When I was about ten years old, I remember family trips visiting our grandparents in Alden, NY. Their house was not large, but their kitchen was spacious. All seven of us could easily sit at the table which was situated in the center of the room.
I remember walking in and the first thing I noticed were a variety of baked pies sitting on cooling racks, they were still warm from the oven.
As we sat down to eat, there were so many plates, dishes, cups, etc. on the table, that there wasn't enough room for all the food dishes. So the surplus were placed on the counter.
After finishing the main course, the table was cleared for the pies and ice cream. I'm thinking, we're still not done eating! I still recall a feeling of appreciation and general happiness.
After dinner, weather permitting, we played ball outside, Dad would hit pop flies to us. Or we would move to the "parlor" to play a board game. Mom and Grandma would be clearing the table and washing dishes.
Looking back, I remember one person still sitting at the table, it was Grandpa. He was eating ice cream directly from the carton using a long spoon (ice cream cartons from sixty years ago opened on the ends, so a long spoon was necessary). I remember his concentration, the spoon going in and out, he was tipping the carton in multiple directions toward the light, to make sure the carton was totally empty.
What I never forgot, and can still visualize, is how contented Grandpa was all by himself, eating ice cream.
It's amazing how certain memories never leave us. Maybe it's because there is something there that we can learn from and take with us.
When I was twenty years old, I was stationed at Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, Georgia. This was my final stop in the military, I only had one more year to serve before returning to civilian life. Because I had my own vehicle, I was allowed off base housing, and my job hours gave me most weekends off. I shared apartment expenses with my soldier buddy, Larry (probably the nicest person I had the privilege to meet during my 3 years in the Army).
On many weekends I was alone because my buddy Larry had to work, but this never bothered me. I could've driven to the base to "hang" with fellow soldiers, but it was more appealing to me to be "off base" and enjoy the freedom.
I loved taking rides in my car, it was a 1966 Pontiac LeMans, in my favorite color, burgundy. From Savannah, I would drive east toward the ocean, only a twenty minute drive. I didn't need to swim in the ocean, I just enjoyed so much seeing it. It's the mystery, seeing nothing but water, as far as the eye can see, it was always a very liberating experience for me.
When it was time to leave, and head back toward my apartment, it was not a sad time. I had this routine. My next stop was an ice cream/custard stand, just off the highway. Since this was to be my supper, I always ordered the largest size they offered. This cone was the biggest I had ever seen, it was a meal all by itself.
Maybe Grandpa was smiling!
Thanks for reading and sharing,
ps - After you're done eating ice cream you'll probably want to get some exercise! This will lower your guilt (if you have any), so the next day you are ready to eat more ice cream!
Walking is great exercise and a wonderful activity all by itself, but if you need additional motivation you may want to simultaneously listen to a podcast while walking. You may ask, "How will I carry my cell phone while walking?" Glad you asked, checkout this cell phone bag.