Thursday, December 29, 2016

Snippets of my day

Two luxurious weeks off. Mmmm, what to do? Read! I have plenty to choose from at home.


"What I did on my Christmas vacation". I ORGANIZED something. Oh, the joy that fills my heart. I fixed up the clothes-laundry area in my garage. I'd ordered a portable shelving holder from Amazon and I set it up in the spot where the washer-dryer is. I like maximizing space, and so I did!


Murray is very active in the mornings when I first get up. He runs around like a nut, looks out of every window, plays with everything except the toys I've bought him (frayed thread on hanging towel, shower curtain, other sleeping cat, imaginary shadow...). When he finally decides to settle for a nap, as all moms of kids and fur babies say, Amen!


Practicing with Pixlr, this time, "Space silhouette"


Aww too bad this job had been filled already by an eccentric. I'd like to have applied for it...

The Cave-dwelling Hermitess of Colonial America

The wind is howling and though it's warm now, the temps are supposed to plunge throughout the day as a cold front moves in. Perfect for staying warm in leggings and oversize comfy shirt, with tea. My last teabag of Stash "Christmas Morning Black and Green tea" awaits.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Design...luscious graphic design. Vintage Science Posters & Megan Lee

I love looking at beautiful things. Don't you? :) This first offering is from The Modernist Nerd
The intersection of science and design has many beautiful manifestations, from data visualization to nerd tattoos. But hardly does it get more delightful than in these gorgeous vintage science and technology ads from magazines in the 1950s and 1960s, bringing the modernist aesthetic to the atomic and space ages.
Here are a couple of offerings. I like the one about copper. Can you imagine the ad designer pondering how to make copper interesting? He did it.

And aluminum?

Soviet Propaganda Posters, while the content was objectionable to Americans back in the day, the design was stellar. I've written about them before, relating the history behind the popular UK war propaganda poster "Keep Calm and Carry On" and some other perfectly gorgeous posters as examples.

Here is a page dedicated to Soviet Posters.

The BBC did an article last year looking at 6 of the most recognizable vintage Soviet cosmonaut posters with explanations as to the history behind them.

Noel Bagley at Aetherworks (love the beauteous home page!!) found some modern vintage science posters by Megan Lee at her etsy shop. VISIT Megan Lee! Her designs are incredibly beautiful!

Niels Bohr was a 1922 Nobel winner for advancing our understanding of quantum physics and the structure of the atom.

Look, just LOOK at Megan's scientist postcards!

Rock Star Scientists posters. Fibonacci! Mandelbrot! My faves!

And planet stationery! This woman can design beautiful things!

Ahhh, gorgeous.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Book reading plan for 2017

Darryl Dash wrote yesterday on his blog,
When my kids were younger they attended schools with an initiative called “Drop Everything and Read.” The idea was simple. Students could pick their own book, lay aside other obligations, and read for the joy of it. There would be no tests or reports. I loved the idea.
When I taught first grade, waaaaaay back thirty years ago, we did the DEAR program. We loved it. I taught in a PK-2 school then and when the principal announced DEAR time we all dropped everything and read for the pleasure of it. Nowadays, the day is so crammed for students with tasks and assessments and being 'productive,' that reading for pleasure is often scooted to the side. Sadly.

Mr Dash wrote his essay intended as an encouragement for pastors not to neglect good reading, hefty reading, non-fiction reading...all reading. It's part of the job. He said that when we leave reading until the end of the day after everything is finished, we don't read.

I have found this to be true. My day, just as most of you have experienced, is crammed with so many obligations and tasks, that I've left reading to the end and consider it a leisure activity. But it's not. Reading good books about missionaries, books on theology, commentaries, or just plain good fiction (Elmer Gantry!!!!) helps keep our mind sharp and encourages our thinking. And make no mistake, Christianity is a thinking religion.

I've made a decision to read more. I have gotten out of the habit. I downloaded Challies' reading program and selected the 'Avid level.'

There aren't many rules, just go through the list at the pace suggested. One can mix up the order, but I'm a rule follower and I'm going through it in the order given. Starting at the very top of the Challies list, my first book, the biography, will be-

Hearts of Fire: Eight Women in the Underground Church and Their Stories of Costly Faith by Voice of the Martyrs

The classic novel will be The Encantadas and Other Stories by Herman Melville.
And, Ben-Hur.
I'll also be also finishing Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan.

A book about history will be Life in a Medieval Castle by Frances Gies and Joseph Gies.
I'll also finish Salt: A World History by Michael Kurlansky.

I'm not looking forward to 'A Book Targeted at My Gender' and really have no clue about that one. It's hard, being child-free and unmarried at age 56, but I'll do my diligence and scrape a female book up from somewhere. Maybe Women's Ministry in the Local Church by Ligon Duncan and Susan Hunt, hee hee.

The book about theology will be Concise Theology by J. I. Packer

A book of at least 400 pages will be Fireside Book of Dog Stories, 1943, by Jack Goodman (Editor), James Thurber (Introduction)

A book my pastor recommends will be decided upon later, when I get to that point and ask him.

A book about Christian living will be What Every Christian Ought to Know by Adrian Rogers.

A book more than 100 years old will be easy to choose, I have tons of them laying around. Maybe The Decameron by Boccaccio (almost 700 years old) or Flatland: A Romance in Many Dimensions by Edward Abbott which is over 130 years. I've read Flatland before, but focused on the math. This time I want to focus on the sly satire on Victorian mores, and maybe combine reading it with some Lytton Strachey.

Those are the starters.

I already posses the books I've mentioned, except for the women's book by Duncan and Hunt. I already own all these! I have had some of them for 20 or 30 for years, always saying "I'll get to them some day." Some of these I've been carrying from apartment to apartment from Maine to Georgia, since 2004. Don't get me wrong, I've made hefty use of Amazon and the Public Library and Kindle and have read many books. I've also read many of the books I personally own. But I turned 56 years old last week and I've been toting around some of these for 10, 20, 25 years, always intending to read them. Like The Decameron. I bought that book after my first trip to Italy in 1990 when I was 30. It's shocking how fast time flies.

So I decided to Drop Everything And Read. Time is too DEAR to waste any more on stupid TV or unprofitable activity. Once you get out of the habit of reading, whether due to social distractions or technology or work pressures, it is hard to get back into it. And since time is always short, I have to MAKE time to read.

It's my resolution anyway. We'll see how that goes.

From current apartment all the way back to 2004, no matter how small the apartment I always had books.

This bookcase filled rapidly,
especially after I received my MacArthur Commentaries.

I had to co-opt a table into becoming another bookcase.

In this apartment I had four six-foot bookcases, filled.

This was an attic apartment of a Cape Cod style house in Maine
with a weirdly shaped middle room due to the low ceiling & dormers.
I made it my library.

This was a temporary transition apartment which was really
a furnace room in a garage, but I made do and brought my books.

When I moved out of the temporary apartment above,
I lived here which was one of the best places. It also had a large deck
onto which I'd go out and read, when I had time.
I was running my own business then and time was in short supply.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Humboldt Fog

Kroger has great sales. Cheese that is approaching the sell by date is wrapped and marked way down. My parents cultured in me a sophisticated palate and as a result I am very familiar with and love fine cheeses. I can't afford them at the the non-sale price so I'm thrilled to find these little, marked down bundles!

There are many fine cheeses. I didn't know just how many until I watched Monty Python.

Now I can have fine cheese every week! This week I discovered Humboldt Fog. Interesting name! What's it all about?

From the artisan cheesemaker Cowgirl Creamery's website-

Cypress Grove pic

Humboldt Fog
Mary Keehn got started on the goat cheese trail in the 1970s when she decided to raise Alpine goats as a source of healthful milk for her children. Not too long after, Mary started receiving awards for her herd and became recognized as an expert in the field. Blessed with an excess of milk from fifty goats, Mary started making cheese in 1983.
Situated where the giant redwoods meet the Pacific Ocean in the rugged northernmost reaches of Humboldt County, California, Cypress Grove Creamery gets unique inspiration from the salt-etched voluminous fog that coolly rolls in nearly every day.
One of the most unique American goat cheeses out there, Humboldt Fog is Cypress Grove's signature cheese. Elegant and luscious, this three-week old cheese pays homage to classic French Morbier by running a thin line of grey vegetable ash through its creamy, white center. As Humboldt Fog ages, its subtle tanginess grows more pronounced and a runny edge of thick and delicious ooze begins to develop under the rind and drift to the center of the cheese. Its similarity to Humboldt County's morning fog is unmistakable and lovely to behold.

It's a pretty cheese,for sure. The line in the middle does remind me of fog and the cool, slate grey ocean. A fogline.
I'm so glad they're still inventing cheeses!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

"Words, Peter learned, were powerful things." Roget's Thesaurus

Here is "The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus", 2015 Caldecott Honor Book. "Words, Peter learned, were powerful things. When he put them into long, neat rows, he felt as if the world itself had clicked into order."

Book blurb:
For shy young Peter Mark Roget, books were the best companions — and it wasn't long before Peter began writing his own book. But he didn't write stories; he wrote lists. Peter took his love for words and used it to organize his ideas and find exactly the right word to express just what he thought. His lists grew and grew, eventually turning into one of the most important reference books of all time.
This book is an inviting, visually engrossing portrayal of Pescter Mark Roget and the creation of the thesaurus. Readers of all ages will marvel at Roget's life, depicted through lyrical text and brilliantly detailed illustrations. This elegant book celebrates the joy of learning and the power of words.

I love words. I'm a writer, and they form the foundation of my craft. When I discovered an original two-book huge Oxford Dictionary in its case, WITH magnifying glass, I bought it immediately. Thesauri are right up there, too. I found the children's book about the life of Peter Roget, of the famous thesaurus. It looks great!

My favorite words thing happened when I was a reporter. Sitting in drafty town halls four nights a week for hours at a time, listening and listening to local politicians bloviate, you hear a lot of words. One particular elected official loved to pontificate in lengthy speeches. Fancying himself an elevated speaker, he liked to use a lot of words to explain his point of view. Lots. One verbal tic he may or may know he had, was to use three adjectives instead of one.

The most ironic example of this tic was when he was railing against the length of meetings because audience members talked too much, or because fellow elected officials talked too much (!) and in so railing, said "People are too redundant, repetitive, and recursive." LOL!!!

I'd hired a sales rep. He immediately complained about his former boss, who worked in the next town over. Uh-oh. Not good. Anyway, his insult was that his former boss was 'a maniacal windbag'. It makes me laugh to this day. Not the insult, but the use of nearly oxymoronic terms to create a hysterical picture in the listener's mind. Best. insult. ever.

William Shakespeare is well-known to have added so many new phrases to the English language. For example-

“All our yesterdays”— (Macbeth)
“As good luck would have it” — (The Merry Wives of Windsor)
“As merry as the day is long” — (Much Ado About Nothing / King John)
“Bated breath” — (The Merchant of Venice)
“Be-all and the end-all” — (Macbeth)
“Crack of doom” — (Macbeth)
“Dead as a doornail” — (Henry VI Part II)
“Eaten me out of house and home” — (Henry IV Part II)
“Faint hearted” — (Henry VI Part I)
“Fancy-free” — (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

What kind of a mind must Shakespeare have had to be able to invent these colorful phrases! They certainly have had staying power. We still say them regularly after 400 years!

Language is wonderful. I wish I had better facility with it. Thank goodness that when I'm stuck for a word, I can consult Roget's thesaurus! Thank you Peter Roget!

Friday, December 02, 2016

My trip to Elberton, in pictures

I was driving to Elberton Thursday. It's a city 17 miles to the east of my town. I don't usually drive in that direction but I had to renew my driver's license and I'd heard the DMV in Elberton is a bit more streamlined and friendly than others in the region.

I go through a small town called Carlton and I drive through lots of wooded areas. It's pretty. As I drove I held up my camera over my shoulder and shot. I like these kind of spontaneous non-framed up shots. Here they are-

the old wood warehouse, with old truck

one of many churches

Carlton, architectural antiques, scrap, and odds N ends

the feedmill

graffiti on train. In real life it was pretty and well done

Old timey old store

Eyes are always on the road. Camera points wherever.

Tiny Town. No, really. Look at the sign.

Home. magnolia leaves in winter

the yard in winter

Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Friday deals

Today was a very good day!

I did participate in Black Friday. Here is the extent of my purchases:

--99 cents ebook for Kindle, the Autobiography of Hudson Taylor, missionary to the Chinese.
--Robitussin and cough drops at the Dollar Store. Yes, the old sinus hit me on Wednesday and the store was closed Thursday for the holiday. I scooted over to the Dollar Store as soon as I could this morning.

Today I spent time outside doing the patio/yard things that had been bugging me. I got rid of a metal yard decorative element that had rusted. I pruned and re-potted all my plants and dug the dead leaves out of them. I swept the patio, and cleaned the front window. I planted some heirloom morning glories a friend had sent me. Of course the breeze blew the leaves right back into the patio and the pots, but I still felt good that I'd done my part.

The day was actually very warm unusually so. Long sleeves were too cumbersome and I ducked back inside to change into short sleeves. Yay, a nice, warm day under the sun doing light yard work was just the ticket.

I got rid of my car, which I wrote about earlier.

I finished my two classes and organized the certificates and the notes and syllabi from them plus another class I'd taken, into a binder. Now that I've taken three classes with two more on deck, I need to organize my credits. I'd taken Recovering Beauty of the Arts and Justification By Faith through Ligonier Connect. They are interesting Bible classes and Ligonier is partnered with ACSI so I get continuing education credits. Next up is Understanding the Tabernacle, and Principles of Biblical Interpretation. Yay! The one I took last year was Interpreting the Old Testament from Crown College.

I did the pre-paperwork online for getting my license renewed. Doing a bunch ahead of time is supposed to streamline the process. Harumph. We'll see when I go next week to renew my license whether spending an hour wrestling with the DMV's website helped any.

I had a lot of cans of green beans accumulating so when I was at the Dollar Store I bought some fried onions and cream of mushroom soup to make a green bean casserole tomorrow. I'll also bake some tofu, roast some potatoes and roast some poblano chiles a friend gave me from his garden. I also plan to make a lentil and tomato salad and cut up a pineapple. My cooking will be done for the week.

Voice of the Martyrs had offered a free book, Hearts of Fire, so I'd ordered it and it came today. So did my issue of The Banner of Truth's magazine. Between them, my ongoing reading of Hillbilly Elegy, and the 99 cent Autobiography of Hudson Taylor, I've got some great reading material for the rest of the weekend!

I found out that Great British Bake Off has a spinoff, called Junior Bake Off, so happy day! When my eyes get too tired, I'll watch this season's entrants, the cute little monkeys that they are!

Speaking of cutie pies, my ever present curious companion, Murray, is always on hand to lend a hand. He's always up for a cuddle!

Note large bag of cough drops and large box of tissues on table. #Sinus-season

Saying goodbye to my old vehicle

In May 2007 I wrote about my new-to-me vehicle. I purchased it in Georgia a few months after I'd moved from Maine. I'd wanted to get the lay of the land for a few months, see what my driving would be like, and go from there. I had written,
I've gone SUV. Between all the deer crashes around here and the fact that many other people have either vans or SUVs or is a farmer with a truck, I feel safer going with the flow and getting a larger vehicle. And it was a good deal. Very good.
Ford Explorer Limited, 1993, burgundy with roof rack to fog lights and even a CD player inside. Best of all, A/C that works!! Stylin'! 

The Ford Explorer was by the side of the road with a for sale sign on it. The car had 188,000 miles on it, if I remember, but Fords go a long way and I knew I would not be driving much. My traveling days were over. So I bought it. I did hit a deer, a frequent occurrence around here, but thankfully only the headlight was cracked in a minor way. Glad I was in a SUV.

Well 9 1/2 years later, my 23 year old Ford finally died. The engine block was cracked and when you hear that diagnosis on a 23 year old car, you hear taps playing in your head. Time to say goodbye.

Today I did. A friend's husband came and got it and will bring it to the junk yard scrap metal place, and I'll receive a few hundred dollars for it by weight, and that will be that!

Bye bye!
I've had a sub-compact, a compact, 3 station wagons, a hatchback, a plumber's van (I hated that one) a SUV and now a mini-van. My new to me vehicle is a 1998 Mercury Villager, but though the body of it is old the engine has many new parts. And on it goes!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Thanksgiving Break

Well it's the week before Thanksgiving and we are on break from school all week. I'm so grateful that the teachers and staff of our district vote every year for this week off. Prior to the school year's start, we're given an opportunity to vote on the school calendar. Options are generated by the staff & administrator Calendar Committee and they present the options to us. We vote. One of the choices is always to remain in school for the three days and take those three days and use them somewhere else, or have the whole week off. The vote is usually to take the week off. Yay.

I made a stop at the Second Hand store down the road after school Friday. I needed soap, and I like the hand made Amish soap the store sells. I also ambled over to the office and craft aisle, my irresistible draw and downfall, lol. In the past, I've found a Fabriano neon green journal, Martha Stewart scrapbooking papers and accessories I use in my own bookbinding and paper crafts, and small, magnetic notepads to make grocery lists, etc and more. I cannot resist an office or craft aisle. I've made peace with this in myself ;)

Yesterday I found a 5.5 X 8 spiral bound hard cover journal from Strathmore (Mixed media). Its cover was titled "Visual Journal" and the papers inside were 90 lb weight papers, 68 pages in all. The paper is smooth, I like the spiral binding because it lays flat when I'm working in it. The price was $2. Given the wonderful track record at this store of offering good items for a low price, I bought it knowing that Strathmore items always cost more than a mere $2!

Sure enough as I returned home I checked Amazon. It looks like I saved over $5 on this item!

Youtube is a wonderful repository for all manner of enjoyable videos. There were several art tutorials extolling the virtues of various art journals, and the Strathmore spiral journal was one. I learned a lot about what makes it a good journal. I'm looking forward to trying various media this evening as I dig out my supplies and try to create something.

Meanwhile, I have writing to do, a lot of it. After this essay, I'll write the daily blog at The End Time, thoughts today from John 11. Also I need to finish proofing the next eBook in my series, 'In Grace". It will be called Prophecy In Grace. In addition to the proofing the eBook, I need to finish making the digital cover. I want to be ready for Black Friday.

I also took some photos on these past sunny days, and I want to play with them as well. I'm halfway through the book Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance. It's an excellent memoir of a boy from Appalachia Kentucky who "made it" and his thoughts on poverty and socio-economic odds. Reading is definitely on my vacation schedule of activities. A friend is having a baby by C-section and I'll visit her in the hospital Monday.

The weather has been warm, yesterday was a gorgeous sunny 75 degrees, as it has been for the past week- perfect in my opinion. However this morning a cold front is supposed to sweep through and the wind is supposed to kick up and stay there all day. The temps will plummet and stay there. Brrr. That's OK, it is mid-to-late November after all. I have the gas stove ticking, the cat slumbering my by side, my comfy leggings and a sweatshirt on, and chicken soup bubbling. I have the week off and a relaxing time to look forward to.

It's all good, very good. I can't believe the year 2016 has dwindled down this fast, to only mere weeks remaining until 2017 comes! Do the years really pass faster and faster?! I think so. Enjoy the good while you can and love your life.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Frittata weekends

Weekday mornings are rushed, like they are for most people. I get up early enough, but it never seems like I can get all the things done I need to in that hour before I leave for work. As a result, breakfast is usually a quick cereal, or an egg slapped on the griddle and then mashed between two pieces of toast or bread for a sandwich I can gobble on the way to the car.

So on Saturday and Sunday I like to take my time and enjoy. On Sundays I make pancakes, and Saturdays I make an egg dish.

The last two Saturdays I made frittata. This is like an omelet, but not folded over. It's a crustless egg dish cooked on the stove top and usually finished under the broiler. It differs from a quiche because the eggs are not baked in a pie, and it differs from scrambled because you leave the eggs alone.  As mentioned, it differs from an omelet because you don't flip it or fold it. It's open faced, as it were.

Last week was roasted peppers and Sriracha sauce frittata.

Today was a tomato, roasted scallion, and Romano cheese frittata. I was roasting some whole peppers in the oven and I threw in the scallions I had. When they came out they were so crunchy-good I decided to use a few on the frittata.

The key to frittata is to leave it alone, cook it slowly, and it's done when the top is no longer liquid. You can put it under the broiler at the end of you want, to cook the last bit of liquid and to brown the edges.

This week's frittata is thicker because above, I used only one egg, my usual method. Today I used two, because the eggs were small.

It should slide off the pan onto your plate easily. You can have any side dish with a frittata that you usually have when you eat eggs. Today I had toast. Since the oven was on I popped the buttered bread into the oven to use some of that nice heat. Remember, frugal.

It's a nice way to start your weekend off, preparing a civilized breakfast. As the frittata was cooking I went outside into the predawn to video the wayward rooster. His cockle-doodle-do-ing sometimes comes out whole and sometimes he cuts it off in what sounds like a chicken coughing fit. Today we had a nice cardinal, warblers, and the rooster waking up the day.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Frugal organizing

I often write about ways to save money and time in grocery shopping and cooking. Being frugal in these tight economic times suits many people from all socio-economic levels.

There is a kind of frugality to the way we use space, too. I live in a 350 sf apartment. I like that, it is economical to heat, light, and clean. It's frugal to not use or pay for more space than we need, and we really need less than we think.

But a small living space, even with just one person living in it, can become cluttered too if we don't watch out. Add to that, there is always some unused space that can be used, if we think creatively.

In frugal living in a small space, the less cluttered you can be, the better. That means clear and clean surfaces. I don't leave lots of books and magazines and junk on top of the coffee table, dining table, or bookcase tops. The eye likes to stop when it's roaming around the room. The less it has to stop it, the more of a clean sweep the eye can do, the bigger the room will seem. For example, I use a clear cutting board so that it doesn't clutter the small kitchen counter top and make the eye stop. I keep the surfaces clean, as I mentioned, I put the books spines together evenly so that the clean lines on the bookcase look neater. Think of giving your bangs a trim. They always looks neater afterward don't they? Even a small trim.

There are spaces around your home, apartment, trailer, studio etc that you can use. Recently my one closet got pretty packed. I knew where all the things in it were, but they were hard to get to. Having things you're unable to freely and easily use is just the same as not having them at all.

I decided to empty it, sell what I haven't used lately, and re-organize the rest.

I don't have a lot of shoes, but the few I do have I don't want in a pile on the floor. I hate searching for the mate through a dark closet at the last second before I have to leave for work. I decided to get a behind-the-door shoe organizer. It was $8.00. I put my scarves in the empty pockets. They had kept falling to the floor. I continually forgot the ones I had. This way they are out in the light and I can see what I've got. The behind-the-door pocket hanging organizers are useful for the space that is out of sight but filling a previously unused spot. One caveat, make sure that you buy one whose hooks that go over the door can allow the door to close. The hooks for this one are strong enough to hold a full organizer but slim enough to allow the door to close.

There is another behind-the-door spot in my bedroom besides the bedroom closet. It's the bedroom door. I never shut it because I am the only one who lives here, lol. I bought a larger pocketed organizer for that space and use it to put in my hats, canvas bags, and purses. The hooks on this organizer ($7) are the plastic ones on the left side of the top of the door. They don't allow the door to close. So I use this organizer for the door that does not need closing. These items used to be
on the top shelf of the closet. The black bag hanging at the bottom contains other smaller canvas bags. It's light. It needed to be accessible because I use a lot of canvas bags, so I hung it by hanging in as another level to the pockets of the organizer, and I can still use the bottom pocket to hold things.

There is space between the stove and the counter in the kitchen. Hmmm, what can I do with it? It's out of sight to my eye when I look into the kitchen so using the space won't clutter up my small cooking area. I know! I'll use a strong magnet to hold a canvas bag to store my dishtowels in! I only have two drawers, and one is broken. The other holds all my knives. This is a great solution for items I use constantly in making them accessible yet hidden.

Look around your home and look for spots that if used, won't clutter the space or stop the eye from roaming.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Good Humor Man

At a Second Hand store I recently found a new book containing all the best Little Golden Books of the time past. The large book has in it my favorite story growing up, The Poky Little Puppy. I also loved The Lion's Paw, and I Can Fly. I brought the book to school and I read a story a day from it to my kindergarten group. They LOVE it. I noticed that the language is richer than many of today's stories, and the illustrations are beautiful, and being from the 1960s, so retro!

On Friday I read to them The Good Humor Man. This is a story about the ice cream truck that trundled around neighborhoods, ringing the bell or playing the happy tune, and the kids playing outside in all the yards would run to the truck and buy ice cream.

When I was growing up in the 1960-70, age 0-10, we used to visit my grandparents at their beach house on Narragansett Bay. They spent their summers at what we called The Beach House (as opposed to their regular domicile in the city of Providence). The Beach House was 3 miles from where my mother and father and sister and brother and I lived all the time. All the cousins would come for the summer with the aunts and uncles to stay the summer. My great aunt and uncle owned the house next door, and other great-aunts and uncles owned summer houses nearby. There were always cousins and second cousins and relatives around.

The beach neighborhood was filled with lots of other kids too. We were at the end of a long peninsula and there was not a lot of traffic. We would play outside all day on the water or in the water, and in the afternoon and evening on the lawn or riding our bikes all around. In those days as a kid you could roam around the neighborhood unsupervised all day long!!

In the afternoons the ice cream truck wold roll by. Our ears that could not hear our parents from three feet next to us shouting to come in and eat lunch suddenly turned dog-sensitive and we could hear the truck's bell from 2 miles away.

The moment we hear the bell and ice cream jingle song we would go instantly mad. It only cost a dime in those days to buy an ice cream.We turned into unreasoning, clambering, hysterical creatures rushing to the house begging for dimes. We thought we would absolutely die if we didn't get an ice cream. The pull of the ice cream truck was total.

We gathered at the truck knowing what we wanted to buy. The Guardian UK
Though I liked Ice Cream Sandwiches a lot I usually bought an Italian Ice. I was never a huge ice cream fan until in my 50s and even now I rarely eat it. I loved Italian ice. This a frozen not too sweet dessert made of frozen water, bits of fruit and fruit syrup. It can in a covered little cup where you peeled off the top and ate the ice with a wooden flat spoon. it was hard to eat. It was so frozen solid the best you could do is use the side of the wooden spoon to scrape the ice up. After a while it had melted a bit and you could dig the spoon into it to unearth small chunks. I loved the lemon flavor.

How wonderful we had a childhood where we roamed, played with cousins, and could run up to the ice cream man and buy a snack for a dime. My kids at school listened attentively to the story and their eyes were agleam just as if I was telling a story about a frog prince and a magic wizard from a faraway land. But to me, it was real and I lived it. Just another bit of history passing away and only known through books, and memories of old people...

Me at the club pool still not liking ice cream & choosing a Popsicle instead
Further Reading

The History of the Ice Cream Truck

Del's Frozen Lemonade