In the south, I grew up with the art of the "Sunday Ride". This is not to be confused with Sunday Drivers, who obliviously meander at 12 miles per hour while other drivers develop road rage or migraines. No, a Sunday Ride was Granddaddy's secret way of spoiling us with a lesson in patience thrown in for good measure.
We lived next door to my Dad's parents until I was 8. On countless Sundays, Granddaddy would feel the need to load up his wife, Dad's unmarried sister, my parents and siblings. There was always some "excuse" about needing to go look at something, or to get Grandma out of the house so she could see the home of the lady with the prettiest flowers in town. And if we children (only 2 of us at the time) could be patient, Granddaddy would develop a sudden taste for ice cream on the way home. Until the day they tore it down to build something else, my little heart would beat faster every time we neared that neighborhood drug store.
Some of you might remember them. "Business" in the back, where all prescriptions were filled promptly, and "Fun" on the side, where the counter holding stools and ice cream lived. Sealtest Ice Cream. The best in my world.
For a kid who was born a chocoholic, my favorite flavor was Strawberry. There were big chunks of REAL strawberries in it and I swear, next to Grandma's home churned stuff, it was the best ice cream on the planet. One scoop, a HUGE scoop at that, on a cone would keep me content for a week. In the meantime, I learned that patience is a virtue...and often came with a creamy, cold treat for which Granddaddy would get thanked with the wholehearted gratitude that only children seem to show.
Those treat afternoons stopped when Granddaddy had his second stroke and became bedridden. He died when I was 14 and ice cream never tasted as good again. The Sealtest brand was sold, and it became a conglomerate of Good Humor/Byers. Modern technology has never matched the texture or joy I remember as a kid.
And yet, growing up didn't completely keep me away from Sunday Rides. Hubby and I, plus Bou (and Smokey when he was alive) have been known to pile in a car for a ride away from the humdrum of every day. A mini vacation from reality, as I think of it. Sure, with gas prices we don't go far but in the summer, those rides include the occasional ice cream cone. And Bou has learned that if he's patient, I can never finish my cone, so he helps.
Riding is Bou's favorite activity, with Eating and Sleeping ranking a close 2nd and 3rd. But today's ride will be his favorite of all. For while I've been on a Staycation (by choice), Hubby has been on the adventure of a lifetime that will be shared in weeks to come. In the meantime, Bou is ready to load up and head for the drop zone just beyond the airport...Hubby traveled with a group and didn't want me to have to go all the way to the airport.
And if they're both good on the ride home,I might just have to stop and get them some ice cream.