Monday, January 12, 2015

Today's subject:  Ice Cream

I was talking to a friend recently about retiring.  I told her if I could do anything in my retirement, I’d love to be “the ice cream man”.  To drive around in one of those little vans and ring that bell would give me such pleasure.

The memory of hearing that bell as a child, running frantically to my mother and begging for just a nickel or a dime. Thinking back I wondered where my mom, who was a housewife, came up with the money for my treats.  My family was always scrimping for money.  Groceries, house payments, car payments, insurance and all the other household debts were always a worry.  Where in the world did my mom stash away her nickels and dimes for my little luxuries?

We didn’t have chickens in the back yard for egg money.  I know she had no jobs “on the side”.  My dad was the consummate male chauvinist and my mom was barefoot and in the kitchen.  I never knew if Daddy gave her a household allowance.  I do remember running to the local store for a 19-cent loaf of bread now and then.  That leftover penny became a penny candy reward for my efforts of running the errand for her.

I still wonder where my Mother came up with the change for my ice cream treats.  However she did it, she gave me one of the happiest memories of my childhood.

My hope is that when I retire, I can buy that ice cream van and wander the neighborhoods to bring that cool summer treat to as many kids as possible.  (Haven't done it yet.)

* * *

When I was a kid we went to church every Sunday evening as well as Sunday morning.  The Sunday evening was very special because we usually went into town and stopped at the ice cream store.

Daddy would always tease us first, “Well I guess we will just go on home tonight,” he would taunt.

“No, no, Daddy, let’s go get ice cream,” we would plead.

Daddy would look at Mother and smile and give in to our pleas.  We knew he wanted the ice cream just as badly as we did.

Daddy would go into the store after taking our orders.  I remember that he almost always got butter pecan.  I would go for the bubble gum, or double chocolate, or strawberry.  I never did care much for butter pecan.

I find that lately if I stop at the local deli for ice cream, I order butter pecan.  I guess I acquired a taste for it or maybe, I’m feeling like I’m sharing that ice cream with my Daddy.

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