Post #544 The Original and the Best

August 21, 2017 at 3:50 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ice Cream and I have a long and complicated history.  I like ice cream okay, but I’m not crazy for it.  I know people who think it’s the greatest stuff on the planet, totally forgetting that chocolate actually exists.    When I was a kid, particularly while in Arizona, we ate the stuff like it was a food group.  We have fond memories of hours spent churning by hand to get a scoop full of that frozen stuff.  Dad like it so much, he ate it nearly every single day.  As I got older, into my late teens, I stopped eating it and never really went back to it very much.  People will try to tempt me and are astounded when I say, “No Thanks” and really mean it.

That being said, there are times when I really want some ice cream.  It’s not often.  And the feeling can pass pretty quickly.  There are certain ice cream treats that I’ll eat anytime, and once started, I won’t stop till the box is gone.  Klondike bars, for instance.  There once was a commercial where the chorus sang “What would you do for a Klondike Bar?”  I always answered, “Whatever it takes.”  The Klondike Ice Cream Sandwich is also very good.  Yet, I can still leave them in the freezer for months before touching them.

So, it’s safe to say that I like ice cream well enough, but I don’t eat very much of it and it doesn’t bowl me over.

So this past weekend was one of those perfect New England weekends.  The sun was out so it was warm.  The sky had a few puffy clouds but nothing threatening.  There was a breeze that kept things cool.  On Saturday, Partner/Spouse had a morning meeting.  He wanted to be there pretty early so he would have time to set up.  I rode along and sat in the car until it was over.

We parked in the shade, the doors were open, there was a fresh breeze off the ocean, and I had my tablet and access to some local wifi.  I also had a bottle of water and access to my writing files.  For the next few hours, I was entrenched in my own work, with side forays into research on whatever struck my mind.

Can you believe it?  Middle of August, I’m sitting in the car watching the clock tick down to noon, and the it’s not a health hazard.  It wasn’t even uncomfortable.  I worked and played and soon, he was ready.

“Where do you want to go?” I asked.

“Let’s go through that small town we tried a couple of weeks ago but couldn’t.  They had that festival going on and there was just no getting in and out there.”

I had no idea what he was talking about, but that wasn’t unusual.  Lots of times it was “Remember that small town we drove though once and said we’d like to visit some day?”  That describes every small town across the country we’ve ever driven through.  But it was a beautiful day, and nothing was pressing so driving wherever wasn’t a problem.

We traveled west and passed small towns, and farms, and farm stands, and flea markets, and yard sales, and estate sales, and auctions, and more farm stands.  Seemed like it was the day to sell things from your front yard or driveway.  The only thing we didn’t see was a little kid with a lemonade stand.  We saw lakes and lakeside homes, as well as log cabins and kayakers.  There was something to catch our attention every couple of minutes.

Finally, Partner/Spouse asked, “Are you getting hungry at all?”

I hadn’t eaten breakfast that morning.  I seldom eat breakfast.  I’m never very hungry when I wake up.  An odd quirk in my system, if I eat breakfast right away, I’ll eat all day long.  It’s like I can’t catch up on the calorie curve.  But if I don’t eat breakfast, I can go till middle of the afternoon before I suddenly say, “I gotta eat right now!”  So my reply was, “A little, but I’m not famished.  You?”

He likes breakfast, and he likes the foods of breakfast.  So he’d eaten, but he’d also had a pretty busy day so far and breakfast was several hours ago.  “I’m getting there.  We could stop for something.”

I thought about it and suddenly knew exactly what I wanted.

“Hey!  Wanna stop at a DQ for a hot fudge sundae?”

He laughed at me.  I so seldom ask for ice cream, and the idea could so quickly leave that he agreed and told me to look up the nearest on my phone.

In this state, nothing is ever really far away and the DQ was only 2.5 miles away.  8 minutes according to Google maps.  And, it was on the road we currently were driving on.  How’s that for synchronicity?  (Look it up.  It’s a real thing.)

We found it with very little trouble, only one mis-turn.  As we parked, I saw the sign saying “Original Dairy Queen”.  I don’t know much about the history of the product or the store, only that they started in the mid-west, but I impressed hoping it was an original.  Unfortunately, apart from asking the people who worked there, the two teenagers, one male and one female, there wasn’t likely any way to find out.  But, it was very similar to the DQ I grew up with.

 

That one right there, on the corner across from my dad’s gas station.  I spent a lot of time there.

The one we visited on Saturday wasn’t set up like this, but it was this small.  There was no inside seating, and a fairly limited menu.  But it had all the standards.  We both got a medium hot fudge sundae and a medium drink.

Makes your mouth water just looking at it, doesn’t it?

We went outside to sit at a table in the shade of a tree and again I marveled over the fact that it was the middle of August.  It was supposed to be blazingly hot, and any sane human should have been inside trying not to die.  Instead, we were enjoying a drive through our new state, and taking a break with some ice cream and some sodas.

Our conversation drifted all over the place but mainly centered on ice cream treats we’d enjoyed as kids.  Fudgesicles, Dreamsicles, ice cream sandwiches . . . .

“You know,” I said.  “When I was a little kid, I always wanted to try a banana split.  It looked so good and was always covered in chocolate and whipped cream.  When I was sixteen, I had one, and it didn’t live up to its promise.  I don’t know if they made it wrong, or it just wasn’t as good as I thought.  Never had another.”

He nodded.  “Yeah.  For me, it was éclairs.  They looked so amazing, but tasted like wet bread.”

I laughed.  “And they were usually stale, too.”

I finished first, partly because I was hungry, and partly because I was in an ice cream mood.  We cleaned up, drove home, and ate something salty.  It was a good Saturday.

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