2008.12.10 Carpe diem, carpe beignet

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

Ever since Maddie, and her friends Ali and Abby, went to Florida for spring break last year, Maddie has been receiving subpoenas on a regular basis.

While they were in Miami visiting Ben and Sarah, Maddie and Abby took a little spin to downtown Coconut Grove just to see what was going on at 1 a.m. on a Saturday night.

Turns out, on the streets, not much. Around 1:30 a.m., they returned to the car and found where the action really is: in the parking garages.

They discovered the back side window broken on Ben’s car and Abby’s camera and Ben’s jacket missing. It was the start of a long night for everyone but Ali, who had been smart enough to go to bed early and stay there.

Ben and Sarah joined Maddie and Abby for the police report and were required to hang around while the police waited for the fingerprinting crew to arrive.

With nothing better to do in the middle of the night in a parking garage, Ben and Sarah sauntered to the edge of the structure, and were looking down on the street, whereupon they noticed a couple of men breaking into another car.

They alerted the police officers in the parking garage, who alerted officers on patrol in the neighborhood, who sped to the scene and arrested the culprits.

Ben and Sarah were heroes; Maddie and Abby didn’t see much of anything. Still, Maddie and Abby have been bombarded with subpoenas just the same as Ben and Sarah, admonishing them to “CALL IMMEDIATELY” and “Bring evidence to court.”

Even though Maddie told them she didn’t see anything, the subpoenas continue to arrive. The latest subpoena put her on telephone standby for a trial that’s supposed to begin on her birthday, Dec. 15. I think that’s why she might have been checking out airline ticket prices. It hasn’t been clear if the state attorney’s office would be flying her down if this case ever gets to trial.

We had purchased our tickets quite awhile ago for our trip to see Rozee and Taylor for Thanksgiving in New Orleans, when Maddie sent a link to the American Airlines website with the subject line, let’s visit Ben too, and this note: “only $140 roundtrip...we don't want Ben to feel left out”

It was the week before Thanksgiving and I was already feeling the ache of our first Thanksgiving without all our children together when Maddie’s words hit me. I didn’t think Ben would feel left out—I’m the one who’d be suffering from the new way of holiday life.

It was such an absurd time to consider a visit to Miami. The deal Maddie found was good for Wednesday to Wednesday travel and the week before Christmas was the only time she could get away.

And then I started thinking about how I’m never going to be able to take my vacation time if I don’t just take it, so I gave serious thought to making the trip.

David didn’t mind me going; Maddie didn’t mind me coming, so, in one of those what-were-you-thinking moments, I booked the reservations.

And then, immediately, flyer’s remorse kicked in. Really, what was I thinking? The week before Christmas? It was a lark, it was a throw-caution-to-the-wind moment, it was crazy!

And then Maddie had an even grander idea.

“we could go on a 3 night cruise to the bahamas from miami that weekend for 150 :)”

I just laughed at that idea.

But we talked about it occasionally...pretending we might actually do it.

And then Maddie must have had an inspiration in one of her environment classes, because she sent this email the other day:

“i know why we need to go on the cruise. when the ice caps melt the bahamas will be gone...so we should see them before they go...world trade center...”

Ew, a blow right to my core. Back in August of 2001, on the hottest, most humid day I’d ever experienced in New York, our family walked across the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan. As we neared the end of the bridge, Ben suggested we visit the World Trade Center next.

“Oh, it’s so hot,” I moaned. “Let’s do it the next time we’re here.”

So, now, when there is a choice between stepping into Café du Monde in the French Quarter for a beignet now or doing it next time we’re in the area, I say, “Let’s do it now.”

It may be way too late at night, I may already be full, the beignet may just be a greasy deep-fried pocket of dough thickly covered with an extra heaping helping of confectioner’s sugar, but the experience is now a part of me.

Sitting in an open air café late Thanksgiving night with my family, trying not to inhale confectioner’s sugar, surrounded by other tourists, marveling at the number of people that can fit around a tiny little table—it’s not the most striking of memories, but it’s one that confirms for me: forget carpe diem, seize the moment.

  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • 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.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.
  • Front.batter

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