‘Chill out tent’ serves family well

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 9, 2001

The Dawson family on Roselawn Drive likes to spend evenings relaxing in their &uot;chill out tent.&uot;

&uot;I go out there and watch the kids … when they’re out playing,&uot; said Renee Dawson. &uot;(It) keeps the mosquitoes off.&uot;

The mesh tent is located in their front yard at 2731 Roselawn Drive and the family has placed a table and chairs inside.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;We go out there and just chill in the late hours of the night,&uot; said Renee’s husband Robert Dawson. &uot;One or two in the morning you might see us out there.&uot;

Both Robert Dawson and the couple’s six-year old daughter, Meghin Nicole Dawson, have asthma and having the tent protects them from some of the heat outside, he said.

Renee Dawson said she also considers herself the &uot;neighborhood watchman,&uot; keeping an eye on all the children playing in the neighborhood.

&uot;All these (are) my kids,&uot; she said. &uot;I just sit out and watch them.&uot;

Dawson said the job suits her quite well.

&uot;My kids will tell you I love outside,&uot; she said. &uot;I’d rather be outside than inside the house.&uot;

Since her daughter still needs supervision when she rides her bike, she often rides while her mother sits in the tent.

But whether she is riding her bike or not, she sticks close to her mother, who described her as &uot;her shadow.&uot;

&uot;I go take the trash out and she is right behind me,&uot; Dawson said. &uot;She’ll sit for a while and maybe drink a soda or eat an ice cream cone. Typical kids – they can’t be still long.&uot;

Her older child, 15-year-old Walter James Mackel, is not home as often-working some days at the family business, Robert D. Mackel and Sons Funeral Home.

He is already thinking about attending mortuary school after high school.

&uot;I like helping the community and stuff, and it’s something everybody’s got to go through,&uot; he said.

The Dart is a weekly feature in which a reporter throws a dart at a map and finds a story where it lands.