McZENA MUSELouise Swartzwalder

CLEAR FORK VALLEY — When you get to Friday the 13th, things going on around you can be misleading.

This day dawned with the area covered by very dense fog.

And, schools were saying there would be a two-hour delay in starting times.

Such a cruel person, Mother Nature.

Then, the sun started to shine, having burned off the heavy grey fog.

I guess the set-up of this particular day is a reflection of what has been happening in the community this week.

It’s been a mix of sturm und drang.

This a good old German term, meaning storm and stress. Usually, when you are having this, something good happens to level things out.

This week people in the Clear Fork valley were getting themselves all fraught with something that has been determined to be a non issue.

A number of people were posting on Facebook their own analyses of something they thought had been happening on school buses.

The school district posted on its own website a notice saying it had been determined hazing had not occurred. A bit later, another post said the Richland County Sheriff’s Department has been asked to review the school officials’ investigation.

Being a reasonable observer, I began to think a Clear Fork Valley School Board meeting Thursday would be filled with people wanting to fume.

That prediction did not come to fruition.

Instead, people diligently and purposefully were wringing their hands about one of the true evils in this world: obsession about money matters.

In this case, it was about whether decisions had been made correctly about spending for two new school buildings. Was the school district going to have enough money for these projects?

That, of course, has not been determined.

You all know, don’t you, that predicting things about money is futile?

This week, as in all weeks, an editor/writer/reporter has down time between appointments, meetings, interviews.

What does one do?

I found some really cute things on the internet about wayward young gorillas, taunting one another. One was a tiny cute thing, going at his bigger sibling.

The bigger would roll over on his back, playing patty pat with one foot hitting the other.

Looking over it all was a monstrously huge female. This could be noted by certain appendages which had begun to fall on her chest, something that happens to all females as they age.

It was a good distraction. I thought it was very much like many things that happen in my house.

I have a big (58 pound) brown dog. He gets beaten about by a much smaller (eight pound) tiger cat.

She knows who is the boss.

As editor, I always worry about having enough copy, news speak for articles and photos, to fill the newspaper.

At one point, the phone rang and it was a women calling to see if I had gotten an obituary she had filed.

I almost jumped in elation, because an obituary (obit) meant more copy.


The woman had mistakenly called the Bellville Star, thinking she had dialed the Portsmouth Times.

This, after I had dutifully dictated my email address. This is a daunting task, because spelling out is not easy.

Back to day to day mundane matters at the Bellville Star.

Good things about this week:

The weather is starting to turn and it is indeed looking like fall. Some trees around my farm have the beckoning lustre of golden and red leaves.

And, here’s another not minor matter.

My small blustering cat, Barack, has begun to fulfill her feline duty.

She has now twice — Oct. 6 and Oct. 10 — done one of the things she does best.

Her whiskers a twitch, she brought me two squeaking little mice.

Love that girl.