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The Ice Cream Man Cometh...


The Ice Cream Man Cometh!
By Jean Harper

This weekend I decided to work in my yard.  Because of all the rain my yard needed more than just the usual mowing and edging that my yard man does weekly.  I decided to do some trimming and add fresh mulch to spruce up my landscaping so I ended up purchasing about 40 bags of cypress mulch.  At about 1:30 P.M. I heard music coming from the distance and I immediately recognized what sounded like an ice cream truck, heading in my direction.  I was pouring sweat and the thought of anything ice cold sounded good.  I thought, “Hey, you can’t get an ice cream from the ice cream “man”, that’s just for kids…” then I stopped, braced myself up against the rake I was holding and took a tour down memory lane.  When I was a kid the ice cream truck was a much anticipated event that offered a very important reward.  As the jingling truck entered the neighborhood, it could be heard far off in the distance. This jingling sound had the power to send kids scurrying to their parents in a frenzied attempt to get any spare change on hand.  Kids would then flock to the streets as the music signified that ice cream was on its way and time was of the essence.  If you didn’t get the money in time, the truck might pass you by which meant you would need to run your tail off for your treat.  If you were lucky and all went well you would be one of those kids waiting your turn to order your favorite ice cream—mine was the orange push-up.  It was a big social event to participate and get to see what the other kids would order.

Hearing the ice cream truck heading my way today made me smile.  I can’t believe that this still exists and I wondered how many kids would be coming out to greet the truck on this Saturday afternoon, many years later.  I started back to work and as the sound got closer I decided, what the heck, I am going to buy one.  As the truck turned down my street, I waved it down and was much surprised to see the ice cream lady.   

The menu was almost the same as it was so many years ago, but one thing was remarkably different, there were no kids lined up to get an ice cream.  In fact, there was not one kid who came out to get an ice cream and there are several on my street.  I got my push-up, sat down on the grass, and took a break from my labor.  As I sat there I realized how much things have changed and how much time has passed since I was that little blonde, curly-haired kid.  As I reflected I also realized that little things still make me happy and that I haven’t lost my child-like enthusiasm.  Even though I may “look” and “feel” a lot different, inside I still feel like I can do almost anything.  This experience made me a bit nostalgic and since it was the weekend I decided to do a few more things that I enjoyed as a kid, so I went to the movies and ordered popcorn and candy.  As my girlfriend and I left the theater we started giggling over things and there I was again, feeling like a younger version of myself.  If I were that little kid I could have just enjoyed the ice cream, the popcorn, and the candy without a second thought, but here I am today feeling a bit “guilty” about having eaten these little treats.  I guess that’s the difference that separates the kid from the adult.  As an adult I still love to be a kid, but sometimes I wish that “responsibility” part could take a vacation. I guess I will go back to being grown up now, but before I do, what’s your favorite ice cream from the ice cream “person”? Go ahead, indulge and let that child-like enthusiasm run wild. 



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