2009.05.13 The check in the mail, royal jelly and laughter

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

I received a check in the mail Saturday from the Ann Arbor Main Street Area Association. It came with a brochure about the organization and a list of stores where I could use the check (all my favorites and new ones I didn’t know existed), but no hint as to why I was getting it.

I was pretty excited. I thought I must have won a prize for a contest I entered. But I tend not to enter contests, especially ones where the odds are long and my name will be added to a mailing list that generates loads of junk mail.

Then I thought maybe Ann Arbor was getting so desperate for shoppers, they’ll give you money and hope you spend tons more when you get to town.

My next suspicion made even less sense: Sybil. There’s still just the one-and-only Sybil in Morenci, isn’t there? I love Sybil, but her letter to the editor last week still makes me cringe: I have a hard time accepting praise, especially when so many people contribute to making an event successful.

In one way or another, all these people contributed to a wonderful afternoon celebrating football May 3 at Stair Public Library: Liz Stella, David Green, Larry Weeks, Barney Vanderpool and the DPW crew, Kenneth Dillon, Julie Terry, Jane Brasher-Garrow and her fifth grade art students, Kym Ries and her high school art students,

Bob and Pat Dister, Doug and Kathye Herrera, Sally Kruger, Ken Fether, Sheri Frost, Lori Drogowski, Janelle Thomas, Mary Johnson, Zac Johnson, Tom Saylor, Joe Farquhar, Joyce Woerner, Kyle Griffith, Sybil Diccion, Virginia Garrow, Dawn Stubleski, Sandy Emmons, Joel Brown, Katherine Wollter, Tom Spiess,

Jamie DeVoe and high school and middle school band members, Deb Hojnacki, Lesley Kazmierczak, Megan Crowell, Ashley Clark, Lucas Johnson, Nate Greider, Tommy McVay, Sam Majarowski, Lizz Gautz, Elaina Pruzinsky, Josh Namyslowski, Pat Houttekier, Pam Hollstein, Lois Speed, Skye Molitierno, McKenna Shaffer, Mason Shaffer, Catalina Smith and, of course, Michael Rosenberg and all the people who attended....and the people I might have missed. Without all those people, not much is possible.

So, back to Sybil...Sybil seemed a little likely if only because she’s often in Ann Arbor visiting family. Maybe she was carrying her gratitude for library programs a little too far.

I ruled out Sybil and looked closer to home—my own daughter, Maddie. She just spent a school year in Ann Arbor. But it didn’t seem likely that it would be Maddie. She wouldn’t have arranged to have a check mailed when she could have picked it up and delivered it in person.

And then I realized: “Mother’s Day is tomorrow!”

“Maddie, did you give me this?” I asked.

“No,” she laughed. “I don’t have that kind of money.”

Her gift would be presented in a couple days and would totally blow me away: I had raised my daughter well.

“This is because of all those presents you’ve given me,” she said as she handed me a small rectangular box.

“Ut oh, payback time?” I said.

“Uh huh,” she said with a smile.

All the goofy things I’ve given my children for presents over the years have not necessarily been appreciated.

I opened the package with trepidation to reveal a red and white box; Chinese characters across the top translated to: “Peking Royal Jelly: Oral Liquid.”

Inside the box were 10 tiny glass vials accompanied by 10 of the tiniest plastic straws I’ve ever seen. Inside each vial was 1/3 ounce of royal jelly.

“It’s stuff the worker bees give to the queen bee so I’m giving it to you since you’re my queen bee,” she said with a sweet smile.

The back of the box explains: royal jelly is a milky glandular secretion of the worker bees for the sole provision of nutrition to the Queen Bee.

Boy, she hit pay dirt here; this was a gift just short of perfection. Unique as all get out, intriguing, exotic—the dainty dark brown vials filled me with wonder—and a little fear. They look like ones medical staff use when they draw blood.

The stuff tastes ghastly, but it has so much potential for regifting. I figure I can divide up the other nine vials and package each one with a tiny straw in little Ziplock snack bags. Nine lucky people should be on the lookout.

I was still in the middle of trying to figure out where the check came from when Ben called Saturday.

Ben and Sarah are in belt-tightening mode as Miami’s economy nosedives to match Michigan’s, so I wouldn’t want them to spend money on gifts. But since he was on the phone, I asked.

“Hey, are you the one who sent me a check from the Ann Arbor Main Street Area Association?”

He paused ever so slightly, barely missing a beat, and said, “Yeah! Happy Mother’s Day!”

“Did you really?” I asked.

“No,” he admitted and we had a good laugh—which is a pretty darn good present. I’ll drink to that...just not with a swig of bee secretion

I don’t want to leave you in suspense—it was Rozee and Taylor who arranged to have the check sent.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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