2007.09.12 Our nest is empty of spoons

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

So what’s it like living in the so-called empty nest? It’s quieter. It’s darker. There are fewer spoons. Fewer clean spoons.

With one fewer mouth in the house, there should be more spoons available, but that’s not how it went last week.

We worked our way through the regular spoons, then we used up the new spoons my wife recently purchased. Next came the grapefruit spoons, the tablespoons, plastic spoons and three baby spoons.

After the big serving spoon was used Friday, there was absolutely nothing remaining but the enormous slotted serving spoon.

That’s a lot of spoons. We still had clean bowls because Colleen managed to get in some dishwashing during the busy holiday-shortened week.

But she has an aversion to washing silverware. I don’t mind that chore at all if I can find the time to do it. I found the time Friday night. I skipped going to the football game. I even skipped the Morenci/Fayette volleyball match. I’d been waiting for that because I don’t know if it’s ever happened before. Maybe Michigan and Ohio have always had different seasons for volleyball until this historic year.

But I stayed home and ate a meal slowly (using a fork) instead of rushing through and running off to a sporting event. And when the meal concluded, I washed a lot of spoons.

Now we’re all set for at least two weeks.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, having no children at home frees me up to work all the time (or take a night off to wash dishes). But I’m wondering about Colleen. I’ve witnessed two notable signs of impending change. Is she slowly experiencing a weakening of the spirit?

A few weeks ago, she did a load of mixed laundry. Usually the arcane Rules of Laundry are in force. Crappy Whites, Nice Whites, Disgusting Darks (most of my clothes), Nice Coloreds, etc.

Maddie has done well in her studies and seldom has to ask, “Can this go with Nice Whites?” I’m unable to learn the system and I don’t care anyway so I generally do my own washing. Sometimes I throw in a few spoons.

But it happened once this summer that she mixed colors. It was a notable enough event that I took a photo and posted it on the Observer website.

I don’t know that it’s happened since, but now that the rule of law has been punctured, I think additional mixing is in the future, especially without Maddie’s volume of clothing to add to the mix.

A much more disturbing sign of impending disarray was observed on our recent trip up north. We stopped in a café along the way for a quick meal before we arrived at Kate’s in case it was a bad year for beets and she had nothing to offer us.

After the sandwiches, Colleen went for a pecan bar thing that she quickly found to be amazingly delicious.

During the eating—she used a fork rather than a spoon—a sizable pecan piece shot off her plate and onto the table. She retrieved it and placed it back on her plate.

Whoa! Five Second Rule or not, this is unheard of in the Leddy Protocol of Clean Living. You’ve seen the rags used to wipe restaurant tables. Disgusting. I don’t even eat off restaurant tables. I’ve heard her get after the kids too many times over the years to even consider it.

And to think a pecan brought her down. One, single piece of a broken pecan.

I think the food department will present the biggest change in Life after Children. Colleen pronounced it “liberating” Saturday night after slipping a sliced onion in with the broccoli that was about to be steamed. A move like that would not have happened with Maddie still in the house.

And earlier in the week, she created a  wonderful garbanzo/potato dish for which children probably would not have requested seconds—or even firsts.

I thought that was a rather liberating meal, too, but maybe nothing has really changed. I was eating the leftovers on the job during the busy production day last week when a former employee stopped in for a visit.

It’s probably been four years since she worked here, but she took a whiff and said, “That smells just like the food you ate when I worked here.”

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017