We all scream for ice cream. Or, we don't, at least not anymore.
Before moving to this sleepy suburb as kids, we lived in the city. We'd walk to the corner store for an italian ice. I barely kindergarten age when we moved south of Boston, but I remember the cool lemony goodness on a wooden stick like it was yesterday.
When we moved to the ‘burbs, we didn't have to go to the store anymore for a treat. The ice-cream truck would come to us, (though I seem to remember calling it the slush truck?) Of course, looking back, I see that an ice cream truck was just one more hurdle in my weight gain problems, but this is a happy memory, damnit.
During the summer months, you'd hear the distinct sound of bells, calling to us kids like the Pied Piper of frozen confections. We'd haul up the driveway, down the street, out of the woods, with quarters, dimes and nickels, to buy a “graveyard" slush. Does anybody remember this- getting all those syrupy sweet flavors mixed together to make a greyish-blackish mud of a slush? Maybe it was just my brother who ordered it like that? I used to love watermelon, cotton candy, anything pink.
Now, I'm the mom, living in the same town. We don't have an ice-cream man anymore. Occasionally one comes by, but he's here after bedtime, thanks Mister for getting the kids riled up after 8pm with the thought of drippy Spiderman sherbet on a stick with gumball eyes! (He needs to alter his route and get here earlier to make the big bucks from my three treat-loving kids. )
It's different now, though. We're more conscious of food choices, and running to get an ice cream cannot be a daily habit.
Not only that, parents these days are insanely aware of anyone who drives slowly through a residential neighborhood who doesn't belong. Welcome to the age of Amber Alerts, Attempted Child Abductions, Missing & Exploited Children, & Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board.
Children don't run to ice cream trucks alone anymore. Children don't walk to the store to get a treat anymore. When we were kids, we didn't think much of walking up to the center of town to get something. I'll have to ask my mother, but I don't remember how old I was when she finally let me go with a friend to the store, but I know it was a lot younger than I'll consider letting my kids go to the same place.
It's not that it's any different here, it really isn't, but the years that have passed have changed things and changed people.
The years have taken the ice cream man.
Read about me here. . .