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

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
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    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.
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2012.09.26 Honey, I shrunk my Crocs!

Written by David Green.


Who shrunk my Crocs?

That’s what I thought upon seeing the tiny hot pink Crocs, a miniature version of my own, sitting at the base of the stairs the other day.

Ah, Caroline’s home. 

Toys scattered everywhere. Little piles of little clothes, removed quickly from her body as pajamas replace them before she knows what hits her. Wet clothes hanging over the shower doors. The long box of Bruynzeel markers tucked among the framed photographs atop a bookshelf.

I love it all.

Even when it means doing laundry late on a Saturday night. I never do laundry late at night, not after David goes to bed anyway. I have had one too many bat encounters in the basement, where the washer and dryer are, to ever willingly go down there when I don’t have a fully functioning and awake knight in shining armor close by.

But Caroline and Rosie were leaving the next morning and I felt responsible for all those afore-mentioned wet clothes. It’s my fault for not removing every last interesting-to-an-18-month-old-curious-little-girl item in her path. 

And pretty much everything is interesting to her, but especially the bookshelf in the corner of the living room which contains all the catchall cigar boxes and tins and pencil boxes full of crayons, embroidery thread, little pads of paper, stickers, old Scotch tape, beads, glue, ink stamps, colored pencils, regular pencils, and those afore-mentioned Bruynzeel markers.

That box of Color Express Mega-Point markers from Holland proved the most problematic for me. They are supposed to be washable, but they are as old as when Maddie was in elementary school I would guess. They’re like new, however, still vibrant and moist, and every time Caroline opened one she pulled the cap off across her stomach and dragged the thick marker tip along her shirt in the process, fat marker tip after fat marker tip meeting resistance with her shirt.

She’s at that stage of wanting to do it herself...and how can you squelch that independent streak? Inwardly groan and know that you’ll be scrubbing those marks out...and hanging those little wet clothes over the shower doors.

I love those markers...they have little elephants on them...and Caroline, with her love of elephants, seemed destined to find them...or maybe it’s our love of her response to “What does an elephant say?” She makes a close approximation of an elephant trumpeting and raises her hand up past her head as if it’s an elephant trunk.

Language and brain development’s such a gift to witness.

Tonal inflection is everything when Caroline speaks. 

“No, no,” she’ll say in a soft concerned voice, the second “no” stretched to two syllables. She means “Oh, no!” and she says it whenever something isn’t quite right.

“The eensy weensy spider crawled up the water spot, down came the rain...” we sing, and she’s saying, “No, no,” with deep concern for the spider about to get washed out.

When a bright lightbulb catches her eye, she squints, points and says, “Ow!” Rosie and Taylor have drummed it into her that zoning out and staring at lightbulbs will hurt her eyes. She extrapolates that to the pre-flash of a camera...witness that on my facebook page in a photo taken by Andi Rorick.

Stars in the sky, the star design on her pants, metal star decorations on people’s houses sets her singing, “Twinkle, twinkle, little star...”

“Momma told the doctor and the doctor said, no more monkeys jumping on the bed,” she sings, and wags her pointer finger.

Maddie, also home for the weekend, can’t distinguish Caroline’s words or what she’s singing.

“What’s she saying?”

But she can totally appreciate the cuteness factor.

When Caroline declares “all done” in turn as she observes each of our empty plates at dinner, I thrill inside that she’s gone from declaring she’s “all done” with everything from eating to reading a book, to observing that other people are also “all done.”

She’s so aware and so curious and so smart, so why can’t she comprehend that she can’t splash in the giant dirty greasy puddle in the parking lot? I love how she throws her head back when things don’t go her way. She is just so sweet even when she breaks down...and so incredibly sharp!

My heart just sings that someday soon we will get to repeat this, that baby Ryland, home after 84 days in the hospital, will be singing about monkeys and spiders and stars—and a miniature version of David’s blue Crocs will be sitting at the base of the stairs.

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