TAKE TIME FOR ICE CREAM

I opened the freezer a few minutes ago. The box of ice cream bars was empty.

I fished around in the ice buildup hoping to find a stray ice cream bar, but no such luck.

I’ve always loved ice cream, but it seemed to taste best when I was a child.

Back then, the moms on the block must have had a pact or something, because whenever the Good Humor Truck came our way, the moms on our block had a nickel or dime ready so that my buddies and I could each buy a treat after supper.

Frozen ice bars cost a nickel and ice cream items were a dime.

In most l940’s houses freezer space was limited to two small ice trays, so the only path to ice cream was to our beloved Shapiro’s Ice Cream and Candy Store six blocks away or to the Good Humor Truck which never failed to stop on our block.

At seven or eight years of age, we kids were pretty skinny from running around all day, and I think the moms were trying to fatten us up.

Summer after summer, we stayed skinny and the coins for ice cream stayed at the ready.

My favorite was the Toasted Almond Bar which had a magical, almost mystic, quality to it as it emerged from the truck’s dry ice steam.

My friends and I sat on the curb, slowly savoring our purchases, nibbling off the chocolate shell or almond coating, letting the first bit of ice cream melt on our tongues, and licking dribbles as ice cream melted. It was heaven.

Somehow, ice cream has never tasted as good as it did back then. It was as if the world stood still during ice cream time.

Then, just the other day, I realized why ice cream tasted so good back then.

It wasn’t that the world stood. It was that we stood still.

We slowed down, made time, paused and enjoyed.

Lately, I sprint from one thing to the next. Even when eating ice cream.

Recently, I found myself hastily chewing an ice cream bar while working at the computer. It dawned on me that it’s almost irreverent to chew ice cream.

I realized it was time to slow down and savor the flavor.

As soon as I restock my freezer.

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