Chasing After Popsicles

Kitten Cat Holding Rainbow Colorful Popsicle Watercolor Illustration

For our August Art Challenge prompt of “Popsicle” today, I made a sketch of a little kitty about to devour one in many different colors. I’ve no idea what flavor this particular popsicle would be, but I’m assuming it would taste like rainbows. As a kid, I loved all of the sweet treats that zoomed through my neighborhood via the ice cream van. I’m sure the driver wasn’t supposed to drive that fast, but it made the experience more dramatic as we kids starting running and screaming after it, coins jangling loudly in our shorts. The race was the fun part. The difficult part was trying to decide how to spend those coins and choose that one perfect treat. It seemed like an impossible task at the time with all of those yummy, brightly-colored options emblazoned across the side of the van. I actually loved the banana bomb pop on the really hot summer days, but my all-time favorite was of the strawberry shortcake variety. In the end, it barely mattered as next came a race between the tongue and the sun to finish the popsicle before it wilted into a mass of gooey syrup leaving only a viscous stick behind.

Like so many things, it was the entire experience of those times that made them special. I tried one of those popsicles as an adult and it didn’t taste quite the same. It had the flavor I remembered, but lacked all of the emotion and excitement that made it taste so good. There are plenty of foods like this from my childhood. From fried bologna sandwiches to the little hot dogs carved to pop up like little figures as they boiled (which seems a tad ghastly thinking about it now), it all made me so happy. It wasn’t just the way everything tasted, it was the way my mom made something so ordinary seem so rather extraordinary. All attempts to recreate that time with only the food have always come up short. Some memories are best savored in the imagination, where all of the necessary elements can come together to bring back those same remarkable feelings.

That’s not to say there are no popsicles in my freezer today. There are actually some all-fruit sweetened lime popsicles that I always get each summer. They remind me of the Limeade drink I would enjoy as a kid during the hot summer months. Though, these popsicles are much smaller and only have 60 calories, they still make me feel like a kid and not the old guy who bought them while worrying about his waistline. I was happy to share the experience with Philippe who, I was pleased to learn, enjoyed them as well. He didn’t have any of the memories that I had, but still said that they were delicious. Our childhoods were drastically different considering mine took place in the middle of America and his in the middle of Paris. But, despite the drastic difference in food, we had many similar experiences. That’s the beauty of childhood. It’s an exploration of the most basic things in life while be nearly overwhelmed by the thrill of each new discovery. It’s a state of mind that I continually try to recapture every day. In many ways, I’ll always be that kid tasting rainbows, relentlessly trying to discover and invent new things, still chasing after popsicles.

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Kitten Cat Holding Rainbow Colorful Popsicle Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail

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18 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 2 months ago

    “little hot dogs carved to pop up like little figures as they boiled”? That’s a new one on me. Do you know what that does to an imagination like mine? I’ve got to look them up and see what they’re like or there’s no telling where my mind will go. I’ve seen enough horror movies that this could go badly!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      haha! They were totally a thing back then… at least where we lived. Didn’t really fit properly on a bun after the transformation though. 😉

  2. scrittoralinda 2 months ago

    Bologna, Charlie? Hot dogs are good but have the same fat and salt as bologna. Ewwwwwww. You know once you get used to not using salt and sugar ecept for cookies at Christnas, ahem, you don’t miss it. That stuff is no good for you.

    I moved my day of no meat, fish, or chicken a day early as the ground beef is too frozen for tonight so I get Greek pizza!!! Yayyyy. One hour and 30 minutes to go.

    Take care and think of me when you go for salted foods. See the horrified look on my face.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Haha! Those were childhood memories… I thought that was clear. I haven’t had hot dogs or bologna in years. Actually, we rarely eat meat outside of chicken or fish, and only a couple times a week, and now red meat is off my menu entirely. So, greek pizza sounds delicious! 😃💕

  3. Mary Roff 2 months ago

    Lots of good childhood memories associated with popsicles and this kitten looks to be thoroughly enjoying the variety of flavors in this popsicle! Nice one, Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 So many fun memories from popsicles!

  4. Gary Middleton 2 months ago

    That’s a refreshing looking lolly.

  5. Mugdha 2 months ago

    Hello Charlie,

    That kitty has tremendous willpower to be able to sit still till you finished painting! I couldn’t – wouldn’t – have waited that long for the rainbow flavored popsickle. 😉 And I’ve never seen or even heard of the ‘carved hot dogs’… I wonder if there’ll be images on Google. Though am not sure I really want to see them. But I have seen quite some weird stuff. Will you believe it?! I’ve seen a soup bowl with a double bottom… there is a gap between the two bottoms and as you finish your soup you can see tiny fish swimming underneath (thry’re filled in the gap). Freaks you out!!!

    Love,
    Mugdha

    • Marisela Delgado 2 months ago

      Hola, Mugdha! Have a great week, mi amiga. 😀

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Hello! 😃💕 Yeah… I’m sure there’s photos of those hot dogs. I think some people add buttons and a tie with mustard or ketchup. Fun as a kid, at least! And that soup bowl sounds bizarre… not sure I’d want to see something living and swimming below my food! lol Much love!

  6. Marisela Delgado 2 months ago

    Such a cute kitty! I’m with you. I remember foods from my childhood that I have tried as an adult only to be sorely disappointed. Candy corn! Yuck! Cotton candy! Marshmallows! I remember going to Sears with my parents and heading straight to the snack bar for an Icee and a pretzel. Gosh, Icees are still yummy and were such a sweet part of my growing up. Before anybody bemoans my love of the icy soda flavored treat, I know it ice and sugar, but, boy, they make me so happy on the rare occasions that I have one.
    Have a great week, my friend. Hugs! 💜💜💜💜

    • Mugdha 2 months ago

      Hola Marisela!

      You have a great week as well! It’s wonderful to read about pretzels and Icees after so long!

      Love,
      Mugdha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, mi amiga! 😃💕 Yeah, so many foods I had back then are sort of gross to think about now. lol I never got into the icy sweet drinks, but my fave drink was the cherry limeade from Sonic. Though I tried one a few years ago and it was too sweet for me. There’s a little ice cream left in the freezer though I might be having later! Hugs!

  7. shawnthompsonart 2 months ago

    Nice sketch of the Kitty about to eat a popsickle. I really like how well you did on the tounge and its muscles.

  8. Nellie Nellie 2 months ago

    Oh Charlie I ate some doozies when I was a kid too. Bologna, so much bologna! Rolled up with cheese cold or fried over the burner on a fork! And when the ice cream man (the mostly sober one) came rolling up, out of tune, we ran for the curb waving and squeeling. I usually needed some chocolate…anything, but one year he had 7up Popsicles. I surprisingly had those all Summer and have never forgotten them😆 I too am now relegated to no sugar, and now no gluten and mostly no processed thi ngs. But I still listen for the music fly by on Summer afternoons and just wave😆👋

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Aww… I’m glad this brought back good memories! 😃💕 And I haven’t tried a 7up popsicle, but it sounds awesome! hehe Yum!

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