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Saturday, October 25, 2014
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Girl Talk
'Here comes that lady!'
By By Jill Meier
Challenger editor

July 01. 2014 11:17AM
I’ve never professed to be a tree hugger.

But lately I’ve been trying to save the trees – at least the lower, immature branches of the trees around my apartment complex, that is.

With a quick glance up and down the block this summer, it’s evident that it was a long winter. You should see the crop kids that sprung up in the neighborhood since the snow melted! Once the temperatures warmed up, the kids came out of the woodwork and headed for the woodwork – or the trees just outside of my apartment.

First there was one little girl swinging to and fro from the branch she was able to reach with a simple little jump up. Then a friend joined her, and soon, the whole neighborhood was out there ready to take a swing, too. I have to admit it was a bit entertaining until one of the youngsters fell flat on her back. I’m guessing the fall took the wind right out of her, as she layed there for a brief moment before slowly peeling her body up from the lush green grass that served as a minimal cushion for her fall. That’s also about the same time I concluded that these kids aren’t going to be content “just a swinging.”

Turns out, my inkling was right on, as not long after, they were climbing higher and higher into the leafy, green hideaway the trees offer.

That, I told myself, is setting the stage for a broken arm.

And that’s when I took on the “unofficial” role “tree police” at my apartment complex.
There have been numerous occasions that I’ve asked the kids not to climb the trees.
On one occasion, as I made my way across the parking lot to my garage, I overheard one of the little girls announce: “Here comes that lady.”

I have to admit, I was giggling inside when I heard that, and all thinking to myself, "Just when did I become 'that lady?' "

While the majority of the neighborhood clan have respected my requests, there’s one little girl who simply loves to climb trees, and this past weekend, after not uttering a single word to me in our impromptu meetings, she put my adult reasoning to the test.

“Why can’t I climb the trees?” she asked me. “I just love climbing them.”

I told her that I understood, but that if she fell out of the tree and hurt herself, somebody could get into trouble.

“Who could get into trouble?” she quizzed. “I’d be the one getting into trouble if I did that.”

I’ll give her points for that response, but in all honesty, I didn’t want to bore her with details regarding doctor bills or a potential lawsuit. Instead, I chose to skate over the issue with some light-hearted conversation about the nearby park and the playground equipment there that was meant just for climbing.

She was persistent though. “I r-e-a-l-l-y L-O-V-E climbing trees,” she informed me, exaggerating each word, as if somehow, that was going to sway me.

I’m pretty sure my days as the unofficial “tree police” around the complex aren't over just yet, and I imagine they'll be a few more whispers this summer of “Here comes that lady.”
Community organization needs
Needs at the Brandon Area Food Pantry this month are bottled juices, Homestyle Bakes, pancake mix and syrup, peanut butter and jelly, hot chocolate mix, saltine crackers and deodorant.

While always appreciated, the Pantry has a large supply of canned goods in stock. Monetary donations are always appreciated. Before donating, please check the expiration date, as expired food items cannot be distributed.

The BAFP is located at 406 Main Ave., and is open from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. To donate to the food pantry or for more information, call 582-7001.

The Brandon Lions Club also wants your aluminum cans. Proceeds from the sale of aluminum funds requests to the Club for vision and hearing impairment needs.

The Lions Club collection shed is located in the Sunshine Foods parking lot.

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