Ice cream man! Ice cream man!

SixWordSaturday
BeckyB’s PastSquares

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You could hear the kids yelling up and down the block as those familiar.. and oh so repetitive…melodies grew louder and louder. Summer days and early evenings interrupted by the sounds of the approaching Ice cream man! Ice cream man!. Always shouted in double time…and always “man” because…well it was always a man. I hopefully imagine that in 2021, there are women driving as well.

My sister, brother and I must have had super sonic hearing because we were out the door or across the yard in seconds – quarters clutched in sweaty hands (if we were lucky enough to finagle them from Mom). We needed to make it to the curb before the truck went by. Chasing it down our suburban street was just not the same, although we took off after it whenever necessary.

It was always a Good Humor truck. My favorite ice cream bar was the one with the candy bar inside, but it cost more so I rarely bought it. Chocolate Eclair or Toasted Almond were my usual go-to choices.

The truck featured in this square photo was parked out of the way at the National Zoo in Washington, DC during a visit in 2019. Plugged in and keeping cold. When I saw it kinda tucked in under several trees, branches resting on its roof…I thought of all the times when the sights and sounds of a simple ice cream truck became the highlight of my day. A blast from the past.

Couldn’t let this parade pass by

BeckyB’s July Squares: Treesquare
Six Word Saturday

Today is the last day of Becky B’s July Treesquare challenge and I can’t let it end without including some of my favorite trees. Callery Pear Trees line the street into my condo development and bloom in bursts of white for only about a week every Spring. This photo was taken April 26, 2021. A yearly photo opportunity you can’t procrastinate about or else it’s too late and the petals fall…blanketing the grass below.

The Clue in the Climbing Tree

BeckyB’s July Squares: Treesquare
SixWordSaturday

“Tea for the Tillerman” album cover
Illustration by Cat Stevens

There is a tree on this square (!) album cover…so it is joining the Treesquare challenge today. “Tea for the Tillerman” also happens to be one of my all-time favorite albums. I don’t know if I’ve ever really noticed the tree before, but now that I have, it just ups this album on my meter of favorites.

Those two kids climbing the tree? Well, one of them could have been me way back in the day between the ages of 4 and 11. When I had what I called a Climbing Tree in the front yard of our small home. I don’t recall what kind of tree it was; only that its branches were at just the right height for me to grab, gain a foothold…and up I’d go.

We also had a backyard, but it felt more like a cage. My father installed a split rail fence around the entire perimeter and then covered it with chicken wire – ostensibly so my sister, brother & I wouldn’t escape and flee wander off into traffic. Except there was very little (no) traffic, so maybe it was because of my little brother – so he could be sent out there to play unsupervised. He did tend to wander. I’d try to get away with climbing over the fence, as the gate was locked, but I was soon discovered.

The thing is…I loved the front yard. Much freer place to play. No fence. No boundaries but the street curb. Plus a tree to climb and hide in when it was leaved out. I spent hours balanced on branches…”spying” on unsuspecting passersby and imagining exciting stories about what adventures they might be up to! Perhaps too many “saving the day” Saturday morning cartoons; although more likely it probably coincided with my addiction to Nancy Drew books. Perhaps I was developing my own “The Clue in The Climbing Tree” or “The Secret in the Street.” Unfortunately I have yet to unearth any photographs of my tree in the boxes of old photos stacked high in my closets.

Decades later I happened to drive through that NJ suburb on a family trip and was curious to see the “old house” again. Sad to say the tree was gone. Gone! The house, unfortunately, remained frozen in time. Nothing had been done to maintain it. Peeling paint. Overgrown shrubbery. Junk piled up and down the crumbling driveway. The 1950s windows…dirty and tired. A sad sight.

The climbing tree was a rare happy place from that time in my life. A special perch and hide-out all in one. Perhaps it’s just as well I remember it that way.

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Let’s not forget how this post started…Cat Stevens, now known as Yusuf, released an incredible collection of brilliant songs on “Tea for the Tillerman” in 1970. As you can tell from the faded & worn album cover, it was well loved and spent little time on a shelf. We all have at least one album where we remember every word to every song…and know what song will come next as each one finishes. I know it’s cliché – but in this case…I think these songs are timeless. Below is a link to one from this album (and it’s hard to choose just one, so if you can, check out the whole record):

On The Road To Find Out
by Cat Stevens

All Kinds of Gourds for sale

I am just a few days late getting started with BeckyB’s October Squares Challenge. I figure it’s better to be kinda late than never.
The theme this month is Kind

    • Something of the kind (similar to something or even a carbon copy)
    • Our imagination kindled (inspire us!)
    • Of its kind (a unique object or an example of something such as a flower or bird)
    • Two of a Kind (or one, or three or multiple!)
    • Kindred spirits (kindness in action or photographs of people)
    • Take kindly to (something you like)

Also an entry for SixWordSaturday

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I recently discovered a display of gourds (which I used to call baby gourds) piled in a bin at a local farm stand. Ready for fall decorating for those who are so inspired!

An All Too Brief Pandemic Pause

 

on the road

What a sight it was a week ago Friday.

Six hours of driving (almost) nonstop. Highways to city streets to country roads. Following the GPS lady’s directions – every minute bringing us closer to our CovidCation. The weather was beautiful – almost too good to be true.

Faster and faster we drove (well I did…my husband’s foot is not as leaden as mine).

We were out-running a virus after all.

Get my lunch out of the backseat please! The car was packed with 2 coolers, 2 suitcases and laundry baskets full of necessities. My gluten free toaster in one of them. As we learned bringing our kids to college, laundry baskets work out well for car trips…as they can nest when they’re empty for the trip home.

It occurred to me that travel by car meant I could bring Full Size Bottles of whatever I wanted. So I did.

My laptop and our cameras…carefully packed. We remembered the tripod for a group photo. Paw Patrol bubbles (but of course). Decks of cards. Guitar.

We arrived at the lake house in the Pocono Mountains around 6:30 pm.

Within a minute a short blonde 4 year old came running out…Grandma! And somehow he was up in my arms with his arms wrapped around my neck, legs encircling my waist. I don’t know how I picked him up but I must have. The first full on leap into my arms hug since February. Far too long.

After that, my daughter and I shared a good long hug. Face to face for the first time in 6 months. Then hugs for my son-in-law, my son and his girlfriend. We had tested and quarantined and stayed safe. Carefully planned and orchestrated.

All those hugs felt so good.

Of course we were joined by the two family dogs: Lutra and Taco (who have been featured in this blog before). They enjoyed themselves immensely as well.

We were in our own little bubble.

bubbles

A four day pause from virus fears.

firepit

What a sight to see.

No masks.

No social distancing…except from the family swimming across the lake.
(Grandma which one is the dada and which one is the mama? Grandma I think the bigger one is the dada….)

ducks

It was glorious.

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V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #109: What a Sight
Ragtag Daily Prompt: Pause
SixWordSaturday