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

  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.

2009.12.09 Kids: Give them wings or give them chairs?

Written by David Green.


The recent story in the news about the Seattle undergrad student convicted of murdering her British roommate while studying abroad in Italy prompted a conversation with my mother-in-law about my daughter Maddie’s impending trip to Thailand for environmental studies.

We didn’t think Maddie was the murdering type, but we talked about how worrying it is when kids travel abroad.

“Well, at least she isn’t going to Italy,“ Jackie said.

“But she is going to Italy,” I responded.

Or, at least that’s part of the ever-expanding plan: Thailand and Malaysia for the study abroad, Vietnam and Cambodia for fun, Indonesia to visit her aunt and uncle, Germany to visit a friend, Italy to work on an organic farm.

Luckily, not all travel abroad goes as planned. 

Just ask my son Ben and daughter-in-law, Sarah.

More than a year ago, they were set to relocate to Abu Dhabi for Ben’s job. They even fast-forwarded their wedding plans so they wouldn’t run the risk of getting put in jail for five years if they had been caught living together in the United Arab Emirate.

The departure date kept getting pushed back until eventually they decided they couldn’t live with the uncertainty anymore. It was December, Sarah would be resuming her old job teaching kindergarten (she had given it up when they were supposed to go to Abu Dhabi in early September) and they were getting a little tired of living life on hold. Ben told his boss he and Sarah wouldn’t consider moving until after school got out in June. And, then, the bad economy hit over there and opening an office in Abu Dhabi was put on hold indefinitely. 

I was sorry Ben and Sarah would miss out on the excitement and experience, but I must say I was so relieved—Abu Dhabi and Dubai (where he would also have been working) are just a little too close to Iraq and Iran for my comfort.

It’s not about me; I know that. But worry is my other full-time job and now that I don’t have to fret over their proximity to unstable countries, I barely even think about the hurricanes that come their way in Miami—and Rozee and Taylor’s in New Orleans. It’s like, now that we dodged the hotbed-of-instability bullet, hurricanes are nothing.

But Maddie in Thailand. Oy. Typhoid and polio. Hepatitis and meningitis. Malaria and diarrhea. Dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis. My brain zooms right in on the worst that could happen.

Oy, oy, oy. Pure excitement at the idea of her pursuing this journey—proud that my baby is heading out on an adventure without knowing anybody in an unknown territory—and pure dread at what could befall her.

“You can’t worry,“ said Jackie. “You either live...or you sit in a chair.” 

That sounded like pretty profound advice to me.

“Are you quoting somebody or did you make that up?” I asked.

“Well, I just said it now,” she said.

And she did. I googled that line—I figured an observation of that magnitude must have been said by someone famous and I wanted to attribute it correctly—but I didn’t find anything remotely similar to her comment.

Live—or sit in a chair. Of course, those aren’t the only choices, but it pretty much sums it up—take the bull by the horns or  watch the world go by. 

I started reading “Eat, Drink and Be from Mississippi” by Nanci Kincaid just after Jackie made that wise comment, and the same theme appears there.

Courtney comes home from college in nearby Jackson, Miss., and announces that she’s quitting school and moving out to California to enroll in art school in San Francisco.

Her parents are devastated and her brother is disgusted with her for making their parents unhappy. Courtney tries to make her brother, Truely, understand her decision.

“I’m trying to be an adult here, True,” Courtney said. “Adults make decisions about how to live their lives. They don’t just follow the path of least resistance.”

Twenty-eight pages and a few years later, Truely is about to follow in his sister’s footsteps. His father still isn’t happy about his children leaving home.

“I don’t like it—that’s all. My daughter so far off. Now you leaving too. Makes me wonder what we should have done that we didn’t.”

Probably should have taught them how to sit. Maybe bought them La-Z-Boy super duper Reclina-Rockers that offer massages and heat.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2015