Friday, August 23, 2013

Ice Cream & Nostalgia

There’s a drive-up “restaurant” in Montesano, WA, that has been there for decades; my dad remembers stopping there for ice cream when he was a kid.  I couldn’t comment on their food items (no one really wants to eat drive-in burgers), but their soft-serve ice cream is some of the best around.  We are usually driving through too close to dinner or during naptime and often do not stop.  But not this time:


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This is a “small” cone.


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So is this one.


There’s something amazing about doing the same things, visiting the same places that your parents did when they were young.  Assuming you like and admire your parents, I guess.  I like to imagine my dad as a kid eating a giant ice cream cone in the streaming metropolis of Montesano (2011 population: 3,692) in the fifties and sixties.  He and mom still stop there on their drives through.


My dad recently found a box of old yearbooks from his and my mom’s high school and college days, along with a journal my dad started in 1975 and wrote in only three times – just long enough to paste the receipt for my mom’s engagement ring inside and write his intentions of proposing in 35-year-old handwriting that was much more script-like and legible then than it is now.  There are photos in the yearbooks of my mom and my dad in high school and a particularly mesmerizing photo of my mom in a big group in college.  She was so beautiful, with her long hair and her bright smile.  Sometimes I think, wow, what I wouldn’t give to have known them then.  But then I think about who I am now compared to who I was in college and really, I don’t think I’m that much different.  Not fundamentally, anyhow.  I would love to be able to hang out with my college-aged parents, be goofy with them, and see who they were when they were learning who they were, but I imagine that at the base, they were the same then as now.  Maybe a little more carefree, ignorant of the trials and troubles that life would throw at them.  But still the people who would become my parents. 


I feel the same about my grandparents… oh, to be able to time travel!  To see what they saw, who they were and how they acted.  But our lot in life is to move forward instead of back.  God willing, I will see my children go off to college.  And once they are safely graduated and have real jobs and maybe even kids of their own, I’ll show them my yearbooks and scrapbooks and they can wonder how awesome it would have been to know me when.  When I was fun.  When I partied.  When I danced on tables and rode mechanical bulls.


Mom and dad, take note: now is the time to start telling me all the stories about how crazy/awesome you were back then.  Because I’m too old to try to outdo you at this point.

1 comment:

Tony said...

"Because I’m too old to try to outdo you at this point."

Yeah, I'm sure they're not buying that.