Ice-cream Out Front On a Cone
Connecting with our neighbors through a sticky grin
March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, April showers bring May flowers, and sticky grins signal the start of summer on our street. As soon as the mercury rises, our favorite family dessert would be listed on a menu as “Ice-cream out front on a cone.”
It comes in many flavors—chocolate chip cookie dough, cookies and cream, mint chocolate chip, brownie moose tracks, Samoa, vanilla with sprinkles, straight-up chocolate, and even, now that mom eats vegan sometimes, coconut turtle trails ice-cream. The most important part is that it is eaten out on the front wall and up and down the sidewalk on our street.
I love it because it is a great way to connect with our neighbors, young and old. We can catch up on what has been happening over the winter months when it’s much harder to stay in touch with everyone. Their kids come by to hang out and draw with chalk, climb the tree in the front or race down to the big tree. The neighborhood dogs hang out a little longer on our stretch of the street because of all of the ice-cream mishaps.
We’ve also met many of the new neighbors on our street and in our neighborhood during an “ice-cream out front on a cone” night. Ella, our two-year old, is our ice-cream ambassador and is quick to go up to everyone and show them her cold, sticky treat as it drips all over her fingers and down the front of her pajamas.
I love how the sight of a child’s face covered in ice-cream brings a smile to an otherwise serious businessman or woman hurriedly walking home. It forces us to slow down for just a minute and think of a simpler time by connecting us to our own childhood memories of enjoying a sweet summer treat.
I often wonder what people think when I am checking out at Safeway in the summer with six gallons of ice-cream (everyone has their favorite flavor) and three boxes of cones. Instead of worrying about how good or bad it is for our collective health, I try to imagine myself with a sign attached to the cart that says, “For the Preservation of Family and Community.”
So when it gets hot and you’re feeling a bit lonely, I challenge you to grab a cone and head out onto your front porch or even better, your front sidewalk and enjoy your sweet summer treat while connecting with your neighbors, maybe you’ll brighten someone else’s day with your sticky grin.