Monday, May 4, 2009


This evening we went out for ice cream cones at the same roadside stop my mother frequented back in high school. She was born and raised in this area and gladly left it for California at the age of 20. I knew from my father, also raised here, that the stand had been there many years. I expected nostalgia from my mom, but there was little.

This place - with its fireflies, frogs, toads, and abundant summer insects - delights my boys, but left my mother cold. She fondly remembers the lake she grew up on, with her nine siblings, but when she grew too old for year-round lake fun, she longed for, and dreamed of, the sunny, sandy California beaches.

I grew up near the sunny, sandy, California beaches, and what I longed for, and dreamed of, was the seasons we have here. My heart soared three years ago, and still does, at the sight of abundant, deciduous fall color. Tulip shoots peeking through on the heels of melting snow equally delights me. And the first fireflies, that summer of 2006, will always be a fond, fond memory. My boys never had so much fun, and I never felt so blessed, watching them run around with delight, catching these little lantern-filled bugs.

Behind the ice cream stop is a large field my children (and Daddy) love to run through. The shop opens for business in April and boards up for winter in mid October. It is part of the seasonal rhythm here. The cyclic rhythm that lends itself to memories, and to the gentle passing of time.

As soon as we got out of the van, the older three children took off into the field, not even waiting to order their cones first. Daddy, always a boy at heart, gladly took off running behind them. I held the baby while watching them run through the tall grass, dandelions, and wildflowers. That scene, of my children and husband running through a field of flowers with all abandon and delight, is now firmly imprinted in my head.

Years down the line, when we go for ice cream again one spring, with our teenagers, I will look out into this same field, and imagine them still so young, so full of life, running just like they did today.

Even more years down the line, when we go for ice cream again one spring, I will watch my grandchildren run through this same field of flowers, and remember their mommy or daddy doing the same.

Everything doesn't always have to be new. Old is good too. Old things bring back precious memories.

Somehow the four-times yearly promise of a new season, with all its unique pleasures, and specially-attached memories, makes me feel like my cup is always running over.

I like that.

My children may grow to covet the sunny, sandy, California beaches, but maybe - just maybe - the fireflies will lure them back. Or that flower-filled field at the old ice-cream stop.


Jess said...

those are nice memories to cream, fireflies, piles of leaves to jump in, making snowmen, sledding, the first birds/flowers of spring...ones your boys (& girls) will one day remember fondly. i too love seasons and am thankful to live where i see all 4.

i hope and pray your visit with your mom is going well. have a wonderful monday, miss pam!

Steph said...

Lovely! And beautifully written, too!

9ndhouse- Katie said...

Very beautiful! Memories can be so wonderful to make!! What a goodly and Godly heritage we have the opportunity to pass on!