I have a friend whose favorite food group is ice cream. It’s no use pointing out to him that ice cream is not considered a real food group. He has no need for guidelines he had nothing to do with. In the world of my friend, ice cream is a food group and that, he would say with a mouthful of rum raisin, is that.
Iowa is hot today. Earlier in the week, it was hotter still; the temperature reached to triple digits. Whenever the temperature hits that high anywhere, I feel intensely depressed. I picture stifling attics, air conditioners that blow engine block heat, and days that don’t end when the sun goes down. It’s not that hot now, but I walked around the town square today and the word “scorched earth” kept pounding in my temple. When your skin is mad at you, the weather sucks.
Ice cream helps.
Summer is over — another guideline none of us had anything to do with — but it ain’t autumn for awhile. Pull out some ice cream. It’s Friday night! Smooth some mint chip on your tongue. Lick a twist cone. Suck melting vanilla off a pralined pecan. Take out a pint of strawberry — pure, simple strawberry — and go sit outside somewhere. Focus on it.
If you’re eating with a metal spoon, when you’re done with your ice cream, lick your spoon clean and press the back of it right between your eyes. It’ll feel cool on your skin. A little sticky, sure, but no stickier than the day itself.
I’ll bet you did three things well this summer, big or small, at home, at work, or out in the world. Think about those things while the cicadas or the skyscraper air units whirr. Ice cream is a food group and summer isn’t over till you say so.
Hot, cold. Hot. Cold.