended Places To Stay

• Chesapeake Beach Resort - www.chesapeakebeachresortspa.com

• Cove Point Lighthouse - www.calvertmarinemuseum.com/200/Cove-Point-Lighthouse

• Herrington Harbour - www.herringtonharbour.com

• Hilton Garden Inn Solomons - www.hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com

Recommended Places To Eat & Drink

• Boomerangs, Solomons - www.loveribs.com

• Charles Street Brasserie, Solomons - www.charlestsreetbrass.com

• E-Z Thai, Prince Frederick - www.ezthairestaurant.net

• Friday’s Creek Winery - www.fridayscreek.com

• Scorpion Brewery - www.scorpionbrewery.com

• The Pier, Solomons - www.thepiersolomons.com

• Traders Seafood Steak & Ale, Chesapeake Beach - www.traders-eagle.com

Local women rise to the challenge in a male-dominated fields. 

When Chanda Chann came to the U.S. as a Cambodian refugee, she had nothing. She was about seven years old, couldn’t speak English, and had seen very little in her young life. But she saw how hard her mother worked and made the decision early on that she wanted to work even harder to make her mother proud. And she did.

            Although Chanda suffered great tragedy and loss as a result of the Cambodian genocide, she came to realize that these trials were only temporary, and that education, along with focused determination, would open doors for her to become the best person she could be.

            After trying out several careers, including nursing, Chanda chose to enter the male-dominated world of commercial real estate, a field she loves and excels in. Chanda is one of many local women who are pioneers in occupations that traditionally have attracted fewer females. Let’s meet three ladies who are changing the status quo.

COMPETITIVE

BY NATURE

Chanda didn’t set out to work in commercial real estate. It happened quite by accident, she said. She was searching for a job in Texas and found a job as a receptionist at a commercial real estate firm.

     Timing was on her side. Soon after Chanda started, the property administrator quit, and Chanda was offered that position. She accepted the promotion and discovered she liked her new job. 

     Her biggest break came, however, when she moved to Washington. That’s when she met Connie Anderson, who became her supervisor and mentor. “She believed in me when I was a no one,” said Chanda.

     Connie had been through the difficulties of the commercial real estate industry herself and was willing to pass along her knowledge to Chanda. She also gave Chanda the freedom to work independently, make mistakes, and learn and grow from those mistakes. 

            “You have to prove yourself all the time,” Chanda said. Her willingness to work hard led to jobs with even greater responsibility. Chanda has always been competitive by nature, and that driving force serves her well.

            As a military wife, she has moved around the country while continuing to work in commercial real estate. She now lives in Virginia Beach and is currently the senior real estate manager and president/CEO of RROP (Ryan Ranch Office Park) Owners’ Association for The Muller Company in California. 

            Chanda is a self-proclaimed late bloomer. After getting married, she started attending American Military University. Her undergraduate work was in management with a concentration in human resources. She became “addicted to school” and earned her MBA with a focus in marketing in 2015.

            She understands the importance of smart business acumen and uses her education regularly in her career to support others and to improve herself and her business. She values her education so much that she serves as a student ambassador for American Military University.

            Chanda eagerly shares her advice with other women who seek success in her field. “As a woman working in the commercial real estate industry, you must stand up and stand out,” she said. “Stand up in being more assertive; be bold and take charge.”

            “The second part is, stand out,” she continued. “That means be creative, adopt good work ethics, continue to improve yourself through education and training, and always, always demonstrate good character in everything you do.”

            What is it that compels Chanda to succeed? “You must be passionate about what you do,” she explained. “Without passion, it would just be a job.”

            “I’m a survivor. I’ve always been in survivor mode. I know what struggle is, what suffering is. I don’t want to be there anymore,” Chanda said. 

ENGINEERING BY ACCIDENT

Janet Webster always knew she had an aptitude for science and math, but becoming a structural engineer was not what she planned. As a young girl, she dreamed of becoming an architect.

            When it came time to go to college, Janet applied to both Clemson University and University of South Carolina and was accepted into both. While Clemson offered a degree in architecture, USC did not. But because Clemson was her father’s rival university, he persuaded her to go to USC, which only offered a degree in structural engineering. It turned out to be a “happy accident,” according to Janet, because she realized that she was much better suited to that field.

            After two years at USC, Janet transferred to Old Dominion University where she graduated with a degree in civil engineering. She then went on to earn her master’s degree from George Washington University.

            While Janet’s career path didn’t turn out as planned, she still appreciates architecture and its synergy with engineering. Architects make buildings pretty, she says, and engineers make them stand up. She enjoys having the opportunity to turn an architect’s vision into a structure.

            Janet currently works for Clark Nexsen in Virginia Beach. Structural engineering is her passion and has been for more than 20 years. Although she is still a structural engineer at heart, she worked her way up the corporate ladder to senior project manager and principal and now focuses on leading a team to design wireless communications projects.

            When Janet started out, there weren’t many women in the field, and it wasn’t always easy. “You have to know your stuff, and you have to be confident,” she said. Fortunately, Janet’s knowledge and confidence helped her gain respect from her male counterparts.

            Things are different now with more women entering the fields of science, math, and engineering. “It’s much better now,” Janet said. She feels that men are more accepting of women in engineering these days because they foresee opportunities for their own daughters. 

            Another passion of Janet’s is to encourage and mentor other women in engineering. She serves on the board of directors of ODU’s alumni association. While she enjoys going back there and seeing jobs that she actually worked on, she especially likes to demonstrate to the students what one can do with an engineering degree.

            Clark Nexsen partners with ODU engineering students of all disciplines. Students are matched up with mentors in the company who help to make their education relevant to the real world. The mentors help the students build their tool kit of skills, just as Janet built hers when she first started in the field.

            It’s not always clear at first how that tool kit will be used, Janet said. “Then after a while, it clicks, and things start to pick up.” Helping students to click is a role she really enjoys. “As you build and add to your tool kit, then you increase to much bigger projects. It’s very exciting.”

            Each year Clark Nexsen offers a scholarship to an engineering student. During the summer months, the scholarship winner works for the company and gets hands-on experience. Several young women have come through the program, according to Janet. “We like to give them opportunities to learn and build a relationship.” Upon graduation there is the potential to be hired at Clark Nexsen.

            What are Janet’s goals for the future? She wants to continue to be curious and to develop ideas and grow personally as a leader and mentor. She also plans to continue supporting women who are entering the engineering field. And one day she would like to work on a project team comprised totally of women.

A DESIRE TO INSPIRE

When Carol Curtis founded her general contracting company, Noah Enterprises Inc., in 2004 she had three goals in mind: to raise the bar in construction, to raise the bar for women in construction, and to raise the bar for safety in construction. While Carol has succeeded in all three areas, she is especially proud of the work she does to encourage women in construction and other male-dominated fields.

            Carol began her contracting career as a receptionist with an electrical contractor. She later moved to the accounting department and was studying to be an accountant. After changing jobs to work for a general contracting firm, she went to a job site and “fell in love” with construction. Something clicked for her, and there was no turning back. That’s when she switched her degree to civil engineering. 

            “I loved watching it all come together,” Carol said. “So I got a degree in what I love: dirt and concrete.” She realized she had an engineering mind where everything is cut and dried, black and white. In engineering, it’s either going to work or it isn’t, she said.

            When Carol first started in general contracting, she was required to be on the job sites. Her supervisor taught her estimating because she had the time to do it. She turned out to be very capable and was given additional opportunities. “For me, I was never treated as a woman; I was part of the team,” she said of her former employer.

            It’s not always that way, however. When working in the commercial arena, there are times when she is bullied and has to prove herself and defend her work. Her way of dealing with that is simply to “be nice to everybody.”

            After working for others for more than 10 years, she decided to start her own company. “I had worked with great people, and I wanted to take what I had learned from others and put it all together in my own company,” said Carol.

            “We should all be able to do what we love and what we have a passion for,” Carol continued. And that’s why she not only started her company, but why she also loves speaking to young girls about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers. No matter what their area of interest, there should be no barriers, Carol said. “Any chance I can get I go talk to girls—and guys too—to inspire them.”

            At a recent STEM 4 Girls event, which was attended by 200 middle school girls and their parents, Carol spoke about STEM opportunities. She told participants it’s okay to change their career path. In her own experience, the knowledge she gained in her business and accounting jobs now helps her to run her company. She also stresses the importance of education in her talks with young people.

            As the founder and president of her company, Carol enjoys leading her team, but she understands it’s always a learning process. “You recognize that when you empower others, it’s one of the greatest gifts you can give them and yourself,” Carol said. “Sometimes they do good, and sometimes they stumble. That’s good. We learn a whole lot from stumbling.”

             “I’ve been very blessed. I’ve had great mentors, both men and women,” she said. “If I can give back, I’m absolutely thrilled. I just encourage people to go try anything.” w

Peggy Hughes is a certified space clearing professional and life coach and the owner of Conscious Living Pathways. She offers her clients multiple ways to have better lives. For more information, visit her website at consciouslivingpathways.com.

Experience the power of ceremony.

We usually think of ceremonies as a way to honor the traditional list of major life events: marriage, birth, baptism, communion, graduation, retirement, and death. But there are a lot of special times in between. I recently turned sixty, it felt like a really big deal, and I wanted a ceremony!

           

I began by searching for words and images online and sifting through things I had already collected. I knew that if I wanted a ceremony, chances were that other people had wanted one, too. It’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel, just adjust it to suit your needs. Once you have a collection of ideas, begin the organizing process with these questions in mind: who, what, when, where, why & how?

Who is the ceremony for? You! Don’t be shy. You deserve to celebrate yourself! Putting together an event program helps to clarify what the milestone means to you. Besides yourself, enlist a friend to assist with planning, maybe even participating. In my case, if a friend hadn’t also wanted a ceremony, my collection of ideas would never have been more than just that.

Who will be your celebrant, officiant, or mistress of ceremonies? We chose women we valued as older, wiser role models. Who is invited? Women need the company of other women, and it is good to come together in community to celebrate each other. Make your guest list and think of invitations. We put our own together, had them printed, and then mailed them one month before. You might choose to make your own and hand-deliver them.

What makes this day special and what name would best reflect that? When will it be held and where? We gave ourselves plenty of time to avoid the stress of a deadline and decided any day within the same year would work. Home is a good location. It is free and comfortable.

           

Why are you having a ceremony? Something in you is asking to be affirmed or validated. Take the hint and honor that request. Like yoga, meditation, and breath-work; ritual is a form of self-therapy and is comforting and healing. Little daily rituals, weekly, monthly, seasonally, annually—the more the better!

           

How will you bring it all together? Think about the most beautiful ceremony you’ve ever attended. Somebody, somewhere at some time created it. Maybe your ceremony will become a tradition, too! Here are some ideas you might want to consider including:

• A cleansing – It could be a ritual bath before the ceremony. It could be a sprinkling, a dipping, or wading in water during the ceremony. We chose sprinkling water with a rosemary branch. We enjoyed it so much that each woman in the circle took turns. It was a fun impromptu addition. It took some time to work around the circle so we also added an impromptu song. Have a plan and also be open to changes.

• A reading or guided meditation to set the mood. This was my favorite part: finding the words that expressed what I was feeling and including them throughout the ceremony. Choose words from any traditions that suit your needs, and decide who will say them.

• Singing, chanting, poetry, music, drumming. Lifting our voices together to read or sing in unison is a powerful unifying force and a form of prayer. We printed a program as a reference for the words when it was time for group participation, and it also served as a memento to take home.

• An altar with incense, candles, photos, etc. We chose to keep it simple and used a little table to hold the props. Consider having a designated photographer to help you capture the memories.

• A symbol of passage – Pass through a doorway, step into (or out) of a circle made on the floor, or receive a special article of clothing. We chose to have a mantle draped over our shoulders as a symbol of our new status—and as a reminder we’d enjoy wearing for years to come.

• An exchange of gifts or blessings. We chose to give simple, symbolic gifts to the guests who came to celebrate with us as tokens of our appreciation. Our blessings were incorporated throughout the ceremony. It was so nice to bless each other out-loud. How often do we do that in daily life? We asked for nothing from the guests but their loving presence and a signature on our guest page.

• A celebratory meal. We broke bread, shared a toast together, and had some light snacks afterward. Will you cater the food, make it, or invite everyone to bring something to share? It depends on the time of day. We chose to provide the food ourselves as to thank our guests for coming to share our special afternoon.

           

Anything done with our full attention becomes spiritual. Whether you invite friends to share the occasion or savor the moment in solitude, the whole point is to enjoy this special time (designed by you, for you) as a joyous affirmation of life. w

Kristie Abel is an artist and freelance editor.

Janet Abel has been teaching yoga in the area since 2001. She is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E- RYT) certified by the Yoga Alliance, a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant. She is owner/instructor of her own LLC. For more information, visit JanetAbel.com or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Saturday           1

Bon Secours Colon Cancer Awareness 5K and 1-Mile Fun Walk - 8 a.m. Bon Secours Health Center at Harbour View 889-2273 www.bonsecours.com/colon5k (S)

Woman’s Club of Smithfield: Giant Flea Market - 8 a.m.-1 p.m. The Smithfield Center, 220 N. Church St. 357-2130 (Smithfield)

Spring Artisan Craft Show - 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 100+ artisans. Hickory High School Email for more info: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (C)

Meditation w/ Carylanne – 9-10 a.m. Alt. Sat. RR ($) Simply Balanced 729-2716 (VB)

Bioenergy Appts. w/ Mietek Wirkus - Thru Sun. Also 4/29 & 4/30. Call for appt. RR ($) Wells Therapeutics 905-3856 (VB)

A Patriotic Salute to Virginia - 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Grand opening events cont. thru 4/4. Enjoy this celebration highlighting America’s 13 original states as they ratified the Constitution. ($) American Revolution Museum at Yorktown 253-4838 (W)

Military Family Day - 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Join a family conversations tour, play detective in a gallery scavenger hunt, and experience the ARTlab. Va. MOCA 425-0000 (VB)

Old Towne Antiques to Flea Market - 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Every first Sat. 70+ vendors. Middle Street Garage 339-1876 (P)

Create Your Own Milk Chocolate Bar - 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Every first Sat. Fill the mold, choose fun toppings, and decorate the wrapping box. ($) The Royal Chocolate 557-6925 (VB)

Cherry Blossom Festival - 12:30-4:30 p.m. Celebrate our Sister City Miyazaki, Japan, with traditional Japanese, music, arts, and more. Red Wing Park 385-2990 (VB)

St. Mary’s Home Gala and Auction - 6 p.m. Support children and young adults with severe disabilities. RR ($) Half Moone Center, 1 Waterside Dr. 622-2208 (N)

Va. Arts Fest: Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Swan Lake - 7:30 p.m. Also Sun. 2:30 p.m. This world-renowned company will cast its spell on you as they perform this classic ballet. ($) Chrysler Hall 282-2822 (N)

Lovesick Blues - 8 p.m. A tribute to Hank Williams, Sr. & Patsy Cline. ($) American Theatre 722-2787 (H)

Sunday            2

Prayers for World Peace - 10:30 a.m.-noon. Every Sun. Apply Buddhist teachings & thoughts for world peace. Keajra Kadampa Buddhist Center, 156 Newtown Rd. #A2 504-4425 (VB)

Drag Yourself to Brunch - 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. Every Sun. Age 18+ High-energy entertainment from female impersonators. RR ($) Croc’s 19th Street Bistro 428-5444 (VB)

Amtgard LARP Meeting - 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Every Sun. Learn more about Live Action Role Playing. Carrolton Nike Park This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Smithfield)

Group Life Coaching & Hypnosis - 1-3 p.m. Every Sun. Manifest your dreams and goals. RR ($) 101 N. Lynnhaven Rd. #205 729-2716 (VB)

Wings & Things Spring Fling - 1-4 p.m. Live animal demos, arts, crafts, and more. Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve 686-8684 (P)

Ballet Virginia International: Coppelia - 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Enjoy this classic tale about a life-like doll. ($) Sandler Center 446-1401 (VB)

Piano Battle: Combat on the Keys - 3 p.m. Acclaimed pianists Andreas Kern and Paul Cibis go head-to-head on stage, enchanting the audience with a variety of classical pieces. You decide the winner. ($) Ferguson Center 594-8752 (NN)

Monday                       3

Monday Yoga Flow - 10-11:30 a.m. Every Mon. ($) Wells Therapeutics 490-9488 (VB)

Bridge, Games, and Fashion Luncheon - 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Bring your own board games. RR ($) Suffolk Art Gallery 925-0448 (S)

Lunchtime Meditation - 12:15-12:45 p.m. Most Mon. ($) Keajra Kadampa Buddhist Center, 156 Newtown Rd. #A2 504-4425 (VB)

Saints Alive Senior Chorus - 12:30 p.m. Every Mon. St. Paul’s UMC, 437 Providence Rd. 543-5721 (C)

Literary Festival - 12:30 p.m. Times and locations vary thru Thurs. Call for full schedule. TCC campuses 822-1122 (VB) (C) (P) (N)

Yoga for Special Needs - 4:30-5:45 p.m. Every Mon. A class for those with physical challenges. RR ($) Wells Therapeutics 313-4962 (VB)

Tuscany Trip Info Meeting - 5:30-6:30 p.m. Spon. by Va. Pen. Chamber of Commerce. RR 21 Enterprise Pkwy 262-2000 (H)

Sophisticated Steppers - 5:45-7:15 p.m. Every Mon. Seniors dance. ($) Cuffee Community Ctr., 2019 Windy Rd., 382-6411 (C)

Functional Forum - 6:30 p.m. Every first Mon. Get the latest health news. Holistic Family Practice 685-4325 (VB)

Peace Circle Group w/ Rev. Laura - 7-8:30 p.m. Every first Mon. Unity Church of Tidewater, 5580 Shell rd. 804-818-6084 (VB)

Drum Circle - 7-10 p.m. Every Mon. Donations accepted. Mystic Moon, 3365 N. Military Hwy. 855-3280 (N)

Tuesday                       4

Yoga in the Galleries - 8:45-9:45 a.m. Every Tues. RR ($) Chrysler Museum 664-6200 (N)

Beginning-Advanced Pastel Classes - 9-11 a.m. Every Tues. thru 5/2. Learn the basics and sharpen your skills. RR ($) Suffolk Art Gallery 925-0448 (S)

Keep Me in Stitches - 2-5 p.m. Every Tues. Knit, crochet, and loom hats for cancer patients. Grace Comm. Church, 1725 Salem Rd. 404-6593 (VB)

Cooperative Co-Parenting – 4-8 p.m. Every 1st Tues. Prevent problems related to divorce. RR ($) 135 Hall Ave., 624-6666 (S)

Peppy Steppers - 5:45-7:15 p.m. Every Tues. Seniors dance. ($) Western Branch Community Center 382-6411 (C)

The U.S. Air Force Band and Singing Sergeants - 7 p.m. Using music to create worldwide bonds. Willett Hall 393-5460 (P)

Connecting to your True Self - 7-8:30 p.m. Also 4/19. ($) Wells Therapeutics 490-9488 (VB)

In-Depth Study Program - 7-9:30 p.m. Every Tues. Meditation, chanted prayers & more. ($) Keajra Kadampa Buddhist Center 504-4425 (VB)

Motown the Musical - 7:30 p.m. Times vary thru 4/9. Enjoy this true story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to heavyweight music mogul. ($) Chrysler Hall 664-6464 (N)

ODU Brass Choir - 7:30 p.m. ODU Chandler Recital Hall 683-5305 (N)

Wednesday      5

Early Morning Spiritual Practices w/ Rev. Ruth - 6:30-7 a.m. Free conference call 641-715-3200, code 1019089# (remote)

Harmony and Fitness Yoga - 9:30 a.m. Every Wed. ($) The Elizabethan Gardens 473-3234 (Manteo) 

Chesapeake Social & Newcomers Club - 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Every first Wed. Join us this month for a Chinese Auction with 60 prizes. RR ($) Traditions Grill, Chesapeake Golf Club 966-9000 (C)

Planetarium Show: The Future is Wild - 1:30 p.m. Wed.-Sun. thru 5/14. Envision the fantastic creatures that may walk the earth in five to 200 million years. ($) Va. Living Museum 595-1900 (NN)

Movie Screening: Disney’s “The BFG” - 2-4 p.m. Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center 247-8950 (NN) 

Halo/Salt Yoga - 5:30 p.m. Every 1st & 3rd Wed. ($) Rejuvenations Salt Spa 227-6117 (C)

OBC Trivia Night – 6-8 p.m. Every first Wed. Beer, trivia, and prizes. ($) O’Connor Brewing Co. 623-2337 (N)

Crocheting - 10 a.m.-noon. Seniors. Every Wed. Bring supplies. South Norfolk Community Center 543-5721 (C)

A Mindful Night: Youth Panel Discussion and Pop-up Exhibition - 6-8:30 p.m. Raise awareness about mental health with discussion and activities. VA. MOCA 425-0000 (VB)

Weekly Drop-In Meditation Class - 6:30-8 p.m. Most Wed. ($) Fred Heutte Center, 1000 Botetourt Gardens 504-4425 (N)

Celebrate National Poetry Month with M.J. Kledzik - 7-8 p.m. Acknowledge your power within to persevere. Reception & book signing. ODU, 1881 University Dr. 368-4100 (VB)

Alice - Thru 4/15. Dates & times vary. Inspired by Lewis Carroll, this tale features live music, fanciful costumes & cutting-edge technology. Music & lyrics by Skye Zentz. ($) ODU Goode Theatre 683-5305 (N)

Thursday          6

Paint 4 Fun - 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Every Thurs. Seniors. Watercolor, acrylic self-guided painting. River Crest Community Center 436-3100 (C)

French and English Poetry Exchange - 12:30-2 p.m. Join the roundtable discussion with book sales and signings by world-renowned poets. ODU, 1881 University Dr. 368-4100 (VB)

Ask the Artist - 5:30 p.m. Every Thurs. Engage with works of art through artist talks. d’Art Center 625-4211 (N)

Watercolor and Acrylic Painting - 6:30-8:30 p.m. Every Thurs. thru 4/27. Learn to paint and tell your story. RR ($) Suffolk Art Gallery 925-0448 (S)

NAMI Family-to-Family - 6:30-9 p.m. Every Thurs. thru 6/1. Free 12-session class for family and friends of those living with mental illness. RR Norfolk Community Services Board, 225 W. Onley Rd. 581-9262 (N)

Weekly Drop-In Meditation Class - 7-8:30 p.m. Most Thurs. Two guided meditations & discussions. Everyone welcome. ($) Keajra Kadampa Buddhist Center, 156 Newtown Rd. #A2 504-4425 (VB)

Planetarium Show: Alien Invasion - 8 p.m. Every Thurs. in April. Explore the possibility that live exists elsewhere in the Universe. RR ($) Chesapeake Planetarium 547-0153 (C)

Friday              7

Friendly Friday Yoga Flow - 10-11:30 a.m. Every Fri. All levels welcome! ($) Wells Therapeutics 490-9488 (VB)

Resume 101 - 10:30 a.m. Every 1st Fri. RR Little Creek Library 441-1751 (N)

Senior Poetry/Expository Writing Class - 12 p.m. Every first and 3rd Fri. Larchmont Library 441-5335 (N)

Seasoned and Sassy - 2 p.m. Every Fri. Get active & socialize! Black Library 441-5806 (N)

Meditation: Unwind the Mind - 5:30-6:15 p.m. Most Fri. A perfect way to end the week. ($) Keajra Kadampa Buddhist Center, 156 Newtown Rd. #A2 504-4425 (VB)

Concert in the Courtyard/Opening Reception - 5-8 p.m. Portsmouth Art & Cultural Ctr. 393-8543 (P)

First Friday Street Party - 5-8:30 p.m. Live music, food trucks, vendors, and beer garden. TCC Plaza, 300 Block of Granby St. 623-1757 (N)

Whiskers and Tails Opening Celebration - 6:30-8:30 p.m. An exhibition of pets and more four-legged fauna. Artists Gallery, 608 Norfolk Ave. 425-6671 (VB)

MFA Annual Third-Year Reading - 7 p.m. 10 graduates of the creative writing program read their work. ODU Chandler Recital Hall 683-5305 (N)

First Friday Healing Sanctuary - 7:25 p.m. Most first Fri. thru Nov. Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 5181 Singleton Way 932-5263 (VB)

Paint Night - 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Every first Fri. ($) Downing Gross Cultural Art Center 247-8950 (NN)

Va. Symphony Orchestra: Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 - 8 p.m. Enjoy this romantic staple with a heart-melting horn solo in the second movement. ($) Ferguson Center 892-6366 (NN)

Saturday           8

Dismal Swamp Stomp Running Festival - 8 a.m. Journey through lush, mysterious landscape and rich history with an adult race and children’s 1/2-mile Cub Run. RR ($) Dismal Swamp Canal Trail 373-4174 (C)

What Women Need to Know About Divorce - 8:30-10 a.m. Every 2nd Sat. Legal, financial, & emotional aspects of divorce. ($) Two locations: Hilton Garden Inn, 180 Regal Way (NN) & VB Friends Mtg. House, 1537 Laskin Rd. (VB) RR 456-1574

Yoga in the Courtyard - 9-10 a.m. All ages. No experience required. ($) Portsmouth Art Center 393-8543 (P)

Walking Tour of Fort Huger - 10 a.m. Learn the significance of this gateway to the Confederate capital. Fort Huger, 15080 Talcott Terrace 357-0115 (Smithfield)

WOOFstock - 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Canine activities the whole family will enjoy. ($) Elizabethan Gardens 252-473-3234 (Manteo)

Helpful Paws, Extraordinary Dogs - 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Celebrate the bonds of companionship and service with dogs. ($) Va. Living Museum 595-1900 (NN)

Art on a String: Kite-Making Activities - 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Every Sat. thru 5/6. Build a kite for the Atlantic Coast Kite Festival. ($) Portsmouth Art Center 393-8543 (P)

Birthday Bash - 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Celebrate 41 years with live music, food trucks, local crafters and artisans, kids’ activities, and more. VB Farmers Market, 3640 Dam Neck Rd. 385-4388 (VB)

Introduction to Cold Wax Workshop - 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Learn the cold cold wax method of creating a painting. RR ($) Suffolk Art Gallery 925-0448 (S)

Halo/Salt Yoga - 10:15 a.m. Every 2nd Sat. ($) Rejuvenations Salt Spa 227-6117 (C)

Chesapeake Romance Writers Meeting - 10:30 a.m. Every 2nd Sat. Russell Memorial Library 410-7020 (C)

National Council of Negro Women - 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Every 2nd Sat. StanHope House, 2715 Stanhope Ave 409-3342 (N)

East Coast She Crab Soup Classic - 12-2:30 p.m. Sample recipes from different restaurants. ($) 24th Street Park 385-7873 (VB)

Meet & Greet Day - 12-3 p.m. Tour the farm, meet rescue horses, and learn about what we do. Circle A Home for Horses 286-5282 (VB)

A Walk with Ella - 12-5 p.m. Actors re-enact some of Ella Fitzgerald’s most memorable moments. ($) The Newsome House 247-2360 (NN)

Planetarium Show: The Friendly Stars - 12:30 p.m. Sat. & Sun. thru 5/14. Introduce preschoolers to the night sky. ($) Va. Living Museum 595-1900 (NN)

Suffolk Mud Jam - 1 p.m. Enjoy open pits, concessions, and more. ($) Suffolk Executive Airport 539-6751 (S)

Chain Mail Box Weave - 1-4 p.m. Create a bracelet using the box weave made with adonized aluminum. RR ($) Suffolk Art Gallery 925-0445 (S)

Va. Arts Festival: Pants Down Circus - 2 & 7 p.m. Enjoy this zany show with music, acrobatics, and quirky humor. ($) TCC Roper Performing Arts Ctr. 282-2800 (N)

The Wright Brothers Musical - 2:30 p.m. Send your imagination soaring with this lively musical. ($) American Theatre 722-ARTS (H)

The Muse Write-In - 2:30-4 p.m. Every 2nd Sat. Join other writers for inspiration and practice. Slover Library 431-7462 (N)

Bethune-Height Black Tie Gala - 5 p.m. Spon. by National Council of Negro Women, Inc. to recognize community leaders. RR ($) Holiday Inn Virginia Beach-Norfolk Conference Center, 5655 Greenwich Rd. 409-3342 (N)

d’Art Affair - 6-8:30 p.m. Art activities, live music & silent art auction. RR ($) Va. Zoo 625-4211 (N)

Star Party/Laser Light Show - 7:30 p.m. Start the night with “Virginia Skies.” Then, see “Laser Mania” at 8:30 p.m. and experience “Laser Metallica” at 10 p.m. and “The Vision Bell” at 11:30 p.m. ($) Va. Living Museum 595-1900 (NN)

Va. Symphony Orchestra: Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 - 8 p.m. ($) Wilder Performing Arts Center 892-6366 (N)

Sunday            9

Second Sundays Williamsburg - 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Enjoy living history, various artisans, and more. Col. Merchant’s Sq. 879-3029 (W)

Bookmaking - 1-5 p.m. Create a hardcover book using a three-needle approach to stitching. RR ($) Suffolk Art Gallery 925-0445 (S)

Va. Symphony Orchestra: Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 - 2:30 p.m. ($) Sandler Center 892-6366 (VB)

Va. Arts Fest: Cécile McLorin Salvant in Concert - 7 p.m. Enjoy this classically trained jazz vocalist accompanied by Aaron Diehl on piano. ($) Robin Hixon Theater 282-2822 (N)

Monday                       10

The Muse Jam - 7-10 p.m. Every 2nd Fri. Read your work, hear stories, poems & standup comedy. ($) The Muse Writers Center 818-9880 (N)

Tuesday                       11

Learn How to Increase Your Monthly Cash Flow - 9:15-11:30 a.m. What every investor needs to know. RR Tidewater Home Funding LLC, 1108 Eden Way N. Ste A 228-4242 (C)

The Good Things Happening in Portsmouth Public Schools Forum - 12 p.m. Adults. Discuss the current happenings in the public school system. RR Main Library 393-8759 (P)

Women in the Navy - 4:30 p.m. All ages. Learn about the spirited history of women and their relationship to sea service. Black Library 441-5806 (N)

Cooperative Co-Parenting – 5-9 p.m. Every 2nd Tues. Prevent potential problems. RR ($) 424 W. 21st St., 624-6666 (N)

Weight Loss Surgery Information Session - 6 p.m. RR ($) Ches. Regional Lifestyle Center 312-3000 (C)

Va. Stage Company: The Wiz - 7 p.m. Times vary thru 4/30. Enjoy this production adapted from the classic children’s novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. ($) Wells Theatre 627-1234 (N)

25 Mics: Spoken Word and Open Mic Night - 7-8:30 p.m. Every 2nd Tues. Enjoy spoken word, acoustic musicians, and more. Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center 247-8950 (NN)

Wednesday      12

Croc’s Cooking Class - 6 p.m. Every 2nd Wed. Incl. tastings and a glass of wine. RR ($) Croc’s 19th Street Bistro 428-5444 (VB)

Creating a Culture of Kindness - 6-8 p.m. In our homes, schools, and communities. RR ($) Hampton Healthy Families Partnership, 100 Old Hampton Ln. 668-7402 (H)

Living True to your Nature - 7-8 p.m. ($) Wells Therapeutics 490-9488 (VB)

University Dance Theatre Spring Concert - 8 p.m. Original choreography frames a variety of dance styles. ($) ODU University Theatre 683-5305 (N)

Thursday          13

Pink Bag Lunch: Advancing in Your Workplace - 12-1 p.m. Spon. by Va. Pen. Chamber. RR ($) 21 Enterprise Pkwy 262-2000 (H)

Poetry, Prose & Pizza - 6 p.m. Join renowned poet and author Nathan Richardson for this family-friendly open mic event. Suffolk Art Gallery 925-0448 (S)

Art After Dark - 6-8 p.m. Every 2nd Thurs. Enjoy food and drinks, live music, and more. Peninsula Fine Arts Center 596-8175 (NN)

Conscious Dance - 7-8:15 p.m. ($) Wells Therapeutics 490-9488 (VB)

Va. Arts Fest: Itzhak Perlman, The Great Violin Film Scores - 7:30 p.m. Hear music from famous films. ($) Sandler Center 282-2822 (VB)

Friday              14

MOCA ARTini - 7-11 p.m. Where art meets mixology. Local  mixologists create signature ARTinis! RR ($) Virginia MOCA 425-0000 (VB)

Va. Arts Fest: KING in Concert - 8 p.m. Enjoy this sassy R & B trio. ($) Attucks Theatre 622-4763 (N)

Generic Theater: The Whale - 8 p.m. Times vary thru 5/14. A 600-lb. recluse is given one last chance at redemption. ($) Little Hall Theatre @ Chrysler Hall 664-6464 (N)

Saturday           15

Volunteer Service Day - 9-11 a.m. Become a river hero. RR Paradise Creek Nature Park 399-7487 (P)

Old Beach Green Market - 9 a.m.-noon. Every 3rd Sat. Outdoor market featuring produce, earth-friendly art & products. 19th & Cypress 428-5444 (VB)

SUN-days - 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Observe the heart of our solar system with Back Bay Astronomers. Elizabeth River Park 382-6411 (C)

Genealogical Society Meeting - 6-9 p.m. Every 3rd Sat. Sept.-June. Central Library 385-0120 (VB)

Legends of Main Street: A Suffolk Ghost Walk - 7 p.m. A hair-raising encounter with the spirited side of Suffolk. RR ($) Suffolk Visitor Center 514-4130 (S)

Sunday            16

Family Fest - 2-4 p.m. Create art, enjoy a scavenger hunt, and experience the ARTlab. Spon. by Beach Ford Va. MOCA 425-0000 (VB)

Monday                       17

Seasoned and Sassy - 3 p.m. Also 4/24. Get active and socialize. Black Library 441-5806 (N)

An Evening with David Sedaris - 7:30 p.m. All-new stories and sneak previews for his newest writing. ($) Harrison Opera House 623-1223 (N)

Tuesday                       18

C’Mon Get Happy Luncheon - 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Every 3rd Tues. RR Uno’s Pizzeria & Grill, 5900 Va. Beach Blvd. 635-5379 (VB)

Movie Night - 4:30 p.m. Every 3rd Tues. Enjoy yummy movie snacks! Call for titles. Black Library 441-5806 (N)

MOCA Nights - 5-9 p.m. Every 3rd Tues. Enjoy open-mic performances, gallery tours, art-making, and cash bar. ($) Va. MOCA 425-0000 (VB)

Family and Friends Support Group - 6 p.m. Every 3rd Tues. Learn how to support a loved one in an abusive relationship. Perry Safe Harbor Ctr., 2620 Southern Blvd. 631-0710 (VB)

Oneness Blessing - 7-8 p.m. Every 3rd Tues. Move into a higher state of consciousness. Donation. Wells Therapeutics 225-1496 (VB)

Bourbon, Burgers, and Bingo - 6-9 p.m. Every 3rd Tues. RR ($) Croc’s 19th Street Bistro 428-5444 (VB)

Wednesday      19

Senior Advocate Round Table - 12-1 p.m. Every 3rd Wed. RR Va. Peninsula Chamber of Commerce 262-2000 (H)

Senior Advocate Round Table - 4-6 p.m. Every 3rd Wed. Learn about local services for seniors. HR Chamber of Commerce 645-6364 (N)

Community Screening: Life, Animated - 6 p.m. Spon. by EVMS Autism Spectrum Disorder Program. Panel discussion to follow. EVMS Roper Auditorium, 700 W. Olney Rd. 446-5176 (N)

Clay Jenkinson as Thomas Jefferson - 7:30 p.m. Learn about his life and accomplishments. ($) Ferguson Center 594-8752 (NN)

Thursday          20

Birding Festival - 7 a.m. Thru Sat. Enjoy bird walks, canoe trips, owl prowls & more. RR  Great Dismal Swamp NWR Visit www.fws.gov/refuge/great_dismal_swamp/ or call 986-3705 (C)

Quickbooks Online: Overview - 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Spon. by Ailsworth Accounting. RR ($) Reed Integration, 7007 Harbour View Blvd. 503-4404 (S)

Business Connection After Hours - 5-7 p.m. RR Tucanos Brazilian Grill, 11820 Fountain Way 262-2000 (H)

Family Health 101 Education Series: Sleep - 6-7 p.m. RR ($) Ches. Regional Lifestyle Center 312-5144 (C)

Va. Arts Fest: Yosvany Terry Quintet - 7:30 p.m. Afro-Cuban music with lyrical overtones. ($) Robin Hixon Theater 282-2822 (N)

Friday              21

Caregiver Support Group - 12-1 p.m. Every 3rd Fri. For caregivers of the elderly. Nimmo UMC 422-1292 (VB)

Rhonda Ross in Concert - 8 p.m. Rhonda’s music explores race, gender & spirituality. ($) Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Ctr. 247-8950 (NN) 

Saturday           22

The Great American Cleanup: Keep Portsmouth Beautiful - 7 a.m.-noon. Spring means clean-up, fix-up, and green-up your community. RR 393-8663 (P)

Bird Walk - 8:30 a.m. Learn to identify birds. RR Dismal Swamp Boat Ramp 382-1359 (C)

Volunteer Service Day - 9-11 a.m. Become a river hero. RR Paradise Creek Nature Park 399-7487 (P)

Spring Native Plant Sale - 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Cont. Sun. Also 4/29 & 4/30. Browse beautiful native plants for different styles of garden. Va. Living Museum 595-1900 (NN)

Herb Sale & Spring Arts & Crafts Show - 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Browse goods, jewelry, crafts, and more. Fred Heutte Center, 1000 Botetourt Gardens 441-2513 (N)

Earth Day Celebration - 10 a.m. Learn about the amazing work being done in Virginia to protect our planet. ($) Mariners’ Museum 596-2222 (NN)

Romancing the Shadow: Transmute Challenging Emotions w/ EFT Tapping - 10 a.m.-1 p.m. ($) Wells Therapeutics 490-9488 (VB)

Cooperative Co-Parenting – 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Every 4th Sat. Recognize effects of divorce and prevent potential problems. RR ($) 424 W. 21st St., 624-6666 (N)

Party for the Planet - 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Enjoy animal presentations, learn about eco-friendly enrichment for the animals, and more. ($) Va. Zoo 441-2374 (N)

Earth and Arts Festival - 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Browse plants and sustainable vendors with live music and more. Westminster Church, 3488 Godwin Blvd. 652-0689 (S)

New Town Chalk & Family Fest - 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Enjoy a petting zoo, kids games, chalk drawing, and much more. New Town, 4301 New Town Ave. 229-6511 (W)

Earth Day - 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Enjoy exhibits, displays, and activities that provide innovative ways to green your lifestyle. Mt. Trashmore Park 385-2990 (VB)

15th Annual Lynnhaven River Now Oyster Roast - Noon-3 p.m. Lynnhaven River oysters, BBQ, oyster-shucking contest & bluegrass. RR ($) 4141 First Court Rd. 962-5398 (VB)

SkyWatch - 7 p.m. View the galaxy with Back Bay Amateur Astronomers. Weather permitting. Northwest River Park 382-1359 (C)

Bluegrass Concert: Fentress Station - 7 p.m. Enjoy regional bluegrass talent. Suggested donation ($) Hickory Ruritan Club, 2752 S. Battlefield Blvd. 421-0297 (C)

19th Annual EllaFest Concert Finale - 8 p.m. featuring Lizz Wright, vocalist and composer. ($) Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center 247-8950 (NN) 

Va. Arts Fest: Urban Bush Women - 8 p.m. A story told in dance of the African diaspora. ($) Attucks Theatre 282-2822 (N)

Sunday            23

Daily Energy Medicine Routine - 3:30-4:40 p.m. Also 4/30. Donation ($) Wells Therapeutics 490-9488 (VB)

Dick Oatts in Concert - 4 p.m. & 7 p.m. ($) ODU Chandler Recital Hall 683-5305 (N)

Monday           24

Movie Night - 5 p.m. Every last Mon. Call for titles. Larchmont Library 441-5335 (N)

Caregiver Support Group - 5:30 p.m. Every 4th Mon. RR Prime Plus, 7300 Newport Ave. 800-272-3900 (N)

Popcorn & Paying for College - 5:30 p.m. Teens & Adults. Munch on popcorn and learn about saving for college. RR Little Creek Library 441-1751 (N)

Tuesday                       25

Women’s Forum of Coastal VA: Channeling Your Passion & Driving Change - 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Learn to advocate for women in business. RR ($) Kaufman & Canoles, P.C. 373-6517 (N)

Weight Loss Surgery Information Session - 6 p.m. RR ($) Lifestyle Center 312-3000 (C)

Books on Tap - 7:30-8:30 p.m. Every 4th Tues. Read a book and try a new brew. Commonwealth Brewing Co. 385-2680 (VB)

ODU New Music Ensemble - 7:30 p.m. ODU Chandler Recital Hall 683-5305 (N)

Wednesday      26

Historic Garden Week Tour - 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Peruse six houses and seven gardens in the Cedar Grove neighborhood. Includes admission to museums and seminars. RR ($) Peninsula Fine Arts Center 722-5522 (NN)

Awakenings: An Ecstatic Dance Journey - 7-8:15 p.m. ($) Wells Therapeutics 490-9488 (VB)

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit in Concert - 7:30 p.m. with special guest J. Roddy Walston & The Business. ($) Portsmouth Pavilion 800-745-3000 (P)

Thursday          27

Women of Distinction Awards Luncheon - 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Celebrate women for leadership, volunteer efforts, and civic involvement. RR ($) Norfolk Waterside Marriott 625-4248 (N)

Bridge: Young Professionals Lunch & Learn - 12-1 p.m. Spon. by Va. Pen. Chamber of Commerce. RR ($) 21 Enterprise Pkwy 262-2000 (H)

Va. Arts Fest: Virginia International Tattoo Hullabaloo - 4:30-7:30 p.m. Thru 4/29. Also 4/30 from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Three hours of pipers, dancers, drill teams and drum lines + food vendors and beer tent. Scope Plaza 282-2800 (N)

After Hours “For the Girls” - 5:30-8 p.m. Wine tasting, auction, vendors, and more. RR ($) Vintner’s Cellar, 1213 George Washington Memorial Hwy 268-9644 (Yorktown)

Living True to Your Nature - 6:45-7:45 p.m. Every last Thurs. ($) Wells Therapeutics 490-9488 (VB)

Va. Arts Fest: Va. International Tattoo - 7:30 p.m. Thru 4/29. Also 4/30 @ 2:30 p.m Enjoy the largest spectacle of military music, pipes and drums, drill team maneuvers, dancers, and more. ($) Scope Arena 282-2800 (N)

Friday              28

Va. Beach Spring Craft Market - 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thru Sun. (10-5) 200+ local and national crafters, decorating ideas, demos & more. ($) Convention Ctr. 417-7771 (VB)

Craft Hope - 10:30 a.m. Every 4th Fri. Knit and crochet for charity. RR Little Creek Library 441-1751 (N)

Saturday           29

Celebrating Children - 9 a.m.-Noon. Free fun run, games & activities, resources, special guests. Spon. by VBGrowSmart. www.vbgrowsmart.com Mt. Trashmore (VB)

Cause for Paws 5k and Festival - 9 a.m. Enjoy live music, activities for young and old, and more. ($) North Landing Park 397-6004 (P)

Parkinson’s Optimism Walk - 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Education exhibits, exercise activities, and Stroll & Roll. ($) Neptune Park 495-3062 (VB)

IconiCon - 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sci-Fi and Fantasy fans participate in panels, Lightsaber Academy, screenings, a costume contest, and more! North Suffolk Library 514-7150 (S)

Spring Festival & Book Sale - 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Crafts, game, food, and more. Little Creek Library 441-1751 (N)

Craft Beer Festival - 12-5 p.m. Sample over 50 craft beers from 25 breweries with live music and more. ($) Town Center 385-7873 (VB)

Grown-Up Spelling Bee - 6 p.m. Benefit the Suffolk Education Foundation to inspire learning in public schools. ($) Nansemond River High School 775-9682 (S)

The Drifters, The Cornell Gunter Coasters and The Platters in Concert - 8 p.m. ($) Ferguson Ctr. 594-7448 (NN)

Sunday            30

Miss & Mr. Abilities Chesapeake Pageant - 6-9 p.m. Ages 13+ with a disAbility celebrate their abilities in dress and talent competitions. RR ($) Chesapeake Conference Center 382-1328 (C)

Virginia Symphony: “Peter & the Wolf” - Pre-concert activities begin at 2 p.m. Concert @ 3 p.m. Experience how all the instruments of the symphony combine to bring this Russian folk tale to life! ($) Sandler Ctr. 466-3060 (VB) w

Please call to confirm.

($) Fee; RR - Reservations Req’d

(C) Chesapeake (H) Hampton  (N) Norfolk (NN) Newport News  (P) Portsmouth (S) Suffolk

(VB) Va. Beach (W) W’burg

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tw calendar

There are times when I see myself behaving a certain way—childish, bossy, entitled—and I don’t like what I see. Or I hear my tone—in an email, or making a remark to my husband—and I don’t like what I hear. A little voice pipes up inside my head, saying, “This isn’t you! Why are you being so bitchy?”

Blame it on moodiness. We are all affected to some degree by our moods, women probably more than men. I know for a fact my husband hardly ever gets in a bad mood. Sometimes he irritates me because he’s in such a good mood all the time—grrr—whereas I probably succumb to a bad mood at least once a week. The worst thing is I can feel it happening, but it’s so hard to stop it.

I know. I should just accept this part of who I am and not beat myself up about it. I guess ideally when I feel a bad mood setting in, the best thing to do is to keep away from people, especially my loved ones. But that’s not always easy to do when you share the same living or work space.

One way to brighten my mood is to listen to uplifting music. It’s kind of hard to feel grouchy when you’re listing to Bossa Nova with its upbeat, Latino rhythms. Music takes us out of ourselves and gives us something to think about besides the real and imagined imperfections in our lives. Music can lift us out of bad moods and actually inspire us to reach new heights.

In this month’s cover story, we meet three local women who lift up others through the healing power of music and art. Their stories also serve to remind us how helping other people makes us feel better about ourselves and life in general.

Here’s an idea. Plan an outing to hear some live music with a friend or your significant other. Choose music a little outside your comfort zone and immerse yourself in it. If you have kids, introduce them to the world of music.

In the next few months, dozens of amazing performances will be taking place here in Tidewater. Virginia Arts Festival is bringing a variety of concerts and shows to area venues. Our extraordinary local arts organizations also continue to share their talents with audiences.

And listening to live music doesn’t have to be expensive. Local universities regularly offer free or low-cost concerts. Check out Tidewater Women’s calendar for what’s coming up this month.

So the next time you feel a bad mood creeping up, turn on the radio and find some music that lifts your heart. Remember that switch I’ve been writing about? The one you have the power to flick up or down? Well, flick that switch from grouchy to happy. Try to be thankful for every day you have on this planet. Spending even one minute in a bad mood is a waste. Life is precious. Embrace it.

Love, Peggy

Welcome to Tidewater Women’s March 2017 Calendar of Events.

Wednesday     1

Early Morning Spiritual Practices with Rev. Ruth - 6:30-7 a.m. Free conference line 641-715-3200, Code: 101 908 9# (remote)

Harmony and Fitness Yoga - 9:30 a.m. Every Wed. ($) Elizabethan Gardens 473-3234 (Manteo) 

Chesapeake Social & Newcomers Club - 11 a.m. Every 1st Wed. RR Traditions Grill, Chesapeake Golf Club 966-9000 (C)

Planetarium Show: The Future is Wild - 1:30 p.m. Wed.-Sun. thru 5/14. Envision the fantastic creatures that may walk the earth in five to 200 million years. ($) Va. Living Museum 595-1900 (NN)

Halo/Salt Yoga - 5:30 p.m. Every 1st & 3rd Wed. ($) Rejuvenations Salt Spa 227-6117 (C)

OBC Trivia Night – 6-8 p.m. Every 1st Wed. Beer, trivia, and prizes. ($) O’Connor Brewing Co. 623-2337 (N)

Crocheting - 10 a.m.-noon. Seniors. Every Wed. Bring supplies. South Norfolk Community Center 543-5721 (C)

Weekly Drop-In Meditation Class - 6:30-8 p.m. Most Wed. ($) Fred Heutte Center, 1000 Botetourt Gardens 504-4425 (N)

Awakenings: An Ecstatic Dance Journey - 7-8:15 p.m. ($) Wells Therapeutics 490-9488 (VB)

Shen Yun - 7:30 p.m. See classical Chinese dance bring a lost civilization to life with unrivaled mastery. ($) Chrysler Hall 664-6464 (N)

William & Mary: Asuncion - 7:30 p.m. Thru Fri. Explore the complicated ways we exploit culture and politics for our own needs. ($) PBK Memorial Hall, 601 Jamestown Rd. 221-2674 (W)

Thursday        2

Youth Career Expo - 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Spon. by Va. Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. ($) HR Convention Center 262-2000 (H)

Paint 4 Fun - 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Every Thurs. Seniors. Watercolor, acrylic self-guided painting. River Crest Community Center 436-3100 (C)

Being Donor-Centered in Challenging Times - 4 p.m. with nationally-known fundraising expert Penelope Burk. ($) TCC Roper Performing Arts Center, 340 Granby St. 822-1159 (N)

Primeplus Evening Open House - 4-6 p.m. Learn about the activities and services provided. 625-5857 (N)

Ask the Artist - 5:30 p.m. Every Thurs. Engage with works of art through artist talks. d’Art Center 625-4211 (N)

Opening Reception - 5:30-7:30 p.m. See works from “The Spirit of a Woman: A Celebration of Women in the Arts” on view through 3/31. Suffolk Center 923-2900 (S)

Out of the Box: Will Overman Band - 6-9 p.m. Sandler Center 385-2787 (VB)

Clay Date Night - 6:15-8:15 p.m. Enjoy an evening of romance and throwing on the potter’s wheel. RR ($) Peninsula Fine Arts Ctr. 596-8175 (NN)

Weekly Drop-In Meditation Class - 7-8:30 p.m. Most Thurs. Two guided meditations & discussions. Everyone welcome. ($) Keajra Kadampa Buddhist Center, 156 Newtown Rd. #A2 504-4425 (VB)

Chowan University Singers & Men’s Choir - 7:30 p.m. RR Suffolk Center 923-2900 (S)

Planetarium Show: Cosmic Symphony - 8 p.m. Every Thurs. in March. View the wonders of the night sky put to stereo music. ($) Chesapeake Planetarium 547-7827 (C)

Friday             3

24th Annual Outdoor Show - 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Thru Sun. (12-5 p.m.) See the latest demos in landscaping, gardening, remodeling, and decorating. McDonald Garden Ctr., 1144 Independence Blvd. 464-5564 (VB)

Friendly Friday Yoga Flow - 10-11:30 a.m. Every Fri. All levels welcome! ($) Wells Therapeutics 490-9488 (VB)

Resume 101 - 10:30 a.m. Every 1st Fri. RR Little Creek Library 441-1751 (N)

Arbor Day Celebration - 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy environmental displays and activities. TCC, 428 Cedar Rd. 382-6411 (C)

Senior Poetry/Expository Writing Class - 12 p.m. Every 1st and 3rd Fri. Larchmont Library 441-5335 (N)

Seasoned and Sassy - 2 p.m. Every Fri. Get active & socialize! Black Library 441-5806 (N)

Concert in the Courtyard - 5-8 p.m. Every first Fri. Portsmouth Art & Cultural Ctr. 393-8543 (P)

Meditation: Unwind the Mind - 5:30-6:15 p.m. Most Fri. A perfect way to end the week. ($) Keajra Kadampa Buddhist Center, 156 Newtown Rd. #A2 504-4425 (VB)

First Friday Healing Sanctuary - 7:25 p.m. Most 1st Fri. thru Nov. Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 5181 Singleton Way 932-5263 (VB)

Va. Stage Company: With Your Name Upon my Lips - 7 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Also 3/4, 10 & 11. Enter the glamour of the 1920s and experience the horror of trench warfare. RR ($) Hermitage Museum 423-2052 (N)

Va. Stage Company: Venus in Fur - 7 p.m. Times vary thru 3/19. Thomas Novacheck has searched high and low for a woman fit for the lead role in his play. As the audition unfolds, who is really auditioning whom? ($) Wells Theatre 627-6988 (N)

Paint Night - 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Every first Fri. ($) Downing Gross Cultural Art Center 247-8950 (NN)

Va. Symphony Orchestra: Pictures at a French Exhibition - 8 p.m. Turn-of-the-century French works to accompany the Chrysler Museum’s major exhibit of works by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. ($) Ferguson Center 826-6366 (NN)

Saturday          4

Battle of Hampton Roads Weekend - 9 a.m. thru Sun. Re-enactors, living history encampments, cannon and blacksmithing demos, kids’ activities, and more. ($) Mariners Museum 596-2222 (NN)

Meditation w/ Carylanne – 9-10 a.m. Alt. Sat. RR ($) Simply Balanced 729-2716 (VB)

Ortho-Bionomy Phase 6: Energetics - 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Also Sun. RR ($) Wells Therapeutics 490-9488 (VB)

Walking Tour of Fort Huger - 10 a.m. Learn the significance of this gateway to the Confederate capital. Fort Huger, 15080 Talcott Terrace 357-0115 (Smithfield)

Weight Loss Surgery Information Session - 10 a.m. RR ($) Chesapeake Surgical Specialists 312-3000 (C)

Fly Fishing - 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Tie your first fly and practice casting. RR Northwest River Park 421-7151 (C)

Learn the Art of Calligraphy - 10 a.m.-2 p.m. RR ($) Suffolk Center 923-0003 (S)

Old Towne Antiques to Flea Market - 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Every 1st Sat. 70+ vendors. Middle Street Garage 339-1876 (P)

Create Your Own Milk Chocolate Bar - 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Every first Sat. Fill the mold, choose fun toppings, and decorate the wrapping box. ($) The Royal Chocolate 557-6925 (VB)

The Power of Sacred Words & Mala Making Workshop - 1-5 p.m. Learn to make a mala according to traditional Buddhist techniques. RR ($) Keajra Kadampa Buddhist Center, 156 Newtown Rd. #A2, 339-4375 (VB)

Hurrah Players: Disney’s Aladdin - 2:30 p.m. Soar on a flying carpet ride filled with romance and adventure. ($) American Theatre 722-2787 (H)

Follow the Drinking Gourd - 4:30 p.m. Every Sat. in Feb. Learn how the stars of the northern sky led slaves to freedom. ($) Va. Living Museum 595-1900 (NN)

History Bites - 6:30 p.m. Top restaurants and caterers prepare their best 19th-century dishes. ($) Mariners’ Museum 596-2222 (NN)

My Sister’s Keeper: Ladies in Red Featuring Myra Smith - 7 p.m. ($) Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center 247-8950 (NN)

Va. Symphony Orchestra: Pictures at a French Exhibition - 8 p.m. ($) Chrysler Hall 826-6366 (N)

Sunday            5

Figure, Bikini, and Posing Workshop - 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For females interested in training or bodybuilding. RR ($) American Iron Barbell Club 358-8759 (NN)

Prayers for World Peace - 10:30 a.m.-noon. Every Sun. Apply Buddhist teachings & thoughts for world peace. Keajra Kadampa Buddhist Center, 156 Newtown Rd. #A2 504-4425 (VB)

Drag Yourself to Brunch - 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. Every Sun. Age 18+ High-energy entertainment from female impersonators. RR ($) Croc’s 19th Street Bistro 428-5444 (VB)

Amtgard LARP Meeting - 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Every Sun. Learn more about Live Action Role Playing. Carrolton Nike Park This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Smithfield)

Group Life Coaching & Hypnosis - 1-3 p.m. Every Sun. Manifest your dreams and goals. RR ($) 101 N. Lynnhaven Rd. #205 729-2716 (VB)

Family Fest - 2-4 p.m. Create art, play detective in a gallery scavenger hunt, and experience the interactive ARTlab. Va. MOCA 425-0000 (VB)

Va. Symphony Orchestra: Pictures at a French Exhibition - 2:30 p.m. ($) Sandler Center 826-6366 (VB)

Monday            6

Monday Yoga Flow - 10-11:30 a.m. Every Mon. ($) Wells Therapeutics 490-9488 (VB)

Lunchtime Meditation - 12:15-12:45 p.m. Most Mon. ($) Keajra Kadampa Buddhist Center, 156 Newtown Rd. #A2 504-4425 (VB)

Saints Alive Senior Chorus - 12:30 p.m. Every Mon. St. Paul’s UMC, 437 Providence Rd. 543-5721 (C)

Yoga for Special Needs - 4:30-5:45 p.m. Every Mon. A class for those with physical challenges. RR ($) Wells Therapeutics 313-4962 (VB)

Sophisticated Steppers - 5:45-7:15 p.m. Every Mon. Seniors dance. ($) Cuffee Community Ctr., 2019 Windy Rd., 382-6411 (C)

Functional Forum - 6:30 p.m. Every first Mon. Get the latest health news. Holistic Family Practice 685-4325 (VB)

Peace Circle Group w/ Rev. Laura - 7-8:30 p.m. Every first Mon. Unity Church of Tidewater, 5580 Shell rd. 804-818-6084 (VB)

Drum Circle - 7-10 p.m. Every Mon. Donations accepted. Mystic Moon, 3365 N. Military Hwy. 855-3280 (N)

Tuesday            7

National Pancake Day - All day. Receive a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes and donate to benefit local charities. Participating IHOP restaurants 866-444-5144 (multiple locations)

Coffee Connection - 7:30-9 a.m. Spon. by Va. Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. ($) Va. Peninsula Food Bank 262-2000 (H)

Yoga in the Galleries - 8:45-9:45 a.m. Every Tues. RR ($) Chrysler Museum 664-6200 (N)

Keep Me in Stitches - 2-5 p.m. Every Tues. Knit, crochet, and loom hats for cancer patients. Grace Comm. Church, 1725 Salem Rd. 404-6593 (VB)

Cooperative Co-Parenting – 4-8 p.m. Every 1st Tues. Prevent problems related to divorce. RR ($) 135 Hall Ave., 624-6666 (S)

Peppy Steppers - 5:45-7:15 p.m. Every Tues. Seniors dance. ($) Western Branch Community Center 382-6411 (C)

In-Depth Study Program - 7-9:30 p.m. Every Tues. Meditation, chanted prayers & more. ($) Keajra Kadampa Buddhist Center 504-4425 (VB)

Wednesday      8

Croc’s Cooking Class - 6 p.m. Every 2nd Wed. Incl. tastings and a glass of wine. RR ($) Croc’s 19th Street Bistro 428-5444 (VB)

Great Performance Series: Momix - 7:30 p.m. Bring the landscape of the American Southwest to life with this dynamic journey. ($) Sandler Center 385-2787 (VB)

Thursday         9

The Glass: Evolving the Business Woman - 3-5 p.m. Spon. by HR Chamber of Commerce. Learn how women can shatter the glass ceiling. RR ($) Founders Inn 470-6805 (VB)

Art After Dark - 6-8 p.m. Every 2nd Thurs. Enjoy food and drinks, live music, and more. Peninsula Fine Arts Center 596-8175 (NN)

Living True to Your Nature - 7-8 p.m. ($) Wells Therapeutics 490-9488 (VB)

Friday             10

That All May Worship: Pathways to Powerful Inclusion - 8 a.m. Participate in panel discussions, worship, and more. RR ($) Church of the Holy Family 481-5702 (VB)

Pink Bag Lunch: Your Professional Image - 12-1 p.m. Spon. by Va. Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. RR ($) 21 Enterprise Pkwy, Suite 100, 262-2000 (H)

Shamrockin’ in Ghent Block Party - 6-10 p.m. Enjoy musical performances and more to benefit the Hope House Foundation. Colley Ave. between Shirley and Gates Aves. 625-6161 (N)

NAMI Family-to-Family - 6:30-9 p.m. Every Thurs. thru 6/1. Free 12-session class for family and friends of those living with mental illness. RR Norfolk Community Services Board, 225 W. Onley Rd. 581-9262 (N)

Hurrah Players: Aladdin - 7 p.m. Thru Sun. (3 p.m.) Direct from NY, Disney’s new Broadway version of this thrilling show will delight the whole family. ($) TCC Roper Performing Arts Ctr. 627-5437 (N)

The Muse Jam - 7-10 p.m. Every 2nd Fri. Read your work, hear stories, poems & standup comedy. ($) The Muse Writers Center 818-9880 (N)

Saturday          11

Fishing Flea Market - 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Browse vendors, see live demonstrations, and enjoy family activities. ($) Chesapeake Conference Center 287-0330 (C)

What Women Need to Know About Divorce - 8:30-10 a.m. Every 2nd Sat. Legal, financial, & emotional aspects of divorce. ($) Two locations: Hilton Garden Inn, 180 Regal Way (NN) & VB Friends Mtg. House, 1537 Laskin Rd. (VB) RR 456-1574

Bioenergy Appointments with Mietek Wirkus - 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Also Sun. RR ($) Wells Therapeutics 905-3856 (VB)

HR Writers Traveling Pen Series: Point of View and Character Voice - 9:30 a.m.-noon. RR ($) TCC Campus, Blackwater Bldg. 639-6146 (VB)

Halo/Salt Yoga - 10:15 a.m. Every 2nd Sat. ($) Rejuvenations Salt Spa 227-6117 (C)

Chesapeake Romance Writers Meeting - 10:30 a.m. Every 2nd Sat. Russell Memorial Library 410-7020 (C)

National Council of Negro Women - 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Every 2nd Sat. StanHope House, 2715 Stanhope Ave 409-3342 (N)

Planetarium Show: The Friendly Stars - 12:30 p.m. Sat. & Sun. thru 5/14. Introduce preschoolers to the night sky. ($) Va. Living Museum 595-1900 (NN)

The Muse Write-In - 2:30-4 p.m. Every 2nd Sat. Join other writers for inspiration and practice. Slover Library 431-7462 (N)

Star Party/Laser Light Show - 7:30 p.m. Start the night with “Virginia Skies.” Then, see “Laser Genesis” at 8:30 p.m. and experience “The Doors” at 10 p.m. and “Dark Side of the Moon” at 11:30 p.m. ($) Va. Living Museum 595-1900 (NN)

Vanessa Williams in Concert - 8 p.m. ($) Ferguson Center 594-8752 (NN)

El DeBarge at the 8th Anniversary Concert - 8 p.m. with Tia Rachelle. ($) Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center 247-8950 (NN)

Sunday           12

National Symphony Orchestra - 3 p.m. Enjoy bold new works and beloved favorites. ($) Ferguson Center 594-7448 (NN)

Monday          13

Weight Loss Seminar - 6:15 p.m. Also 3/27. Discover how to decrease weight and increase energy. RR Total Health, 1801 Pleasure House Rd. 363-8571 (VB)

Tuesday         14

The Good Things Happening in Portsmouth Public Schools Forum - 12 p.m. Adults. Discuss the current public school system. RR Main Library 393-8759 (P)

Women in the Navy - 4:30 p.m. All ages. Learn about the spirited history of women in sea service. Black Library 441-5806 (N)

Cooperative Co-Parenting – 5-9 p.m. Every 2nd Tues. Prevent potential problems. RR ($) 424 W. 21st St., 624-6666 (N)

Weight Loss Surgery Information Session - 6 p.m. RR ($) Lifestyle Center 312-3000 (C)

25 Mics: Spoken Word and Open Mic Night - 7-8:30 p.m. Every 2nd Tues. Enjoy spoken word, acoustic musicians, and more. Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center 247-8950 (NN)

Wednesday     15

Bagpipe Enchantment - 11:15 a.m. Enjoy the beautiful sounds of bagpipes. Slover Library 664-7323 (N)

Senior Advocate Round Table - 12-1 p.m. Every 3rd Wed. RR Va. Peninsula Chamber of Commerce 262-2000 (H)

Book Reading & Signing - Noon. Meet Jessica Fechtor, author of Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals that Brought Me Home. Includes lunch. ($) Reba & Sam Sandler Family Campus, 5000 Corporate Woods Dr. 321-2338 (VB)

Senior Advocate Round Table - 4-6 p.m. Every 3rd Wed. Learn about local services for seniors. HR Chamber of Commerce 645-6364 (N)

William & Mary: Asuncion - 7:30 p.m. Thru Sat. Explore the complicated ways we exploit culture and politics for our own needs. ($) PBK Memorial Hall, 601 Jamestown Rd. 221-2674 (W)

Thursday        16

HR Diversity and Inclusion Consortium Meeting - 9-11 a.m. Speaking on “The Naked Truth: Why We Must Support the Arts.” RR Children’s Museum 961-4002 (P)

Women in Defense: Women’s Month Luncheon - 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Honoring trailblazing women in labor and business. RR ($) Holiday Inn Va. Beach/Norfolk, 5655 Greenwich Rd., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. (N)

Ladies’ Night - 4-6 p.m. Enjoy a chair massage and get your annual mammogram. RR ($) The Breast Center at Chesapeake Regional Healthcare 312-6137 (C)

Opening Reception - 5-7 p.m. View final thesis art projects and performances by the graduating class. ODU, 1881 University Dr. 368-4100 (VB)

Family Health 101: Diabetes and Nutrition - 6-7 p.m. Learn about health matters for you and your family. RR ($) Lifestyle Center 312-5144 (C)

Conscious Dance - 7-8:15 p.m. ($) Wells Therapeutics 490-9488 (VB)

Heritage High School Cotton Club - 8 p.m. RR ($) Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center 247-8950 (NN)

Friday             17

Caregiver Support Group - 12-1 p.m. Every 3rd Fri. For caregivers of the elderly. Nimmo UMC 422-1292 (VB)

Va. Symphony Orchestra: Verdi’s Requiem - 8 p.m. ($) Ferguson Center 826-6366 (NN)

Va. Opera: Turandot - 8 p.m. Also 3/19 at 2:30 p.m. and 3/21 at 7:30 p.m. Enjoy this Puccini opera based on an ancient Chinese fable. ($) Harrison Opera House 866-673-7282 (N)

Saturday         18

Restaurant Week: A Culinary Showcase - Enjoy exceptional dishes prepared by the best chefs in Suffolk. ($) Visit www.restaurantweeksuffolk.com for locations. 514-4130 (S)

Volunteer Service Day - 9-11 a.m. Become a river hero. RR Paradise Creek Nature Park 399-7487 (P)

Old Beach Market - 9 a.m.-noon. Every 3rd Sat. Outdoor market featuring produce, earth-friendly art & products. 19th & Cypress 428-5444 (VB)

Military Through the Ages - 9 a.m.-5 p.m. thru Sun. Experience re-enactors, artillery firings, a children’s parade, and more. ($) Jamestown Settlement 253-4838 (W)

Weight Loss Surgery Information Session - 10 a.m. RR ($) Chesapeake Surgical Specialists 312-3000 (C)

Polynesian Voyagers: Hawaiian Quilting Workshop - 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Learn the history and significance of quilting in Hawaiian culture. RR ($) Mariners Museum 596-2222 (NN)

Zoo Cake-A-Thon - 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Vote on your favorite cakes and then eat them! ($) Va. Zoo 441-2374 (N)

Weight Loss Seminar - 10 a.m. Discover how to decrease weight and increase energy. RR Total Health, 1801 Pleasure House Rd. 363-8571 (VB)

Chain Mail Japanese Lace Bracelet - 1-4 p.m. Learn to create a bracelet using the Japanese Lace pattern. RR ($) Suffolk Art Gallery 925-0448 (S)

Genealogical Society Meeting - 6-9 p.m. Every 3rd Sat. Sept.-June. Central Library 385-0120 (VB)

SkyWatch - 7 p.m. View the galaxy with Back Bay Amateur Astronomers. Weather permitting. Northwest River Park 382-1359 (C)

Va. Arts Fest: Sean Jones, Trumpet - 6 p.m. ($) Attucks Theatre 282-2822 (N)

Rock & Roll Jubilee - 8 p.m. Enjoy a theatrical performance with 1950s advertisements, skits, and more. ($) Suffolk Center 923-0003 (S)

Va. Symphony Orchestra: Verdi’s Requiem - 8 p.m. ($) Chrysler Hall 826-6366 (N)

Sunday           19

Sunday Celebration Services - 10:30 a.m. with musician & speaker Claudia Carawan, “Lessons for the Yellow Brick Road.” Va. Wesleyan College 271-1552 (N)

CDR’s Bid ‘n Buy Auction - 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Silent and live auctions featuring toys, home furnishings, family entertainment, and more. Jamestown High School, 3751 John Tyler Hwy. 566-3300 (W)

Va. Symphony Orchestra: Verdi’s Requiem - 2:30 p.m. ($) Sandler Center 826-6366 (VB)

Monday           20

Graduate and Professional Development Fair - 5-7 p.m. Learn about graduate coursework in many different fields. RR ODU, 1881 University Dr. 368-4100 (VB)

Military Women of Tidewater, Unit 152 - 6-8 p.m. Women of all military branches: Active, Retired, HD Veterans – monthly support and volunteer activity. VFW 4809, 5728 Bartee St., Norfolk 472-5799 (N)

Tuesday           21

C’Mon Get Happy Luncheon - 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Every 3rd Tues. RR Uno’s Pizzeria & Grill, 5900 Va. Beach Blvd. 635-5379 (VB)

Movie Night - 4:30 p.m. Every 3rd Tues. Enjoy yummy movie snacks! Call for titles. Black Library 441-5806 (N)

MOCA Nights - 5-9 p.m. Every 3rd Tues. Enjoy open-mic performances, gallery tours, art-making, and cash bar. ($) Va. MOCA 425-0000 (VB)

Family and Friends Support Group - 6 p.m. Every 3rd Tues. Learn how to support a loved one in an abusive relationship. Perry Safe Harbor Ctr., 2620 Southern Blvd. 631-0710 (VB)

Oneness Blessing - 7-8 p.m. Every 3rd Tues. Move into a higher state of consciousness. Donation. Wells Therapeutics 225-1496 (VB)

Great Performance Series: The Zombies - 7:30 p.m. Enjoy this 50th anniversary tour! ($) Sandler Center 385-2787 (VB)

Bourbon, Burgers, and Bingo - 6-9 p.m. Every 3rd Tues. RR ($) Croc’s 19th Street Bistro 428-5444 (VB)

Wednesday     22

Job Coaching with Rev. Ruth - call for appointment. RR Central Library 385-0150 (VB)

Thursday         23

Museum Grand Opening - 9 a.m.-5 p.m. thru 4/4. Dedication ceremony 4/1. Enjoy this 13-day celebration featuring expanded living history areas, interactive galleries, and hands-on historic fun. ($) American Revolution Museum at Yorktown 253-4838 historyisfun.org/grandopening (W)

Bridge: Young Professionals Lunch & Learn - 12-1 p.m. Learn about volunteering. RR ($) Va. Peninsula Chamber of Commerce 262-2000 (H)

Women’s History Month: When the World Breaks Open - 12:30-2 p.m. ODU, 1881 University Dr. 368-4100 (VB)

Business Connection After Hours - 5-7 p.m. Spon. by Va. Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. RR Stratford University, 836 J. Clyde Morris Blvd. 262-2000 (NN)

Pints for a Purpose - 5-8 p.m. Be part of the cure for MS with a night of food, fun, and beer! RR ($) Eagle’s Nest, 600 Nevan Rd. 213-1660 (VB)

HR Writers: Show and Grow Your Prose with Professional Critiques - 5:30-7 p.m. Enjoy dinner with readings and critiques. RR ($) Gus and George’s Spaghetti and Steak House, 4312 Va. Beach Blvd. 639-6146 (VB)

Chesapeake Super Pickleball Challenge Tournament - 6:30-8:30 p.m. thru Fri. Show off your talents in a competitive atmosphere. RR ($) River Crest Community Center, 1001 River Walk Pkwy 382-6411 (C)

Watercolor and Acrylic Painting - 6:30-8:30 p.m. Every Thurs. thru 4/27. Learn to paint and tell your story. RR ($) Suffolk Art Gallery 925-0448 (S)

Living True to Your Nature - 6:45-7:45 p.m. Every last Thurs. ($) Wells Therapeutics 490-9488 (VB)

Va. Arts Festival: tenTHING - 7:30 p.m. Enjoy this all-female brass ensemble from Norway. ($) Attucks Theatre 282-2822 (N)

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus Xtreme - 7:30 p.m. Times vary thru 3/26. ($) Scope Arena 664-6464 (N)

Friday            24

Va. Arts Festival: The Main Event Weekend - Times vary thru Sun. Celebrate the arts in Virginia with live performances and more. RR ($) The Main Norfolk, 100 E. Main St. 961-4780 (N)

Secrets of Success: Women’s Symposium - Times vary thru Sat. Advance your well-being through unique opportunities. RR ($) DoubleTree Hilton Norfolk, 1500 N. Military Hwy 963-5000 (N)

Craft Hope - 10:30 a.m. Every 4th Fri. Knit and crochet for charity. RR Little Creek Library 441-1751 (N)

Saturday Night Fever: The Musical - 8 p.m. Sat. 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. Tony is a kid from Brooklyn who dreams of a better life in this production fueled by vintages Bee Gees hits. ($) Ferguson Center 594-8752 (NN)

Saturday        25

Bunny Hop 5K & 1-Mile Family Fun Run - 8 a.m. To benefit Portsmouth Museums Foundation in support of the Children’s Museum. RR ($) Portsmouth Pavilion 393-8181 (P)

Reptiles Bizarre and Beautiful - 9 a.m.-5 p.m. thru Sun. Enjoy crafts, exhibits, and reptile-related planetarium programs. ($) Va. Living Museum 595-1900 (NN)

Cooperative Co-Parenting – 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Every 4th Sat. Recognize effects of divorce and prevent potential problems. RR ($) 424 W. 21st St., 624-6666 (N)

All Day Stencil Play: A Mixed Media Workshop - 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Make meaningful, personal art. RR ($) Suffolk Art Gallery 925-0448 (S)

Oyster Roast - 1-4 p.m. Enjoy oysters, baked beans, hush puppies & more with entertainment. ($) Khedive Temple Greenbrier 420-5805 (C)

Military Women Of Tidewater, Unit 152 Open House - 3:30-5:30 p.m. Open to any active duty, retired or transitioned woman veteran. Come by anytime, stay as long as you want. Fleet Reserve Association 99, 357 Edwin Dr. Dassa Carvey, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 363-3059 (VB) 

Samoa Soiree - 6-10 p.m. Adults. Enjoy live music and a silent auction while tasting Girl Scout cookie creations. RR ($) Half Moon Cruise & Celebration Center

Monthly Bluegrass Concert - 7 p.m. Enjoy bluegrass talent. Donations accepted. Hickory Ruritan Club, 2752 S. Battlefield Blvd. 421-0297 (C)

Legends of Main Street: A Suffolk Ghost Walk - 7 p.m. A hair-raising encounter with the spirited side of Suffolk. RR ($) Suffolk Visitor Center 514-4130 (S)

Sunday            26

Sunday Celebration Services - 10:30 a.m. with Rev. Marilynn Mattox, Unity Minister, on “Season for Nonviolence.” Va. Wesleyan College 271-1552 (N)

Va. Arts Fest: Kathleen Battle in Concert - 5 p.m. ($) Douglas Wild Performing Arts Center 282-2822 (N)

Monday            27

Movie Night - 5 p.m. Every last Mon. Call for titles. Larchmont Library 441-5335 (N)

Caregiver Support Group - 5:30 p.m. Every 4th Mon. RR Prime Plus, 7300 Newport Ave. 800-272-3900 (N)

Simone Dinnerstein in Concert - 8 p.m. Enjoy her “utterly distinctive voice.” ($) ODU Diehn Ctr. for the Performing Arts 683-5305

Tuesday           28

Beginning-Advanced Pastel Classes - 9-11 a.m. Every Tues. thru 5/2. Learn the basics and sharpen your skills. RR ($) Suffolk Art Gallery 925-0448 (S)

Weight Loss Surgery Information Session - 6 p.m. RR ($) Lifestyle Center 312-3000 (C)

Books on Tap - 7:30-8:30 p.m. Every 4th Tues. Read a book and try a new brew. Commonwealth Brewing Co. 385-2680 (VB)

Wednesday     29

How to Sustain Your Creativity & Inspiration - 6-8 p.m. RR ($) WELLwomen, 1701 Baltic Ave. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 621-9469 (VB)

Awakenings: An Ecstatic Dance Journey - 7-8:15 p.m. ($) Wells Therapeutics 490-9488 (VB)

Thursday         30

MOCA + Story Exchange - 6:30 p.m. Five local artists share experiences regarding mental health. ($) Va. MOCA 425-0000 (VB)

Friday              31

Feather the Nest - 6 p.m. Donate home furnishings and gift cards while enjoying live music, food, and more. RR ($) KDW/Shades of Light, 1828 Laskin Rd. 625-6161 (VB)

Chi Gung Weekend Workshop - 7-9 p.m. Cont. Sat. & Sun. 10-5 Learn how this ancient form of gentle exercise can improve your health & well being. RR ($) Oceans Condominium, 40th St. 252-429–3009 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (VB)

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus Xtreme - 7:30 p.m. Thru 4/2. ($) Hampton Coliseum 838-4203 (H)

Va. Arts Fest: “Swan Lake” - 7:30 p.m. See Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet with the Va. Symphony Orchestra perform this Tchaikovsky score. ($) Chrysler Hall 664-6464 (N)

Coming Up April 1

Bon Secours Colon Cancer Awareness 5K and 1-Mile Fun Walk - 8 a.m. Bon Secours Health Center at Harbour View, www.bonsecours.com/colon5k, 889-2273 (S)

Please call to confirm.
($) Fee; RR - Reservations Req’d
(C) Chesapeake (H) Hampton
(N) Norfolk (NN) Newport News
(P) Portsmouth (S) Suffolk
(VB) Va. Beach (W) W’burg
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Being a military spouse can be daunting all on its own from maneuvering Tricare and learning new acronyms to some days just making sure you remember your ID when you go shopping at the commissary. Moving to a new state, sometimes a new country, can provide a whole new set of challenges.

In August 2015, my husband and I moved from California to Virginia, where we would come to call Norfolk our new temporary home. I had left a well-paying job, friends, and family to move to an area I knew nothing about and knew no one. This is a common scenario with new military spouses, and I’ve learned it is something we all struggle with.

It took about six months for me to realize that I had to make things happen. I had to meet new people, make new friends, and find the people that would be my tribe while we lived in this area. I started to find ways to get to know my new city and the people who lived in it. These are some easy ways to get to know your new duty station and acclimate to the surroundings:

• Get involved. Find a way to get involved in the community. Volunteering allows you to find something you enjoy and you get to know others who share your passion for helping. I was able to make useful connections through some of my initial volunteer work.

• Be active. Not only does exercise make you feel good, but also it’s a good way to make new friends. Whether it’s a gym class or a local running group, get out and have fun. One of my first friends in Norfolk was made at a barre class.

• Know your neighbors. Getting to know people that live in your neighborhood can help you feel connected to the area. Meeting locals can give you a better feel for your new community and, in some cases, could be that one connection that helps you get a new job.

• Be in the know. Ask questions and find resources that can help you navigate this new journey. Join local Facebook groups, follow military spouse resource pages, and be curious about your new city. We’ve all been in a place where we didn’t have all the answers, but luckily there’s usually someone out there who does.

I also wanted to be a part of a military spouse group, which prompted my search for local organizations. During my search for local groups, I came across a variety of organizations that support spouses in positive and meaningful ways.

Here are some of the organizations that can be found in the Hampton Roads area and have designated meet-ups that focus around their specific mission. Meet-up information can be found on their local chapter’s Facebook group or website.

• InDependent - A health and wellness project, InDependent’s mission is to create a thriving community of military spouses that support preventative wellness by inspiring each other to make health and fitness a priority. in-dependent.org

• In Gear Career - In Gear Career promotes and advances the employment, career development, and networking opportunities for military spouses across all professional occupations by enabling the exchange of accurate, timely, and topical information through local and online community-building efforts and advocacy programs. ingearcareer.org

• The Milspo Project - The Milspo Project’s mission is to empower and educate milspouse entrepreneurs through leadership events, online educational resources, and local chapter meet-ups. milspoproject.org

• COMPASS - COMPASS is a spouse-to-spouse mentoring program that introduces participants to all aspects of the military lifestyle. They offer military spouses the opportunity to establish a peer network, acquire knowledge, and develop skills necessary to successfully meet future challenges of military life. www.gocompass.org

All in all, acclimating to a new area takes time. One thing I’ve learned is to not put pressure on myself to make everything perfect and think that it will all be the same as it was before. Do what you can to make yourself feel comfortable and find the time to enjoy this new adventure that has become a part of your life.

Kristine Geraghty currently works as a high school English teacher for a local private school and volunteers for InDependent as their Hampton Roads community ambassador. She has a passion for health/wellness, enjoys yoga, and hiking with her husband and their miniature dachshund.

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken,
over-civilized people are beginning to
find out that going to the mountains
is going home; that wildness is a necessity.

                                        — John Muir

Current human societies have become the loneliest, most alienated, isolated, depressed, addicted, and anxious in history. That’s a remarkable achievement, considering the record human crowdedness on our planet and a degree of digital connectivity and information flow unimaginable to our ancestors.

Despite this flow of information, psychologists report that millions of young and old alike feel depressed and isolated—that they don’t belong, aren’t needed, have no reason to exist.

And that’s just among humans. Thousands of other species likewise are losing their sense of belonging—so diminished in numbers that they can’t find a mate, a pack, or a community of other interdependent species within which to survive.

Altogether, 66 percent of our world’s wildlife will have vanished by 2020, according to the World Wildlife Fund’s 2016 “Living Planet Report.” Since 1970, populations of vertebrate animals (mammals, birds, fish, etc.) have already plummeted by more than 58 percent.

Such a stunning exile of wildlife and plants—from plankton to whales, soil microbes to entire ancient forests—has led E.O. Wilson, a trailblazing American sociobiologist, to call our coming period in history the Eremozoic Era, “the Age of Loneliness.”

Humans are growing isolated, Wilson points out, bereft of the biodiverse communities that kept us company—and kept us alive—through the eons. Since we are the very cause of this new loneliness, we are, encouragingly, the solution.

To that end, Wilson has urged a reawakening of humankind’s innate love of the living world. His call has now been taken up by health researchers, as studies from around the globe indicate that natural settings are good medicine for the human heart and mind.

For instance, studies conducted by mental health researcher Paul Piff revealed that the ancient experience of awe, in the face of nature’s grandeur, stirs more altruism and kindness, a more expansive understanding of one’s purpose than do experiences of personal pride.

Japanese studies have also found that natural settings relieve stress, as subjects assigned to walk within forest settings had lower heart rates, less anxiety, and better moods than those who walked within urban settings.

Likewise, a Finnish study concluded that “even short-term visits to nature areas have positive effects on perceived stress relief compared to built-up environment.”

At Stanford University, Gregory Bratman’s research found that study participants who walked in biodiverse landscapes reported happier moods, less anxiety, better memory retention, and less obsession with personal problems than those walking within built environments.

“We should be encouraging people in busy and stressed environments to get outside regularly, even for short bits of time,” concluded researcher Jules Pretty from University of Essex, whose study on “green exercise” measured benefits to blood pressure, self-esteem, and mood.

These studies have profound ecological consequence. As the biosphere declines and human turmoil heats up globally, it’s clear that mental health at every level will be vital to avoiding the fate of extinction—that of other species and ourselves.

Part of nature’s curative effect on sanity lies in a release, outside “the four walls,” from the grip of fatalism. It is this fatalism—a low-grade despair and passive “why try?”—that has seized up so much human potential to protect our only home in the universe.

Stuck perennially indoors, we humans tend to remote-view our own planet from afar—mainly via barrages of bad-news bytes indicating, with zero sentiment, with no love, and no call to action, that it’s all going down and there’s no way to stop it. The heart remains unengaged.

The journal BioPsychoSocial Medicine projected the results of this heart-bypass in 2012. “With global environmental concerns, rapid urban expansion, and mental health disorders at crisis levels, diminished nature contact may not be without consequence to the health of the individual and the planet itself.”

A happier translation might be: “People, get out there.” Engage. Take the kids hiking, plant trees and wildlife habitat, advocate for our imperiled public lands. Join a river cleanup or conservation group.

There’s never been a more urgent time on the planet to fall in love. Again. For life.

Liza Field is a conservationist, tree planter, and ethics teacher in Southwest Virginia. This article is sponsored by Bay Journal News Service. Visit www.bayjournal.com for more information.
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