The Mind, Youth, and Bustin’ the Ice Cream Man

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This is the 8th post in a summer series on what travel has to teach us about life. 
I love to think. Sometimes I think too much for my own good, but quickly remedy that and get back to my favorite pastime. The mind is like one huge playground. And even though you may trip and fall, hit the occasional mud puddle, or not be picked until last, there is nothing that compares to the recess of the mind.

It is a lovely break from the madness of the world. A place that can be anything you wish it to be. It is the factory of dreams where we all can put our own personal stamp on ambition and joy. Some days have more clouds than sun, and some days are completely rained out, but like the child watching for the rain to end, when it does no doors can hold such focused determination!

Remember the days of your youth. Back when friends that couldn’t play didn’t stop you from enjoying your day. You would wish them well and then switch gears–enjoying the remainder of the imagination filled day until you were called in for the evening. The next day was always going to be better than the rest, and never was “nothing” so much fun to be involved in. Forget being an adult all of the time–restricting yourself for fear that others will think you’re foolish. Do something now that made you happy then–chances are, it still will.

Ice Cream ManIn other words, take a trip back to childhood once in a while.

One of the funniest days I have ever had was spending the day with my good friend Ericka. You see, whenever we felt that we were taking ourselves a little too seriously, we would drive to Whetstone Park and swing on the swings. On this particular day, I was in my early trimester with my son and could use the break. We didn’t care if people thought we were too big to be playing like kids, and had a few laughs when we saw other “big kids” enjoying themselves–either with their own children or friends.

As we were swinging on the swings and talking and laughing, we heard the ice cream truck. The ice cream truck was playing Ode to Joy as it turned into the park. So we thought that it would just be a great compliment to the day to get ice cream. Well, this ice cream man must have been pissed off or at the end of his shift, because he came speeding into the park and went right past us! At this point it was no longer a thought, it had turned into the ice cream truck challenge. And as my fellow moms know, when you get a craving, it needs to be fed.

The speed limit in the park was about 5 MPH–this dude had to be going about 20. Whetstone Park was now this guy’s personal autobahn! So I yelled at Ericka to get into the car, and in true Starsky and Hutch fashion (she slid over the hood of the car) we managed to get in quick and take off in the other direction to head the ice cream man off at the pass.

We rolled past the recycling bins and turned into the parking lot near the pond. That’s when I saw him. We had kept the windows rolled down so we could gage his closeness by listening to the Ode to Joy, and I would break or accelerate accordingly. He was coming in our direction when I blocked the road with my little blue Honda Civic that I had back then. He had to stop, or I would just have a crumpled car and all the ice cream I could eat.

We burst out of the car with money in hand, completely out of breath, with Ericka saying that I was pregnant and we just wanted some ice cream. He laughed at our persistence, congratulated me on my upcoming birth, and served up a Push-up and a Scooter Crunch Bar on the double–probably all the while thinking that a pregnant woman just chased down his ice cream truck. I told him jokingly that I would now let him pass as we got back into my car. He then went his merry way and Ericka and I went back to the swings with our reward for our pseudo, bang up, Starsky and Hutch impression. Sitting there, we let the full scope of what we had just done hit us, and were doubled over in laughter for the rest of the day.

Now had we worried about looking foolish, we wouldn’t have that memory to keep bringing up to this day. And I wouldn’t have had my strawberry Scooter Crunch Bar either. I enjoy the playground of the mind, and while it is a bit like a sitcom sometimes, it is very creative, keeps me amused, and is filled with memories that will keep me entertained for the rest of my life. So again, remember the days of your youth, and every now and then bring them forward to color your world. You may have a nice picture if you stay inside the lines all the time, but how memorable will it be?

-Trina Noelle


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2 thoughts to “The Mind, Youth, and Bustin’ the Ice Cream Man”

  1. Love this last line- “You may have a nice picture if you stay inside the lines all the time, but how memorable will it be?”

    I am kind of geeking out right now about how much I enjoyed this story. Thanks for sharing Trina! It is truly amazing how great it can feel to let loose, act ridiculous, and chase after the literal or metaphorical ice cream truck!

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