2009.10.27 Plans for the weekend need some revision

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

Late on a Thursday night earlier this month, I emailed all my kids at once. The subject line was “weekend.”

“What's going on, boy and girls?” I asked.

Rozee emailed back early the next morning, also sending her response to Ben and Maddie.

“Tonight some friends are coming over for dinner because we got a bunch of southern stuff in our produce box this week like okra, black eyed peas, and pork chops.

“Tomorrow there is an Oktober Fest parade...then a counselor at Taylor's school is having a BBQ at his house in Luling, then we're going to the Avett Brothers concert in Baton Rouge.

“Sunday we're going to the Saints game.”

The “produce box” Rozee mentioned is similar to the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box David and I have signed up for these past two summers. We pay a lump sum in advance and receive a box of local organically grown vegetables every week of the growing season. Rozee and her husband Taylor pay by the week and receive a box of a wide variety of fruit and vegetables and even, apparently, pork chops.

Rozee lives in New Orleans where there’s always a lot going on, especially parades, concerts and Saints games. She and Taylor, an avid sports fan, have season tickets and they routinely take advantage of all the culture New Orleans has to offer.

Ben responded later that afternoon. He and his wife Sarah live in Miami and also have action-packed lives, but apparently not much was going on that particular weekend. He started out telling what he and Sarah were planning to do, but not to be outdone by Rozee’s agenda, he “embellished.”

“Going to watch MSU football game with Sarah Hoadley, read the Bible, listen to classical music, walk shelter dogs and cats, run in a Relay for Life, volunteer teaching blind monkeys to paint, attend an idiot savant conference (the smart ones), help kids build sand castles at the beach, practice the ukulele and maybe go to Home Depot if I have time.”

I laughed and laughed.

Maddie, swamped with papers, tests, and all the other demands on a college kid, responded to the emails with one word:

“Boring.”

I emailed her back. “Maddie, are you saying ‘boring’ to both Ben and Rozee or are you saying your weekend will be boring?”

“All of those,” she responded.

If this email exchange indicates anything—besides Ben needling Rozee and Maddie being overwhelmed by schoolwork—it’s the utter lack of any mention of the kinds of things I might have said if they had turned the question on me.

Do laundry, wash dishes, get the bathroom ready for wallpapering, clean the kitchen...

I might not have done any of those things, but that’s probably what I would have been talking about.

I need to get in a whole new frame of mind—maybe take a page from the book, “Half Broke Horses,” by Jeannette Walls, author of “The Glass Castle.”

“Half Broke Horses: a true-life novel,” is the story of Jeannette’s extraordinary grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, who taught school, broke horses, flew airplanes, ran a ranch with her husband, and did all manner of things most women weren’t doing in her lifetime.

Lily had a real practical, some might say shocking, philosophy when it came to household tasks.

“As for clothes, I flatly refused to wash them....We wore our shirts till they got dirty, then we put them on backward and wore them until that side got dirty, then we wore them inside out, then inside out backward.”

When they got so dirty that her husband joked they were scaring the cattle, she’d take them into town and have them steam-cleaned.

She approached cooking in the same no-nonsense way: “I made food. Beans were my speciality....My recipe was fairly simple: Boil beans, salt to taste.” Steak? “Fry on both sides, salt to taste.” Potatoes? “Boil unpeeled, salt to taste.”

I’m thinking I need to adopt Lily’s way of life. I’d definitely have a lot more time to do things like teach blind monkeys to paint.

  • 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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