The holiday weekend is officially over, and I am wondering if there is really a point to it all. There's the traffic, the cookout, the traffic, the sales, and more traffic. Perhaps it is the lack of regular traditions, the lack of extended family, or just the lack of good television that keeps it rather dull, and truly nothing more than a three day weekend. As I look back over the past three days, and the other holiday weekends like it, I find only one common denominator: ice cream.
Holidays have never been the huge family affair at my house that they seem to be with others...Especially the summer holidays. We have no large family traditions for Memorial Day, July 4th or Labor Day. There are no guests who visit every year, there are no places to which we go. This holiday was another example. We lounge around the house, trying desperately to amuse ourselves while avoiding the tourist traffic that annoys and frustrates us. Occasionally a few of us may brave the roads for a knick or knack, but not always. However, we will brave hell or high water, wind and rain, locusts and frogs to get our ice cream.
I'm not sure why its a tradition, and I don't know how it started, but no three-day holiday at home would be complete without a trip to the DQ and a night at House of Flavors. It's not enough to get ice cream one night, nor is it okay to have the same kind two nights in a row. The only acceptable treat is to experience everything and to experience it at all costs.
Ice cream is our only tradition. We don't always order the same thing, we don't go at the same time of the day, but we go. We cram too many adults into one vehicle. We endure drivers who don't know where they're going, what the speed limit is, or the meaning of that vacant lane in the middle of the road in which no one is driving. And for what? The ice cream. Even if they don't have exactly what we want or make it the way we like it; even if we're still so full from the ribs that we can hardly keep our pants done up; even if we are so annoyed with each other that we can hardly stand to look at each other anymore. Nothing will keep us from our ice cream.
And so, as I prepare to go back to work I can reflect on the medium vanilla ice cream cone and the strawberry shortcake that I enjoyed this year. I look ahead to next summer and wonder what the Blizzard of the Month will be...will the House of Flavors have created a NEW flavor for 2005? The guests and the weather may change from year to year, but I can rest assured that I will enjoy my ice cream.