Faced with a prompt of “freezing” for today, my mind went immediately to the opposite and so we have this melting ice pop. I loved having ice pops as a kid. Although we would sometimes have our own in the freezer, it was even more fun to buy them yourself from the guy in the ice cream truck that would prowl the neighborhood. Once we kids would hear the familiar “ding, ding” of the bell we would rush to our mom, begging her for a bit of change so that we could enjoy a lovely frozen treat. With change in hand, we’d run sometimes blocks to catch up with the ice cream truck, which is what we called it, even though it was actually a van. Though, our ice cream guy wasn’t really into his job, I think. He would often drive far faster than he should, leaving us little time for our important mom negotiations. Sometimes, we were so out of breath by the time we caught up to the van that we could barely spit out the words to place our order. But thankfully, we always found a way and were soon enjoying a messy, melting bit of summer goodness.
I always loved this type of popsicle. The kind with multiple colors. This one is perfectly made up, of course, and I’m not sure what the flavors actually are. Some kind of watermelon, banana madness it seems, but those are the colors I gravitated toward today. As a kid, there really wasn’t a color made that would stop me from trying it. One of my favorite treats was a popsicle called Strawberry Shortcake. This was a strawberry center with a layer of vanilla ice cream that was coated in an ingredient called “cake crunch” that’s made up of way too many other ingredients to mention. It basically contained all the artificial colors and flavors that could stop a grown man’s heart, but simply captured the heart of young boy. I haven’t had one as an adult, but the memory is more than enough to satisfy my cravings. Those visions of running after the ice cream truck are so vivid. Sure, maybe it was because we actually had to run in our neighborhood to catch up with a guy who seemed to be avoiding us, but it was still fantastic!
In the heat of the summer, of course, once the treat was obtained it was a race to finish it before the scorching sun finished it for you. But, that was all part of the wonderful experience. My little crew of friends would come back home with faces smeared with various colors of food coloring and happiness and life was just pretty awesome. I often miss those carefree days when you just did the next thing on your mind and didn’t have a list of things that you absolutely had to do. I don’t think I really appreciated the freedom I had as a child. If I didn’t get my change for the ice cream truck that day, I was devastated and though my little life must nearly be at its end. These days, I’m just always trying to catch up with life and not get too far behind. But, I love dreaming back to those days when all that mattered was a handful of change and gleeful run toward nirvana. Sometimes, when things get a bit stressful, I think back to these days. Suddenly, rather than feeling stressed, I just feel the sweet glow of a life lived in sheer joy. And in these moments, no matter what challenges still lie before me, I can feel each little worry falling into the background, and simply melting away.
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham Watercolors: Gamboge, Opera Rose, Permanent Green Pale, Ultramarine Blue, and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al-Star Fountain Pen – Extra Fine, with Platinum Carbon with black ink in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!