Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Ice Cream Social

In stark difference to last year, the Mendon Ice Cream Social turned out to be a nice little Saturday.  Instead of heading up late the Friday night before, we all packed up in the morning, ate a hearty breakfast at McDonald's and drove the 2+ hours through Missouri farmland, full and ready for day of outdoor fun.  Instead of the wicked 90+ degree weather with an obnoxiously high heat index that is expected for the weekend before August, it was somewhere in the low 80's and felt that way.  Instead of making the trip alone, with a 3.5 year old, an 19 month old and a 5 month old, I had a husband with me and an added year to each of those ages (so that's like 3 years more mature!)

We spent the entire day outside.  It's a little (and big and adult and elderly) boy's heaven.  Acres and acres of open space.  A limitless selection of ponds.  ATV's, tractors, trucks, bikes, and any other device with an engine you can imagine.  Fishing poles.  Yard games.  Shotguns, handguns, rifles, dynamite, firecrackers.  Cold beer.  Or cold Sprite, whichever your preference.  Brock loved riding the 4-wheeler, but not too fast.  They all loved "Redneck Golf".  They found the pump fascinating.  George was extremely disturbed by his father in a helmet.  Curtis was in shock after his first ATV ride.  The ALL loved watching the boys shoot.  George laughing with every round.  Brock put on a helmet to watch them light the half stick (the only boy down there with any sense.)

After the pyrotechnics, we finally trekked on over to St. Joseph's Catholic church.  This church beautifully displays the stained-glass artwork of my late Uncle Gary.  It has been home to the ice cream social for as long as I can remember (besides a few rain out years when it got moved to the high school).  In the 30 years I have been attending, NOTHING has changed.  A few familiar faces have passed on, and few new faces have arrived, but the food, games and company remain the same.  This little town, with a population of 169, has preserved everything you can imagine about country living.  You will never eat a better bite of pie, nor a better scoop of ice cream.  The bingo game is a lot older than I am, and still functioning great.  I think it's still even the same microphone, speaker, and announcer from my childhood days.  The turtle races never cease to be entertaining.  And we still go home with a few unnecessary pieced of glassware from the nickel toss, and a couple 2-liters of soda from the ring toss.  (George may, or may not, have been cheating...but gosh darnit, he wanted that Cream Soda!)

We appreciated the scene.  We enjoyed our food.  And we packed up to drive home by 8pm.  We had 3 boys conked out in the back seat.  I fidgeted the whole way with ridiculously restless legs.  And we arrived safely home, to our air-conditioned abode for a solid nights sleep.  We had three exhausted boys for the rest of the day Sunday, and they all fell asleep before 8pm.  Perhaps, one of these years, we will make a full three day, two night stay at the ol' Smith Family farm.  But for now, I am content with our day.

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