2006.10.11 Eating logs, but no ants

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Departure time was rapidly approaching. School would soon begin for the day. I offered to give Maddie a hand with her lunch-packing chore.

“Peanut butter on celery?” I asked.

That sounded good to her, so as she disappeared into the bathroom, I searched for celery in the refrigerator. I broke off a stalk, trimmed off the top and bottom and washed it. The opening into the interior trough was so tight that I couldn’t even insert a finger to rub it down. I knew a tough job was ahead.

I crammed in some peanut butter to the best of my ability, tore off a piece of wax paper for wrapping, and showed her the result before packaging.

“It’s going to be a mess,” I said. “I couldn’t get the peanut butter inside very well.”

That didn’t bother her. There was a much more obvious problem.

“There are no raisins,” she said.

I didn’t exactly forget. I knew we were out of raisins because I put the last of them on my oatmeal earlier.

So it was “ants on a log” without the ants. I wanted her to eat a log. How cruel of me.

I started to talk her into eating just a log, but I knew it would become my lunch instead.

I made a search in the refrigerator for a renegade bag of raisins and found one. The ants were soon tightly packed along the length of the log and now she was out the door.

I don’t have many memories of school-year breakfasts from when the kids were growing up. I think most mornings involved cold cereal, but if we were out of that or milk, I would resort to making oatmeal or poached eggs on toast.

I actually have fond memories of making poached eggs, only in the challenge of creating the perfectly cooked egg that would provide the proper amount of yolk spread across the bread without having the albumin too runny.

I think Ben would attest to some excellent poaching over the years.

My worst breakfast memory still hangs there in my head like a sliver stuck in the brain. It was an oatmeal morning and Ben dumped brown sugar into his bowl right out of the bag without using a spoon.

I suppose he was just copying me. That’s how I often did it, but with a good degree of control. A small avalanche occurred for him and he ended up with a sizable pile of sugar on his oatmeal. My verbal response was a little harsh and I’ve felt badly about it ever since.

My oddest breakfast memory is from the first morning of the short visit from a Japanese visitor. I think Colleen made oatmeal, which, for him, must have been like eating a bowl of dog food. The ultra polite boy couldn’t quite control what his face was saying.

I think he ended up with tea and miso soup. Ben says that when he visited Japan through the exchange program, he was served salad for breakfast every day.

When Colleen heard the ants on a log story, she pointed out that my breakfast and lunch packing days with children will be coming to an end. Next May, 19 years of breakfasts will be finished when Maddie graduates.

Colleen, the Midnight Muser, missed out on most of those mornings, but certainly not all of them.

“I made a crapload of breakfasts,” she said in a not-too-appetizing fashion. “Pancakes, French toast, oatmeal.”

It’s true, there were mornings when she arose early just for the purpose of creating a real breakfast for the kids before they ran off for class. I wouldn’t be able to count those mornings on the fingers of two hands, but maybe if I took off my shoes and socks and used my toes.

If I remember correctly, her pancakes were the source of Ben’s famous remark, “Do you always have to burn them?”

It just doesn’t sound right for me to tell that story. She’s recounted it herself in the past across the way on page two of the Observer, and it was funny. For me to say it only sounds cruel.

That brings to mind what Keith Whitehouse said in the library recently. Something like, “Reading your columns, I’m surprised you two have had such a long marriage together.”

We joke a lot. Maybe that’s part of the long marriage. I love her cooking. Besides, I know it’s my job to eat the burned stuff.

   - Oct. 11, 2006

 

  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • 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.

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