2018-03-29 / Columns

April Fool’s twins plan to enjoy Easter

By LESLIE DISCH
Phone/fax 386-5686


HANNAH, ISAIAH and Ethan Fitzgerald join their mother, Kelli, in looking over Stewart Smith’s collection of geodes, fossils and other geological finds. HANNAH, ISAIAH and Ethan Fitzgerald join their mother, Kelli, in looking over Stewart Smith’s collection of geodes, fossils and other geological finds. The second Blue Moon of 2018 on Saturday, March 31, will usher in the month of April. The year is rushing onward. People are enjoying spring break this week — either because they are on vacation, or because they are enjoying the lack of traffic. Others are returning to Omena after their winter breaks.

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Ron and Mary Tonneberger spent three weeks at one of their favorite resorts in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. Between rounds of golf and beach combing, a few rounds of Margaritas appeared. It was sunny and 80 degrees every day. There were lots of Americans and Canadians enjoying their southern neighbors. Contrary to news reports, the Tonnebergers said the area is very safe.

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Marcia McMorrow and Gayle Madison went to Seattle from March 10-18 to enjoy daffodils and flowering trees. They only had one rainy day, which was enough because the humidity and wind make for bone chilling cold even though Seattle seldom has snow. They stayed on Capitol Hill just 1.3 miles from downtown and walked between 2-5 miles every day to shop and sightsee. Among their favorite adventures were visiting Pike Place Market, Columbia Tower, Volunteer Park and a ferry trip plus ice cream extravaganza on Bainbridge Island. They shopped the sale at REI and lunched at the Nordstrom dining room. They feasted at a local restaurant specializing in the cuisine of Brittany and ate at a mediocre Thai Vegetarian Palace.

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Of special note was the time they got to spend with Luna Hinderliter, Gayle’s 20 month old granddaughter, and Luna’s mom, Alexandra. By the end of the visit Luna was sitting on both grandmas’ laps and could identify and name photos of Marcia’s 21 month old grandson, Gavi.

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In the small world department, while enjoying the antics of the sea otters during feeding time at the Seattle Aquarium, the docent standing next to them said, “You can get tooth decay watching these otters because they are so sweet!” As they struck up a conversation with her they learned she was from Traverse City and getting ready to go home for a visit!

The trip was wonderful but not without the harsh realities of city life. Gayle and Marcia were grieved to witness brutal signs of the opioid crisis in the homeless population of Seattle’s streets. Gayle reports that they returned with many happy memories and hearts filled with prayers.

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Kelli Fitzgerald and her three children, Isaiah, Hannah and Ethan, headed north from Chicago to Omena for their spring break. As Matt is minister at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Chicago, he could only visit for a portion of Holy Week leading up to Easter. The rest of the family was excited to be back in Omena. Several months ago, Matt tore his Achilles tendon, and the family didn’t make their usual midwinter visit. Everyone enjoyed the mostly sunny weather they had, and were glad it wasn’t too warm because they got to go cross country skiing and spend one day at Crystal Mountain on the slopes. They also took in long walks around the orchard and on Omena Point Road. They visited with neighbors Les and Debby Disch, and met Debby’s brother Stewart.

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Stewart is a geologist in Butte, Mont., who was here helping Debby and his brother Rink clean out an old family storage room in the barn. One of the finds was ten boxes of rocks – including many geodes, crystals, fossils, obsidian, and more – that dated back to his college days and early employment with Anaconda Copper. The Fitzgeralds got to see some of the samples and have Stewart explain their history. One unusual type was fulgurite rock, which occurs when lightning strikes the ground and instantaneously fuses sand and soil into rock. Isaiah, Hannah and Ethan each left with a brachiopod fossil that Stewart had found in the Greater Cincinnati area. Brachiopods originally lived in the Cincinnati Arch, a geologic anticlinal (archlike) structure influential during the Paleozoic Era (542 million to 251 million years ago); it existed as a persistent low-lying land area flanked by seas covering a large part of the continent while connected with the ocean.

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Charlotte Read also headed to Omena for an early spring visit. She usually comes in the winter to cross country ski, but a knee replacement delayed those plans. She was very happy as her week was full of sunshine, and she did lots of walking using a new knee she acquired the day before Thanksgiving. Included was a great walk along Christmas Cove. She also loved seeing many Omena friends while here.

I mentioned that Saturday is the second Blue Moon this year. A Blue Moon occurs when there are two full moons in one month. It is the second one. Two Blue Moons in one year seems to belie the old saying “Once in a Blue Moon,” but they actually are fairly rare, and two in one year even rarer. It last happened in 1999 and won’t happen again until 2037. This year also provided a total eclipse of the Jan. 31 Blue Moon. Nineteen years later, another total eclipse of the Blue Moon will be in the works on Jan. 31, 2037.

It turns out there is something special about the period of 19 years with respect to Earth’s moon. Nineteen calendar years are nearly commensurate with 235 lunar months (235 returns to full moon). There are 235 full moons yet only 228 calendar months in the 19-year cycle. Therefore, 7 of these 228 calendar months will have an extra full moon.

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The April Fool’s twins, Myrn Steele and Ed Hallett, have a very special birthday this year, since it is also Easter. Christopher Orsello’s birthday is also on April 1. Happy Birthday also to Kathy Browning, Heidi Biederman, the senior Bill Renz, Dan Ziegeler, Kelsey Wick, Lauren Browning, Eric Hallett, Chico Luna, Al Flees, and Omena Village Council member Brit Walker.

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I wish everyone a wonderful and peaceful Easter.

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