Miss Boogie loves being an artist-in-residence, though technically the Mom is the artist. Miss Boogie must sit in all those tiring poses while the Mom sketches her. Miss Boogie says, "It is more difficult being a Muse than one might imagine."
After she worked all day, the Mom took Miss Boogie into Coloma to Easy Street. It’s a very nice bar and grill on the main street near the movie theater. (Boogie noticed that the movie theater will give you popcorn for 50 cents, if you bring your own bucket. She hopes to go back there before the residency is up. She is looking for a bucket.) They, Easy Street not the movie theater, have Bell’s on tap. It is Berrien County.
The Mom and Miss Boogie sat at the bar. The Mom had an “Easy Street,” wheat and struck up a conversation with the bartender, Amanda. Turns out Amanda, who looks about 24, is 34 and has five kids. The oldest is 17. The Mom was flabbergasted. “Yup, that’s what the winters here will do to you.” Amanda said.
Amanda had just planted a lilac bush in her yard. She said lilacs were her favorite, so there was an instant bond with the Mom. The smell of lilacs reminds Amanda of her grandmother. Amanda’s eleven-year-old daughter wants to know how soon the bush will be beautiful. “When God lets it have time to grow.” Amanda said. “Everything happens for a reason in its own time.” The Mom thought she heard Amanda’s grandmother, or maybe her own.
Amanda had lots of great tips for spending time in Southwest Michigan, especially food tips. Her mother-in-law runs a restaurant in Keeler called Keeler’s Keg and Kitchen. They’re famous for their pizza, but Amanda says the Keeler Prime Sandwich, au jus, with green pepper (mango as they call them in Indiana) on a homemade roll is the best. The Mom took the challenge and wrote down the directions because the best Italian roast beef and mango ever is still at Art’s Pizza in Anderson, Indiana.
Miss Boogie was licking her dainty lips over the Italian roast beef when she heard the best news of all.
If you follow Friday Road south, out of Coloma, go under the freeway, about half a mile, next to the Contessa Winery, there’s a chocolate shop (Vineyards Gourmet) with truffles and hand-dipped chocolates made from all the native fruits of Michigan and their newest creation, chocolate covered bacon! Miss Boogie’s tiny pink tongue was curled all the way over her tiny black nose, and she was in a tap dancing rapture that would make a Sufi swoon.