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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2003.11.26 The color of laundry

Written by David Green.


A curious thing happens when I am burdened with too many things to do and I’m too overwhelmed to begin tackling even one of them: I putz. I piddle. I poke. I cruise on the periphery. Instead of just plunging in, I nibble on the edges.

I need to deep clean the kitchen in preparation for company coming. So, what do I do? I pick up a small pepper grinder, recently discovered during a mad rummage through the spice shelf. It’s been driving me nuts with its old layer of grime. I’ve wanted to scrub the thing for weeks now, but with everything else on the agenda and a perfectly fine, full shaker of pepper sitting in the cupboard, it seemed like a waste of time.

But today when I should have been scrubbing the floor or washing the walls, I find myself with a steel wool pad, madly giving the mill whatfor, grinding the grime right out of it. Senseless, mindless endeavor.

And then later today, when I should be cleaning off the dining room table, where do I find myself? At the computer, finally typing in a master grocery list so I won’t forget anything when I next go shopping. I’ve been meaning to do it for ages; one more week of putting it off wouldn’t matter. But, suddenly, it has taken on a sense of urgency—if only because the following elements exist at the same time: 1.) I am thinking about it. 2.) The computer is free of children. 3.) While shopping, I have remembered to write down things I should add to the list. 4.) I have the store receipt in my hand which lists everything I just bought.

We will ignore number five: I don’t want to clean off the dining room table.

Although it does come into play here because I know I need to find my notes about a recent conversation with my husband. He was giving me a hard time about my laundry sorting idiosyncrasies. He, and his son after him, will toss anything indiscriminately into the washing machine. Black socks, white shirts, maroon underwear, yellow shirts, green pants: they are colorblind.

He comes downstairs with a load of clothing in his hands while I am sorting items from the bathroom hamper and our daughters’ hampers.

“Any chance I can get my clothes washed today?”

“Sure, I’m about to do a nice lights load,” I tell him cheerfully. “Do you have any?”

He shows me what he’s collected. None of it qualifies for admission into my nice lights load.

“I think I’ll just do my own wash separately,” he decides. He’s afraid I won’t get to all of his stuff if he waits until I divide it into my many categories.

Besides the nice lights (light-colored items that need a gentle cycle), my laundry piles include crappy whites (anything my children wear relating to sports, especially socks and underwear), nice darks, crappy darks (includes David’s black socks and colored underwear as well as kids’ sports clothes), dungarees, sweat shirts and sweat pants, sweaters (in season), dark towels, light towels, sheets, dish towels, and Polartec or fleece clothing. Am I forgetting anything? Sometimes, if there are enough red items, I do a separate load of them.

David suggested the other day that I wash a few dirty dish towels with a load of clothes. I gave him a look of incredulity. Such a travesty of laundry protocol doesn’t deserve a response.

If I find my notes on the dining room table, I can tell you the outlandish claims he made a couple of weeks ago.

[Stay put and I’ll go look....]

It took me an hour, but I found the note.

I had been sorting laundry and David watched as I dropped clothes into my many different piles.

“You’re a lunatic,” he commented.

“Don’t you ever put the black socks with the white socks?”

“Ew! No! Never!”

“You’re a racist,” he concluded.

My kids have complained about my discriminatory practices before—usually when they want me to put their underwear and socks in with the nice clothes. But racist? That never occurred to me.

My father was an unabashed bigot, but my mother was usually very accepting of all people—until my sister started dating Bruce, a black guy.

“You can’t cross the color line!” she used to scream at Linda.

I must have been sorting the laundry during those big arguments. It’s a testament to my sister’s character that she never let my parents’ prejudice color her life’s choices. She married Bruce several years later.

But her laundry piles look pretty much like mine.

    – Nov. 26, 2003 

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