The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

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

 

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