2013.05.22 Someone is a geezer and it's not the cautious man

Written by Steve Lauber.

I was going to tell you the story of stepping in something in Miami, but I went to bed early instead. Our deadline looms and I don’t want to be the reason for missing it, so here’s a column from May 27, 2009. Hard to believe not much has changed in four years.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

It was close to 5:30 p.m. Friday when I called David at the Observer office to see what he had going on that night. We usually check in with each other on Thursdays and Fridays—the library closes at 5 and the Observer at 5:30 p.m.

Sometimes, it seems like David attends meetings or shoots photos every night of the week. But not that night. He was ready to leave the office and just wanted to watch a movie after eating dinner.

Dinner...it always slows us down and then there are dishes to wash, dishes that we just dirtied, dishes that have piled up...

Suddenly, I remembered Liz had given us an eggplant parmesan and it was still in the freezer. The evening suddenly fell into place. We could pop the eggplant in the oven and go for a walk while it baked.

“Whoever gets home first has to take the eggplant parmesan out of the freezer,” I said, as we were about to hang up.

“Whoever gets home second has to wash dishes,” he said. He quickly followed that with a “Goodbye!” and abruptly hung up.

Even though I knew I’d be the one washing dishes...it always takes me longer to leave the library than it does David to leave the office...I still burst out laughing, imagining him racing out of the office and jumping on his bike to beat me home.

I’m a good seven years younger than David, but I swear I can’t keep up with him...both mentally and physically he is more agile. He’s quick and witty and he can walk and run forever without running out of breath.

At the track Monday night we jogged a couple 100-meter stretches as we walked a mile or so. This was following a day in the yard, messing in the flower beds, pretending to plant a vegetable garden in a section of the yard quickly being overrun by David’s wacko tree bushes.

Every single part of my body ached as we jogged the first 100 meters...my feet, my thighs, my knees, the backs of my knees...I felt ancient.

After we jogged the second 100 meters, I was still panting 200 meters later. I didn’t realize I was until I heard David pretend he was panting...he usually never makes any noise so I knew he was making fun of me. I wholloped him one and that put an end to his showmanship.

But then, in other ways, he’s a regular geezer. Or, at least, more cautious than I’d guess he’d be.

On the way home from a one-day conference in East Lansing last week, extreme fatigue overtook me so I stopped at a roadside rest area for a short nap. I left a message on the answering machine letting David know I’d be arriving with dinner, but later than expected.

“Don’t you know you should never take naps at rest areas when you’re alone? You could wake up with a gun pointing at your face!” he practically yelled at me, when I walked in the door.

“No felafel for you,” I wanted to say.

And when we prepared to leave the house for a walk that Friday night, David refused to put the eggplant parmesan in the oven.

“You would leave the house with the oven on?” he asked, incredulous.

“Well, sure! I trust the oven,” I replied.

It’s a new stove and the oven has never been a problem. The burners, on the other hand...on a regular basis they fill me with buyer’s remorse.

“I wouldn’t leave the house with any of the burners on, but the oven will be fine,” I said and headed to the bathroom, thinking I had convinced him.

We were rounding the track for the third of six times when it hit me: Did the eggplant parmesan end up in the oven?

“I didn’t do it, did you?” I asked David.

“I had no intention of doing it,” he said.

Well, he’s not throwing caution to the wind like I would. But at least he’s not forgetful.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • 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.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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