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.

  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • 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).
  • 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.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.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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