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.
  • 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.
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2002.06.12 Offering my junk to the curbside pickup

Written by David Green.


Remember that song made popular by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons? It goes something like this:

Let’s hang on to what we got 

Don’t let go, Col, we got a lot

Got a lot of junk between us 

Hang on, hang on, hang on

To what we got 

[doo-doo doo-doo doo-doo]

Well, that’s how the love song might go if my husband were singing it. We have a whole lot of junk between us.

We even have stuff in our basement that was here before we moved into our house more than 16 years ago. Stuff we really should have gotten rid of ages ago but for one reason or another—too heavy, serving some purpose, seemed like it could serve a purpose some day—we never put this junk out.

David doesn’t visit the basement as often as I do.

“What did the previous owners leave here besides a bucket of ashes?” he asks.

“Two buckets of ashes,” I remind him.

“We have that weird triangular green couch,” I continue.

 It’s easy to forget this couch. Tucked away in the corner of a little room in the basement, it’s covered with model airplanes and ships that Ben made years ago, an old cracked glass pitcher that came from David’s grandmother which is why we continue to keep it—intending to repair it—scraps of plasterboard, and other assorted odds and ends. But the hideous green still shows through.

And now that we’re ready to discard it in the big city-wide clean-up Saturday, we don’t want people to think it’s really ours.

“We could cover it with a blue tarp,” he suggests.

Hmm, could we use the blue tarp treatment for the stuff we’re not putting out? Because the clutter doesn’t end in the basement.

If I told you how long little bottles of nail polish, sample bottles of shampoo and bubble bath, deodorant bottles, tubes of lip balm, errant Q-Tips and cotton balls, have been falling out of the bathroom cupboard every time its door is opened, you probably wouldn’t let your kids or grandkids play with my kids. I’ve fully intended to tackle this task but once you shove the stuff back in and shut the door, it’s easy to forget until the next morning when it all tumbles out again and then of course, there isn’t time.

Somehow, Sunday became cleaning day. My to-do list did not originally include cupboard de-cluttering, but when I had to wrestle the falling bottles during a search for a back-up bottle of sunscreen, I knew it just couldn’t be put off anymore. David had misplaced the sunscreen he’d used just the day before and I was sure additional bottles could be found nestled in their own little basket of like items: Summer Lotions (sunscreen and bug repellent).

Finding the little basket meant removing the two travel bags of toiletries, the Klutz Press face painting book, the bag of cotton balls, and an assorted mess of bottles (refer to the falling items above).

Once all that was out, there was no stopping me. I decluttered and organized with wild abandon. You’d never know it to look in the cupboard or the trash, though. I could only let go of an essentially empty can of mousse, several tubes of lip balm, various toothpaste tubes with just a tiny bit left (some kid seems to replace them with a full tube before getting every last bit out), and a few trial samples of shampoo and such.

I worry about the poor example I’m setting for my kids. Will they repeat the pattern and make a home with too much stuff cluttering their lives? But I think back to a game we played on the way to New York for spring break. I had brought along the book, From Around the Family Table: 365 Mealtime Conversations for Parents and Children by Ronda Coleman, and the kids humored me by calling out numbers and I read the thought provoking questions.

The condensed version of number nine: You have 10 minutes to get out of your house due to an impending wildfire raging nearby. What do you take with you?

They, and their friends who accompanied us, hashed around a few things such as a pillow, clothes and pictures, but ultimately concluded that the material things don’t really matter.

Now, if I could hang on to that thought, I might be able to let a few more items join the ugly green couch at the curb.

    – June 12, 2002

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