Page 24 - Scene Magazine 42-07 July 2017
P. 24

The Way I’ve Scene It
BY DENISE POYER
It’s July, and I am one of those weirdos who likes the air conditioner off and the win- dows open. I love a hot, sticky night when the bugs,
frogs and other nighttime nomads sing loudly the songs of their people. I love three obnoxiously warm dogs pressed up against the length of my body as I lay wondering if sleep will ever come. I could cave in and circle through the house closing windows while The Hus- band dances a jig on his way to flip the switch that will bring us all instant com- fort, but I don’t. It’s summer, so suck it up, buttercup!
Maybe I like it hot because it re- minds me of those long ago summers. The Brush kids, though raised right in the heart of Lakeview-Battle Creek, are
Proud to be a part of the downtown Battle Creek revitalization.
Summer Breeze
all seasoned agriculturalists. Our dad would mow the lawn with a ginormous contraption that I just Googled for 20 minutes and still could not identify, and from our sixth summer until the next child turned six, we were on standby to sweep the walk after the weekly mow- ing production. The smooth cement broomed off easily, and it was kind of fun. After that, a few annoying times a year, Commandant Father would prune the bushes in front of the house. As he moved along nipping off the over- growth, we obediently followed behind picking up each prickly piece he cast over his shoulder to the ground. We did not get to use a rake or gloves for that matter. Ugh! He loved child labor. Each spring, we plucked the hundred million little cherry trees that spout- ed underneath their ugly mother while the mosquitos ate us alive. You’d think the stupid relic of a mower could have
handled that job, but evidently not. The birds used to get drunk off of the little black cherries on that messy tree and slam into our picture window in a pur- ple, poopy explosion. An early morning storm took most of the gangly thing down one summer day, and I may have cheeredoutloudwhentherestofitwas cut down. The mighty oak tree was an- other front yard foe. Each year, it shed hairy globs of catkins, and every other year, there would be a larger than aver- age crop of acorns to be picked up and you guessed it... no rakes allowed. We picked them all up by ungloved-hand.
My sister, who I will call Margo, hates this story, and I was born to get her goat, so it’s my favorite one to tell. Summers seemed to go on forever in the 1960s, and to occupy our time, our dad made us dig dandelions. Before he got home, we were to fill a bushel basket every day in an effort to finally rid the yard of them for good. Margo, who was a lovely, obedient first-born child, believed that all rules were to be followed to the let- ter and would get out there early and get her share done before the heat of the day. Her sister, who I will call ME, would procrastinate. I hated digging damn-de- lions. When 5:00 finally drew near, I would head to the back yard with her half of the weeds and an empty half-bushel basket. Because second born kids tend to be a creative, conscience-free lot with little regard for rules, I would dump her hard-dug weeds onto the ground, flip the empty half bushel basket upside down in the bottom of the bushel basket, toss her weeds on top, add a pathetic few of my own so they looked fresh and voila! The chore was done in a fraction of the time! When the ugly green Country Squire station wagon, with its faux wood pan- els, would settle into the garage, I would be sitting on the front stoop next to the full basket. Upon inspection, the tired Commandant would approve the day’s work. Margo, who never did rat me out, would purse her lips and roll her eyes. Justifiably irritated, she would stomp off to her room. I would just smile, and take off on my Schwinn Breeze. Peace out, people!!!
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Taylor Produce circa 1925
Norman Foods circa 2015
Artist’s rendering
of exterior renovations.
9807 Bellevue Road • Battle Creek, MI 49014 • 269-963-1579 • www.schweitzerinc.com
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