Summer Ice Cream - My Family Travels

A few years ago, my family had rented a house in Massachusetts with a pool to spend a week’s vacation. En route to our destination, we had gone to a local ice cream store, SoCo Creamery; the primary reason for our odyssey that Saturday afternoon had been the discovery of a new branch of this ice cream store that was within a reasonable driving distance from our house. While the announcement had initially been met by joy, especially amongst Nicholas and Edmund (ages 9 and 7, respectively), and general optimism by Philip and Claudia (ages 14 and 12), I had only felt cynicism and disapproval. The quixotic quest was guaranteed to be nothing short of a sentimental wild-goose chase, with vastly too much effort spent wasting ludicrous amounts of time for the sole purpose of reliving an obscure moment from a vacation several years previously. As my siblings grew progressively disillusioned with the rapidly lengthening trip, I felt justified in my suspicions. I turned up the volume on my earbuds, and watched the chaos unfold.

“There really is no justifiable reason for Haagen-Dazs to not make Banana Brownie-flavored ice cream” I thought to myself fifteen minutes later as I devoured God’s Gift To The Weary Road-Tripper, the paradisiac ice cream cone of the appropriately acronymized SoCo (so cold). The ice cream had found that precious balance between “freezing block that somehow manages to feel like 0 degrees K” and “already attaining liquid state even as you attempt to receive it from the cashier”. The texture was conducive to savoring the flavor, and the flavor was uniquely delightful, like the proverbial drive-in movie theater that continues to be excellent even after modern culture has shunned it. The flavor was, intriguingly enough, balanced between the banana and the brownie equally, without any pretentious floating brownie chunks in a sea of banana. Life was too short to wonder about the exact process that created this masterpiece. it also helped that their definition of “one scoop” was about two times the size that any sane person would call a scoop.

As I looked around from my own moment of bliss, my family were also achieving their own state of dairy-based nirvana. Philip, the eternal connoisseur walked around with a plastic spoon attempting to persuade everyone to give him a sample of theirs before they started eating. Claudia, who was determined to be unique to the point of arbitrariness, had customized hers with an obscene amount of M&M’s sufficient to drown out the flavor of whatever her original choice was prior to the toppings. Nicholas, the irresponsible diabetic who never fully understood the implications of his diagnosis with Type 1, started eating before my mother could obtain the nutritional information necessary to dose him with insulin, while Edmund’s precariously wobbling cone had prompted my father to get him one of those cardboard bowl things to prevent the inevitable disaster.

As I look through the photos of this day that I took, while writing this recollection, I am reminded of what a blessing it is to be able to spend time with my younger siblings while I still can, before we all head off to college and continue on our different ways. That day will forever remain a snapshot in time, frozen in place, as it were, but the ice-cream.


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