Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Ice Cream Man

Emily had her friend over on Saturday to play. They have perfected their balancing act on the teeter totter. I think they should try out for the circus.

Then, they heard the familiar music that has been blaring down our streets on the weekend and they hopped off the teeter totter and went running for the door.

The Ice Cream Man was coming.

I have wonderful memories of the ice cream man coming every summer afternoon on Paradise Drive. We would all stop whatever we were doing, usually we were in the pool, and we'd grab our Mom's wallet and run outside. We'd be dripping wet from the pool and barefoot, so we'd have to stand in a neighbors grass or on our beach towel to avoid third degree burns from the asphalt. Yes, you really could fry an egg on the pavement during the summertime in Phoenix.

And on those hot afternoons, nothing tasted better than a frozen treat from the ice cream man.

Sometimes, we'd only have a dime and we'd have to settle for some candy inside the truck instead of the frosty cold pictures on the outside. Cinnamon toothpicks, bubblegum cigarettes or candy lipstick were among my favorites. When my Mom had a little more cash, I would get a Flinstone orange push up or a bullet.

And if we were really good, the ice cream man would throw a handful of little candies, tootsie rolls and PAL gum, out the window as he left and we'd all scramble to get one last treat.

I was shocked at the ice cream man prices. Only 2 things under a dollar. And when I touched a picture, I realized it was those nice shiny magnetic pictures that can easily be moved around. My ice cream man always had stickers that were peeling and you could barely see 1/4 of the picture of the ice cream sandwich. And we weren't allowed to get anything over 50 cents.

This is the second time we've run outside for the ice cream man even though we have popsicles and ice cream in our own freezer. But, I wasn't about to deprive my kids of learning this tradition.

I'm a Mom and it's my job to teach my kids about the joys of being a kid. So, I let them pick whatever they wanted.

But at $5 a shot, I'm hoping we won't be home next Saturday afternoon.


Linda said...

I'm telling you, even though we have children at different ages, you and I sure think about the same topics to write about, lol.

I had planning to write a piece about the Ice Cream truck as well, LOL. I also have those fond memories, though in the town where we live, the "ice cream man" as we say, has never come around. I don't think they had a truck here.... until.... this past month.

One afternoon in late April or early May, I heard the familiar music and thought "huh? Am I hearing this right?" and then here comes Sarah running from the bedroom, bare feet, asking for money and running outside to the curb on one of the freak cold days of spring.

It's actually an "ice cream woman" here but in the same familiar truck (or van - I think it's a van here). Anyway, she always seems to come by near dinner time. Never after dinner time, of course - often right before.

And sometimes the music can be heard throughout the neighborhoods, and Ashlee & Sarah wait out in the driveway for 45 minutes and she never comes by... Yes, that happened. :)

Loved your story and the photos.

Stacy said...

We got suckered with that ice cream truck the other day too. I also have the same childhood memories of the ice cream truck coming and us begging my mom for money and then running outside to catch the driver that would never slow down for us. I think he just liked to see us gasping for air by the time we caught up. Anyway, why was that so fun? I look at what they offer now & nothing even looks good (too bad there isn't a Coldstone ice cream truck). I showed Caleb the picture of Ben in front of the ice cream truck and he smiled from ear to ear. We'll be listening for that music too....