2010.02.03 Moon set, moon rise

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

I am not a friend to the hotel industry. I slept in my own bed Friday night and drove to Grand Rapids the next morning.

Last weekend was the annual Michigan Press Association convention. Sort of. The convention has mostly shifted to Friday with very little left for the weekend. In fact, the shift was so severe this year that the closing awards luncheon became an awards brunch.

The new president made a joke about vacating the premises before 12:01 or the group would be assessed for another day at the hotel. It was probably a statement of fact, but everyone laughed.

My wife wasn’t laughing Friday night. “What were we thinking?” she asked once she realized the alarm clock would be set for 6 a.m. I knew exactly what I was thinking: I wasn’t going to pay a hundred dollars to sleep in a bed with fat pillows. Complete waste of money. Other than sleep, we would spend very little time in the rented room.

I was thinking, “Maybe Colleen won’t realize that we’ll have to get up early” and I was right. I think in her head it was still a luncheon rather than a 10:15 brunch.

Besides that, I’m a morning person and don’t like to stay up late, which brings us to 5:45 a.m. Saturday.

Colleen had worried me into thinking that it takes three hours to get to Grand Rapids instead of 2.5 hours, so the alarm was moved back to an earlier time.

We were running late in the morning, of course, and when I went to the garage the car wouldn’t start. It hadn’t been driven in a few days and it took several tries to get it going.

Our departure wasn’t the most pleasant. We made it out to Betty Sutton’s house before turning back to fetch a pair of glasses, but long before reaching North Morenci, my wife had masterfully blamed me entirely for our lateness. I was impressed.

It didn’t take too many miles for the trip to improve because the full moon was setting in the west. I often see the big moon rising, but I miss the morning version when it’s going back down. Very impressive.

But then somewhere betwixt Dansville and Mason, a warning light on the dashboard informed us that we had tire pressure problems.

I didn’t believe it. We had four new tires, replaced after the last time the warning came on. We really did have a problem then.

Colleen read the manual and we reset the light and never saw it reappear. It was only later that she realized the light has come on three times while driving through the same stretch of road.

I’m learning to keep my mouth closed when a statement such as that is made. I wanted details, but I guess only to make fun of them. I’m not a believer. I don’t think the warning has come on three times at the same location, but if it puts her mind at ease, it’s OK with me.

My only note from the road is this: Driving west on I-96, we passed five consecutive billboards with public service messages. There might have been more before I started counting. This is sort of like a vacant building; not a good economic indicator.

We met up with Steve and Brenda Begnoche (Steve’s first job was at the Observer), we ate our brunch, we received our plaques and we went off to look around Grand Rapids.

This was my first winter visit to the city when the sun was shining and the roads weren’t snowy. A very unique experience. We watched a Zamboni smooth the outdoor ice rink downtown, we sought out the enormous mosaic wall at the children’s museum, we ate, and some of us shopped.

And then it was time to go back home, with Colleen too tired to drive and me at the wheel using my new stay-awake method. It came to me one Tuesday evening while driving back from Adrian with a load of freshly-printed newspapers.

I’m really tired on a Tuesday evening and it feels so good to close my eyes. That isn’t a good idea while driving because you might not open them up, ever. So I just bounce my head around a little while they’re closed to make sure I don’t nod off.

You’re welcome to believe what you want from this column, but do believe this: This time the full moon rose beautifully in the east and it only enhanced the taste of Georgio’s black bean pizza.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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