One afternoon I went out on my deck to water the plants when a bell ringing in the distance stopped me dead in my tracks. My taste buds watered. Visions appeared before my eyes; childhood memories of chocolate eclair bars, ice cream sandwiches and popsicles so cold they would make your teeth ache with a single bite.
I paused, awed by the idea that as much as the world has evolved, one constant has remained; the ice cream truck. A dinosaur by today’s standards of thrilling kid things, yet a sound still capable of making me salivate like one of Pavlov’s puppies.
When I returned inside the house, all I could think about was the integral role a visit from Mr. Softie played in the summer months when I was in elementary school. After we’d spend hours in our above-the-ground swimming pool playing Marco Polo, making whirlpools, and floating on our backs while staring at the bright sun, we’d get out, dry off and wait for the Mr. Softie truck. He always arrived a little before 4 o’clock, just minutes before Dark Shadows came on TV. We’d get our ice cream and huddle in the small den of my family’s small cape cod styled house, watching Barnabas Collins and a host of scary folks, all while we devoured the delicious soft serve before it could melt all over us.
The other day I was walking my dog. I passed a little boy who had moved into the neighborhood a few months ago. He ran over to pet the dog then said, “I’m waiting for the ice cream truck. He always comes now.”
I wished him luck getting his treat and headed home. In a world filled with change in every corner of our lives, I found it comforting to know how it still matters to a kid that the ice cream truck visits his street.
Anything leave you feeling nostalgic? Was a visit from the ice cream truck part of your childhood memories?