Ice Cream: The Story Behind One of My Favorite Things
For whatever reason, many of our memories have a food element. I know our senses are connected, and smells and tastes often trigger a memory. For instance, I had morning sickness my entire pregnancy. Although I’ll save you the gory details, I’ll just say that there are certain foods that simply the smell of takes me right back to that feeling. I know you know what I’m talking about.
Recently I was talking to a friend about ice cream, and as I talked more about a couple of memories, I began to realize why ice cream is one of my favorite things.
First I’ll say that I have always had everything I need…and more! I grew up in a wonderful home. But we never lived extravagantly. My mom was a stay-at-home-mom, and there was a period of more than a year when my dad was laid off from work. I know what it’s like to go grocery shopping with my mom with calculator in hand and paying with food stamps. We stood in line for the free cheese and peanut butter. I learned early on how to budget and how not to spend money you don’t have and what it means to live from paycheck to paycheck.
As soon as I was old enough, I babysat. I loved kids. I wanted to work and start earning money. Things were tight for my parents, and they didn’t splurge. So I wanted to do something to help. I decided that I could buy a gallon of ice cream with my money and that would be a nice treat for my family that would last a few days. Or we could drive from Waldron to Shelbyville to go to the Dairy Queen. I felt so good being able to treat my family. It was just the four of us – my parents, my younger brother, and me.
A story about ice cream and God's provision. #thankful #favoritethings Click To Tweet
At the time, I didn’t feel like we were poor (and we certainly weren’t!) or that I was missing out on things. It was life. My life. Our life. And it was a good life for sure. I’ve never gone to bed hungry or had to wear shoes or clothes that didn’t fit because we didn’t have money for new ones. My parents were good stewards of what we had and eventually my dad was back to work. But we just couldn’t treat ourselves very often. Money went to pay bills and buy groceries that put meals on our table.
Fast forward to high school when I got a job at Hart’s, a local frozen yogurt shop. It was one of my favorite jobs. I loved the owners and the people I worked with and still see them from time to time. I have fond memories of that time of my life. But now I see that ice cream again played a key role in my life. It was my first “real” job outside of babysitting. It provided for the things I needed as a high school and soon to be college student. I even went away to college and came back to this job during the summer.
It's never too cold for ice cream especially when it comes with warm memories. #blessed Click To Tweet
My ice cream story is simple. It may not touch you like it does me. In fact, I didn’t even make this connection about my own life until I was in my 40s. I was heading to a farmer’s market and I mentioned to a friend, “They have ice cream” and my eyes lit up. Her response was “You really like ice cream, don’t you?” And at that moment, it clicked. I began to tell her some of the things I just shared with you. Nothing profound, but part of who I am.
We all have things in our lives that, piece by piece, build us into who we are. When I reflect on this, I see God’s hand on my life. I see how He always provided for us. He taught me to be thankful for what I have and to share when I can. I learned how to budget and how to know the difference between my needs and my wants.
I wish I could say I don’t take for granted the food on our table or the treats we have and the splurges we make, but I know I do. Heck, how long did it take me to realize the connection between that time of my life and now? Sure I’ve told stories of growing up and remember the Ice Milk ice cream in the blue and white cardboard box, but to see the fingerprints of God all over that…it’s taken me awhile.
I know His fingerprints are on your life as well. Do you see them?
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Yay! I love food writing and food stories. I definitely know what you mean about not always realizing at first your connection with foods. Who says eating isn’t emotional! I have a lot of memories picking crabs. I wrote about it too! https://stronghungrygirl.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/crabs-a-food-writing-exercise-from-will-write-for-food/
Thanks for sharing Sarah! I love your story.