Brown Betty.

apple crisp upclose whipped cream cinnamon

Still another chilly morning – in fact it was feeling quite Fallish out there. Today I wore a jacket and stopped short of donning gloves as well; for sure I wasn’t sweatin’ on my walk.

These cooler mornings have me thinking of Fall fare – you know … all the fun stuff that Autumn beckons you to try as soon as you’re all snuggled into your fleecy and heavyweight garb. Those bulky and warm woolens are more forgiving than Summer wear, especially if you’re planning to indulge in those perennial pumpkin goodies or enjoying cider and donuts.

Even though I have sworn off sweets, on this cool morning, I felt like I could close my eyes and remember walking in the door after school or work, and my mom would have a “Brown Betty” in the oven. The cinnamon and nutmeg aroma was heavenly and wafted gently to my nostrils and that sweet smell even permeated the kitchen. Sometimes it would be freshly picked peaches that the neighbor brought over in a big brown bag straight from his tree. Or, perhaps the “Betty” would consist of apples, bought in a wooden basket from a country fruit stand.

After the pan came out of the oven, the portions were divvied up and a big scoop of vanilla ice cream was plopped atop each mountain of goodness, and which creamy blob usually started cascading down the sides, then pooling into the bottom of the bowl by the time dinner was finished and it was time to attack dessert.

Ahh, thoughts about any “Brown Betty” really takes me back to a good place (and makes me hungry as well).

But …

“Brown Betty” is also the name I have given the 2015 spider that lives in the folds of my garage door. A few weeks ago, I slapped that moniker onto this dark brown, eight-legged beast.

Now this “Brown Betty” is different from any of the other arachnids that have taken up residence in a tiny space behind where the garage panels split when you open or close the door. Unlike most spiders who create a thick web, with a wide tunnel opening from where they dart in and out of that hidey-hole to sun themselves or catch food, this particular spider is content to stay tucked away out of sight – out of my sight anyway.

All Summer I have tortured myself looking to see what I imagine is a cringe-worthy critter. But, I can peer all I want because all I have ever seen are a few shapely, long legs peeking out of the garage fold. Thus the nickname “Betty” for Betty Grable, she being the glamorous pin-up gal with a pair of famous and valuable gams back in the 40s and 50s.

Now, I must admit, seeing those legs and imagining the size and shape of the spider who owns them, does kind of bug me (if you’ll pardon the pun), but since she has not shown her face to date, there are no heart palpitations on my part as I open the garage door. Thus, I’ve spared its life, even though I’ve grown tired of sweeping down the web daily or taking the blower to it. The web is destroyed, but not for long as another web is quickly woven, probably in the space of time it takes to read this post.

On Sunday, my neighbor, Jeff, and I were peering as far as we could see and neither of us would dare poke this critter to separate it from its spot because we both suffer from arachnophobia. We concurred this is no “itsy-bitsy spider” … ugh!

But I know its friends lurk out there – yes, they are my foes. Every one of them. When I opened the outside door and walked into something I could not discern, I went into a tailspin. It felt light and sticky and had descended on my face and hair. I had a sickly and claustrophobic feeling as I clawed at the air with my palm, waving my hand back-and-forth, to rid the sticky-feeling fibers from my face, and especially my hair. It felt like an annoying food handlers hairnet had settled down over the top half of my body. I spun around and couldn’t unlock the door quickly enough to dash back into the house to ensure that this spider web and its trappings were not plastered over my face and hair with a spider sitting prettily amongst the ruins. With my phobia of spiders, I just had to perish that thought!

Yup, Summer is slip-slidin’ away. Cool and aromatic apple goody-filled air fills your nostrils and big spiders like to play hide-and-go seek.

And you thought the internet was a web of intrigue.

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
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6 Responses to Brown Betty.

  1. Marge Aubin says:

    Fabulous. Enjoyed this article because I could see you and Jeff peering into each little hole and crevice praying you wont see it and yet maybe a little peek. The Brown Betty with ice cream sounds delicious.


  2. lindasschaub says:

    Thanks – it was fun to write Marge. Yes, Jeff says “I saw that web … and spider … I could kill it if you want?” and knowing how he feels about spiders I told him that as long as it did not come out on the web and terrorize me, I was fine. 🙂 I knew he would kill it – he killed last year’s big spider. They are some long legs though – OMG! Doesn’t that Brown Betty sound good? The house next to Rita used to have many peach trees in the yard. Mr. Witkowski would bring my mom bags of peaches. And Jim Tock’s grandparents had several plum trees in their yard. My father used to shovel their snow years and years ago, so Mr. Tock would bring over bags of plums. My mom used to also make a plum kuchen with them.


  3. lindasschaub says:

    Yup, sometimes that’s all we have left.


  4. ann marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda……………I too almost daily get a broom and clean away the spider webs at our hallway apartment doorways and our patio too………….I’m not phobic but no I don’t like the little creatures that God made………………..for the sole purpose I think of getting rid of all the other flying insects……………….IT must be hiding in the cracks that my broom can’t get into……………..I found on the ground this morning the most perfect red apple…………..I’m grinning and bearing it like you told us……………..the pre-fall weather


  5. lindasschaub says:

    Oh, I just hate spiders – and centipedes Ann Marie … anything that travels faster than me. So far, this spider has stayed hidden in the folds of the garage door so I’ve let it go. Last year I had a spider on the left-hand side of the siding next to the garage – it was huge and scary looking. Dark brown with huge legs – I don’t know why I tortured myself looking at it and finally asked Jeff to kill it for me. When I went in to run the car or take the car out, I was sure it would travel up the garage door and jump down on my head. Perhaps I have an overactive imagination. 🙂

    P.S. – I love a perfect apple … soon the Honey Crisps will be out – they charge so much for them though. I like the Pinata apples … have you ever had them? They are advertised as having a tropical taste, almost like pineapple. They are not in season for long though, but are really tasty.


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