Tag Archives: Moose Tracks

Old Friends

When Old Friends visit, we eat at Ivanhoe’s, a restaurant boasting 100 sundaes and shakes.

Still, I’m the star attraction, you understand.

I come to Ivanhoe’s early, where I hoard the last empty table and chairs like a miser. Seventy-three people lined up at the counter glare.

My mean face warns every Harley rider, professor, farmer, mommy, pastor and sixth-grader: Go ahead, make my day. Grab this table, and I’ll dance on it to the loudspeaker music.

You don’t want to see that.

Old Friends arrive! We hug, and they join the line. I remain at my post, teeth bared.

Finally seated, we catch up on marrying and burying news. The crowd’s noise makes it difficult to hear, but we fix that. We yell.  

Old Friend #1: Our 401k tanked.

Old Friend #2: (louder) My son’s driving an army tank, too.

O. F. #3 (louder) My last tank of gas cost a second mortgage.

O.F. (LOUD) Your septic tank overflowed?

The dining room clears. We don’t have to stand in line for dessert.

We study the menu as if it determines our eternal destiny and choose Moose Tracks, Mocha Almond Crumb, Fudge Mint, Butterscotch, Raspberry, and Boston Cream Pie Sundaes. Sacred silence prevails as we dig in.

Image by Rita E from Pixabay

Even after ice cream, we fit in the van — if we bunch like celery and don’t breathe. But Jaws of Life has to free us.

As we yak at my house, I remember when my husband and I sang at one Old Friend’s wedding. Another O.F. and I, having daughters of similar ages, braved training bras, driving lessons and wedding planning together. A third O.F. created an over-the-hill cake, complete with open grave, for my 40th birthday.

We prayed together throughout decades. About real estate, wars, car break-downs, pregnancies, weird relatives, the President, potty training, abortion, teen drivers and last, but not least, our husbands. No one could — or can — escape our prayers.

All too soon, they leave. But I’ll travel to one Old Friend’s feast in December, when she prepares homemade soups and breads with melt-in-your-mouth Christmas cookies of every size, shape and flavor.

I can’t wait to see Old Friends again.

They’re the star attraction, you understand.

Old Friends pose by Ivanhoe’s statue of Garfield, who likes ice cream, too!

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What old friends are special to you?

Sorta Spring

Image by Lena Helfinger from Pixabay.

Everyone in Indiana regards the official calendar arrival of spring as great marketing by the Easter Bunny to extend his season and up his Hallmark stock’s value.

Image by arinaja from Pixabay.

Still, a walk, even on a sloppy day, can generate positive thoughts, such as, “Woo-hoo, it’s March, not November!”

See, don’t you feel better already?

Besides, staying inside does not guarantee security. I never feel safe when I share a residence with Moose Tracks ice cream left over from Christmas gatherings.

My mom always said fresh air was good for us. At the first sign of a winter thaw, she sent all five siblings outside. Conversely, she stuck her head out the door 10 minutes later to caution, “This is pneumonia weather! Cover those ears now!”

Apparently, my jingle-bell sock hat stopped pneumonia germs in their tracks.

Image by granderboy from Pixabay.

Although she now resides in Heaven, I still sense Mom-radar as I walk hatless toward the door. Despite my 60-plus years, I pause. Finally, I stuff one into my pocket. Maybe if I walk fast, pneumonia germs won’t catch me.

Especially as I’m following doctor’s orders. When people my age walk, they can look their physicians in the eye and truthfully state they are doing the cardio thing.

They save their best fibs to cover the Moose Tracks.

Today, my pathway takes me past houses whose yards still sport weary red bows and saggy inflated Santas. My heart warms toward these kindred procrastinators.

Soon, I’ll have to face thoughts of fertilizing and planting, but given March’s fickle weather, I can still file them in distant corners of my mind somewhere near cleaning the garage and attaining a size six.

Nothing colors my soul like daffodils’ green fingers, reaching up to grasp the earthy brown sill, with a few pretty but brainless yellow heads peeking out.

These dumb flowers always show up on deceptive warm days before a spring blizzard.

Image by David Underwood from Pixabay.

Every year, I try to warn them: “What part of ‘frostbite’ don’t you understand?”

Tonight, their yellow fingertips will shiver as a frozen wind arises.

But they never listen.

Thank God.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What does a March walk look like where you live?

A Tempting Spring Walk; or Why Did I Move Near an Ice Cream Mecca?

My husband and I walk after supper for good reasons. First, burgeoning trees and flowers replenish the famine of beauty we suffered during the gloom of early spring. I love the scent of cut grass — if someone else mows.

Second, walks grow relationships, including Hubby’s and mine. Our eyes and fingers are not glued to screens. Instead, we grow attached to us.

Third, we also greet neighbors, people who eat, sleep, work, play and worship within a stone’s throw. Yet, we rarely see them during winter. God created spring to lure us from it’s-all-about-me caves.

If we must mention exercise (sigh), walking qualifies. I’d rather walk than jog, run or sumo wrestle.

We take walks for good reasons, you understand.

Not to buy ice cream.

Temptation lurks in every springlike Eden. In our town, no conniving snake persuades us to stray from the straight and narrow. Instead, a legendary drive-in presents a menu of 100 ice cream sundaes, including my nemesis, the Moose Tracks.

Its name, which evokes somewhat unpleasant images, should ruin appetites.

Not mine.

The sundae’s frozen yogurt initially hooked me. Yogurt is healthy, I rationalized. Surely, it sucks the calories and cholesterol from the accompanying chopped Reese’s Cups, warm spoonfuls of peanut butter and globs of hot fudge.

I have successfully battled such enticements elsewhere.

But this drive-in is located a few blocks from my house.

When Hubby suggests we walk north, not east, I breathe a sigh of relief. We head north to homes and parks graced with newly planted petunias and geraniums. North past the grade school, where homework escapees flip on monkey bars. Past baseball diamonds where miniature players sport mitts bigger than they. North away from the drive-in.

The sunset throws a feast of sherbet colors in the west … did I say “feast”? And “sherbet”?

At town’s edge, Hubby halts. “Where to now?”

He should know better than to ask. Because I always tell the truth. At least, part of it. “Let’s take Main Street. I’ll bet the flowers are gorgeous.”

A few blocks from our home, friendly Garfield and delicious ice cream always greet my grandkids at Ivanhoe’s.

They don’t disappoint. Fragrant honeysuckle intoxicates us. Fluffy peonies beckon, and brilliant blue, purple and yellow pansies pour from flowerpots. Somebody tilled his garden, a field of moist chocolate fudge … did I say “chocolate”? Whipped cream clouds swirl in the golden peanut-butter sky. …

We find ourselves at the drive-in.

Imagine that.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What’s your favorite ice cream treat — er, walk?