Tag Archive | Nostalgia

The Power of An Ice Cream Cone

ice cream cones (1)

On Wednesday the weather was in the 80’s. The sky was blue. The birds were singing -you get the point, it was a gorgeous day. It was a perfect day to drive my friends Dave and Terry to the airport with the car windows open. Ken didn’t want to come along for the ride because he was feeling “under the weather,” but I coerced him to come, saying all he had to do was sit and look out the window.

You see, in our part of the woods, Mother Nature can be a bitch. Three days of beautiful weather now followed by cold, rainy and in some parts of Wisconsin — snow — over a foot and a half in the city of Rice Lake. Yicks!

Because such weather fluctuations are normal in Wisconsin, I knew I had to seize Wednesday and have some fun. I wanted Ken to enjoy the day with me. I’ll admit it. My motives were selfish. I wanted some time with him away from our four walls. I know he felt crappy because he’s always up for an outing, but I also know the power of seeing friends and changing our scenery. Besides, I had a surprise in mind for him.

After we wished our friends a good journey, I rolled the windows down, turned up the radio and blasted out of the airport.  Then I headed North–the opposite direction from going home. I knew one thing that would perk up my sweet suffering husband, so I headed for “Leon’s” – his favorite frozen custard place. Leons drivein (1)


As we drove along, Ken didn’t say anything. Now, I was really worried about him because he always comments when I take a different route–especially one in the opposite direction of where we should have been going. It wasn’t until he saw St. Luke’s hospital in the distance, did he realize where he was.

He grinned like a little boy. “We’re going to that ice cream place, aren’t we?”

I smiled at him. “It’s about time you figured out where we are. Yes. I thought you’d like a treat.”

I pulled into the nostalgic ice cream shop that dates back to the 1940’s, parked the car, and walked up to the window to place our order for two double-dip cones.

With a big broad smile, I handed him his favorite butter pecan treat, and we sat in the parking lot, enjoying every lick. As we quietly pretended it was summer, we chatted about how good the ice cream was. We talked about dinner options. We both hoped Dave and Terry would have a good time on their vacation. For about ten minutes, we were our old selves without a care in the world. All because we were taken out of our everyday situation by an ice cream cone.

After the last lick, I started the car and blended into the heavy 27th Street traffic to catch the freeway that would bring us back home. As I drove along, I turned up the oldies on the radio and sang all the way to our driveway. I felt like a kid again. Ken smiled as I belted out, “Born to Be Wild.” Our little excursion turned out to be magical. Not only did Leon’s lifted Ken’s spirits,  it brought me back to some of the happiest, most carefree times in my life. Singing with the radio to tunes I loved as a teenager, made me feel young and carefree.

My point? Well, it’s just this. Simple pleasures are there for the taking.  Enjoy an ice cream cone in the middle of the week. Get out into the good weather and keep the blinds shut on the bad days. If you wait for a “special” occasions to live your life, you may miss the most marvelous events that are right in front of you. Carpe diem–Baby!

An End of An Era

mmc1I wish I had a  picture of my brother and I sitting in front of our black and white television set with our Mouseketeer ears on our head. Every afternoon we’d  sing along with Annette and the other kids – “Hey there, Hi there, Ho there, we’re as happy as can be. M I C, K E Y   M O U S E!”

I loved The Mickey Mouse Club, and I never missed an episode. I’d proudly wear my mouse ears, singing and dancing with the kids who came into my living room through the television, pretending I was one all of them. Besides the performances of the Mouseketeers, I’ d watch the adventures of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. And of course, there were sweet cartoons with Mickey Mouse, and his girlfriend, Minnie, Donald Duck, Pluto and the rest of the characters.  It was a great kid’s television show in the 50’s.

Yesterday’s passing of Annette Funicello  after a long fight with Multiple Sclerosis brought back many childhood memories. Annette was my favorite of the famous group. She was so talented, and thank God, Walt Disney protected her and insisted she be kept innocent.(Unlike Britney Spears who was turned into a sex symbol as soon as she could be exploited.)  But then, we all were allowed to be innocent. It was time when the bad news was saved for grown-ups, and children were protected from the ugliness of the world.


I know that you never can go back, but this program was dear to all of us who were children in the 1950s. Now, children grow up too fast; things are more immediate, video games have taken the place of a simple television show, and kids are far more sophisticated than I was when growing up. In a way, I feel sorry for them.

So goodbye, Annette. Maybe I’ll be able to sing and dance with you in heaven. Save me a place in the club.