A few years ago, as the ice cream truck circled our neighborhood, Leon and I had a conversation about how slightly creepy and sort of Hameln-esque we found ice cream trucks.
Sure, back when we were kids the ice cream truck was exciting enough. Deep in the heat of summer, you would hear that alluring bell; run to your room to scrounge your pocket change together and then indulge in a syrupy sweet bomb pop, or an orange dreamsicle, or those really tasty strawberry shortcake bars and – if you were like most kids – you enjoyed every sticky faced moment of sugary bliss; but then you grew up and moved on to more sophisticated ice cream treats. And the neighborhood ice cream truck with its clanging bell and music-box soundtrack was forgotten.
Well, like so many other things these days, Leon and I have reevaluated our “oh-so-grown-up” attitudes toward the neighborhood ice cream truck.
Before I get to that, let me just say that today was an absolutely show-stopping day. I woke up with the birds at 5AM, but was content to dose with a sleepy smile on my face until I heard Miss Sydney at 6:45AM. (Actually, truth be told, I was waiting to hear her. Saturday mornings have become family snuggle time, and I honestly just could not wait for her to wake up. I know, I know – someday SHE will be the one waking us up at 6AM for cartoons and cereal, but now it’s my eagerness that wakes me up early!)
Finally, I heard it – just the hint of a nerfing around sound – and we were able to enjoy snuggle time, smile time , genuine happy, babbling, let’s-bother-daddy time.
And the day began.
The best part of the morning was packing up our gear and heading to our local nursery, Daniel’s Farm. We love Daniel’s. We buy all of our plants there: our herbs, our hanging baskets, and in the wintertime – our Christmas tree. It’s a family run farm with 15 greenhouses and we enjoy the owners, who always work the counter and are generous and willing to put up with me and the lists of odd plants that I bring with me, most usually discovered from garden plots I find in MidWest Living.
Sydney and I went to Daniel’s together. She “rode” in her snazzy front carrier. Sydney is very much into smells and colors these days – so the herb house was awesome fun, and she also proved a great help in selecting the pansies we took home. Hauling our treasures out to the truck, a kind older woman took pity on me with my pull-cart, infant, bag of soil, car seat, full-tray of herbs, diaper bag … etc. Her help put a smile on my face and convinced me yet again that people are often far kinder than we dare to imagine.
We headed home. Sydney napped. I gardened.
The day progressed, one content moment after another; nothing fancy or spectacular, just peaceful, calm and infinitely memorable.
Early evening found us enjoying a family walk at Laurel Park. We stopped and watched a family flying a kite and listened to the laughter of the man and his daughter. We caught up on our feelings, worries, concerns and joys … and when we heard the clang, clang of our younger years, Leon dashed for the truck to find his baggie of spare coins and we hailed the ice cream truck, picked out our familiar favorites (wow, prices have certainly gone up!) and our walk became this awesome combination of new family centeredness combined with yesteryear memories. It was pure bliss – those sticky fingers, I even managed (no surprise here) to drip orange dreamsicle all over my shorts! We laughed our heads off and discussed the finer merits of the modest offerings of the ice cream man (the menu hasn’t changed much in 20 years) and considered what a completely terrific Saturday evening we were having: ourselves, our baby, a beautiful park, our new stroller and the ice cream man.
Talk about enjoying the simple life.