A Bowl Full of Happiness

Blue Bell Creamery, Brenham, Texas – Sculpture by Veryl Goodnight

Long before I developed a childhood infatuation with Davy Crockett — Tennessee’s semi-mythical, raccoon-cap wearing, bear-killing mountaineer — a more civilized and accomplished David Crockett was being encouraged to enter the 1836 Presidential race.

In the end, Martin Van Buren won that election, defeating a coalition of William Henry Harrison, Hugh White, and Daniel Webster to replace President Andrew Jackson, but Crockett never became a contender. His hopes for a Presidential run ended after he lost his 1835 Congressional race to an attorney named Adam Huntsman: a man supported by President Jackson and Governor Carroll of Tennessee.

Disillusioned with politics and eager for a fresh start, Crockett set off for Texas on November 1, 1835, accompanied by William Patton, Abner Burgin, and Lindsey K. Tinkle. The men spent their first evening in Memphis, where they gathered with friends in the bar of the Union Hotel for drinks and celebration.

Never one to mince words, and perhaps encouraged by drink, Crockett reflected on recent events and referred again to Huntsman, who happened to have a wooden leg. “Since you have chosen to elect a man with a timber toe to succeed me,” he said, “you may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas.”

Today, few remember Adam Huntsman, but the second half of Crockett’s bold statement of intent lives on. There are slight variations, to be sure. But, for the most part, the original words are quoted: on bumper stickers, wall plaques, throw pillows, and t-shirts. Together with other favorite sayings (“I Wasn’t Born in Texas, But I Got Here as Fast As I Could,” and, “Texan by Choice”), the words are good-natured, just a little sassy, and filled with love for a state that counts David Crockett as one of its heroes.

Of course, not everyone is so kindly disposed toward Texas. When circumstances dictated my mother’s move to the Lone Star State, she made clear her belief that Texas is hell, and that she, through no fault of her own, had been unfairly condemned to an eternity of torment.

Once the move was made, her opinion didn’t change. She hated the traffic, the climate, the insects, the twang. Above all, she hated what she considered Texans’ over-estimation of their state. “What?” she said. “Do they think no one else in the world has a reason to live?”

Eventually, an introduction to the Texas trinity of chicken-fried steak, mashed potatoes and cream gravy, and green beans with onion and bacon helped to ease the transition, but things still were iffy.

When I talked with a friend about the situation, she said, “There’s only one answer. We have to go full Hill Country.” “What’s that?” I asked. Grinning like a woman made privy to the secrets of the universe, she said, “Bluebonnets, barbeque, and Blue Bell.”

I knew it couldn’t hurt, and I hoped it might help. A few weeks later, we were on the road.

Winding our way west in order to go east, we stopped first for barbeque at Kreuz Market in Lockhart. As brisket, sausage, and potato salad disappeared from her plate, my mother smiled. “Goodness,” she said. “That might have been better than what I’m used to.” Then, she smiled again.

With no timetable and no itinerary, we left Lockhart on two-lane farm-to-market roads, admiring the lush bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush that stretched off to the horizon. In one particularly beautiful field, red and blue flowers had combined to create an impression of purple. Suddenly, I heard, “Stop!” Pulling to the side of the road, I stopped, and turned to look at my mother. “What?” “This is beautiful,” she said. “Let’s take some photos.” 

After making our way through Rosanky, Plum, Dime Box, and Giddings, we finally reached Brenham. “This is where they make Blue Bell ice cream,” I said. “Why don’t we stop and get some?” Ever cautious, my mother turned to my friend. “Is it any good? Is it worth stopping for?” “I think so,” she said. “Besides, it’s ice cream. Even if it’s not the best, it’s good.”

In Brenham, it’s not hard to find Blue Bell. With two scoops in her dish — one homemade vanilla and one butter pecan — Mom got down to business. About halfway through, she looked up. “You know,” she said. “This tastes just like the vanilla that my mother used to make. We’d carry the milk and cream from Grandpa’s in pails, and that’s what she’d use. We didn’t have it very often, but I’ve never tasted any that managed to taste like hers, and this does. Can we buy it in Houston?”

Buy it, we did. It was fine ice cream, but, more importantly, it provided a true taste of home: a connection to the past that made my mother happy. Sometimes we shared a bowl in the evening. Sometimes she’d have some by herself, long after I’d gone home. She never tired of it.

Over the past months, as Blue Bell struggled to cope with their company-wide recall and their ice cream disappeared from the shelves, I thought how happy I was that these difficulties didn’t occur while my mother still was alive, depriving her of a favorite treat.

I’m even more happy that, in the coming week, our area will once again have Blue Bell. I’ll buy some homemade vanilla, of course. I’ll have a bowlful for my mother, and another for my grandmother, and then I’ll ponder the truth of my little ice cream etheree as I scoop out a bowlful of happiness for myself.

  So
  little
  is needed.
A dish. A spoon.
  Even the carton
  will do in a pinch if
  no one is watching, no one
  complaining, no one advising
sweet moderation when offered the
chance to keep scooping and scooping away.

 


Comments are welcome, always
.

106 thoughts on “A Bowl Full of Happiness

  1. A delightful trip into the past Linda. “Ice Cream, ice cream, we all scream for ice cream”. And we all find our favorites. Mine is butter pecan right now.

    Loved the story about Davy Crockett. I remember my nephew running around with a coonskin hat.

    It’s hard to be removed from your own stomping ground. Some people never adapt. Glad to hear your mother came to like Texas. I have a High school friend whose daughter convinced her to move from Washington state to Grand Prairies, Texas, and she has been miserable ever since. To each his own.

    Your etheree is lovely.

    1. I smiled at your remark that butter pecan is your favorite “right now.” That’s one of the lovely things about ice cream — we can be as fickle as we like, sticking with one flavor or boldly experimenting as we choose.

      I never had a coonskin cap, but plenty of the boys did. Remember Scut Farkus, the bully in “A Christmas Story”? I always thought it was a little sad that he wore the esteemed coonskin, but even in my grade school, the hat was pretty evenly distributed between the good kids and the hellions.

      I’m not sure I’d be happy if I landed in Grand Prairie. It’s a little too Dallas/Ft.Worth for my taste. But I’d not be pleased to move into Houston proper, either. I think my days as an urban dweller are behind me. On the other hand, my great-great-grandparents moved to the Texas prairie east of Dallas when it still was a prairie, and weren’t any happier. Back to Iowa they went!

  2. I remember watching Davy on TV when I was a kid. Was it on Walt Disney? I think so. I can probably still sing most of the theme song.
    Born on a mountain top in Tennessee
    Raised in the woods so he knew every tree
    Killed him a bar when he was only three
    I forget the rest. Darn it.

    Nothing like some ice cream to bring back memories and good feelings. You did a nice thing for your mom. It is a good memory to have. Some of my ice cream memories are making it with the ice and salt and crank machine. “No cranky…No eatie”

    1. It was Disney, indeed. I didn’t know the specifics until I wrote this post, but I found it was a five-part series that aired in 1954-1955. That surprised me. I would have said it was a full season, or even that it spanned multiple seasons. In any event, I remember the words and the tune to the song, too. He truly was, in my mind, the “king of the wild frontier.”

      Ice cream socials and family ice-cream making afternoons were such treats. There weren’t any electric ice cream makers then. We kids would crank until we got tired, and then the adults would take over. No ice cream in the world beats ice cream that you lick off the paddles!

    2. So, I was reading about the death of Oliver Sacks. I ended up over at Theodore Gray’s post about Sacks visiting his Periodic Table table. After dinner that night, they made ice cream — like this:

      “After dinner it was time to adjourn to the withdrawing room, otherwise known as the workshop, for desert and some stimulating chemical demonstrations. First Tryggvi made ice cream by pouring liquid nitrogen directly into a mixture of cream, eggs, sugar, and chocolate syrup…”

      “It came out remarkably nice! I had expected something rather lumpy and full of hard crystals. But instead it was the smoothest, silkiest ice cream I’d ever had, like soft-serve but even smoother. Tryggvi says this is because the liquid nitrogen freezes the cream so rapidly that the ice crystals have no time to grow, resulting in a very fine grain structure. And of course the expanding nitrogen makes it light with microscopic bubbles.”

      There are some videos attached to the article, which you can see here.

      1. What an interesting place in the article. I have never made ice cream that way. I would like to try it. I have to say this…it looks cool. I need to get in touch with my lab tech friend at the U of IA for some N2.

        I’ve made it in the classroom using two or three different ways. All turned out fine.

  3. “Goodness, that.might have been better than what I’m used to.” If you came from a mama who talked like that, no wonder you are a such a fine wordsmith. Them shore are mighty perty words you use tellin about that Blue Bell ice cream! I’m just a’tasting it right now.

    1. What makes that statement so funny, and what made it so memorable at the time, is that we’d heard for months after the move that Mom “wasn’t used to this” or didn’t think she ever could “get used to that.” To have her say such a thing about barbeque was especially funny, since she’d become convinced over her years in Kansas City that nothing could beat their barbeque.

      Now, here’s a question for you: Braum’s, or Bluebell? (Of course, the only reasonable answer is “Both.”)

  4. You know, I’ve lived in TX over 20 years, and I still cannot think of it as “home” … but I do like the second trinity of “BBQ, bluebonnets, and Blue Bell”! Looking forward to Blue Bell’s comeback! ♡♡♡

    1. I didn’t realize until I just now did the math that I’ve been here for 34 years of the past 42. That’s a long time!

      it does seem like home to me, Becca — so much so that I even have a little plot in a family cemetery out in the country. (That’s a whole other story.) Now and then, I think about where I want my ashes to land — Iowa? or Texas? — but I think I know which direction I’m leaning. In the meantime? Bring on the Blue Bell!

        1. I don’t remember Blue Bunny from my years in Iowa, but Mom knew it, and kept getting it confused with Blue Bell. I suspect it was introduced after I left. Out of curiosity, I went to their site, and discovered there are ten stores within twenty miles of me that carry Blue Bunny. I had no idea, and I’ve never seen it. That’s pretty interesting in itself. I wonder if they’ve always been here, or if they moved in to try and corner some of Blue Bell’s market share.

          1. I think they’re just expanding naturally. I doubt if there is intentional confusion, just accidental. We don’t eat ice cream a lot but I do enjoy a bit now and then. Blue Bunny is what we usually get.

          2. My coworker some 10 years ago was from IA and her husband was an IA dairy farmer selling milk to Blue Bunny. She raved all about it, but I thought I had never seen it in IL stores. Then I looked, and sure enough, I did find it, but the Blue Bunny is good at hiding. :)

            1. That Blue Bunny hidden away reminds me of one of my favorite word-play jokes. “Do you know how to catch a unique rabbit?” “No, how?” “U “nique” up on it.”

  5. What a beautiful story from the past. I can almost imagine the pictures that you expressed. Blue Bell’s…. Blue Bell ice cream… You are amazing writer dear Linda, Thank you, Blessing and Happiness, love, nia

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it, Nia. One thing I’ve enjoyed over the years isn’t just Blue Bell’s ice cream, but their television commercials. It seems funny to say that we enjoy commercials, but here’s an example — I think it will make you smile, too. (And now you see why they commissioned the statue of the little girl leading the cow for their headquarters in Brenham!)

          1. Lol Linda! Belle is beautiful, and the same kind of Milk Cow [Jersey, I think] my Uncle had when I was the same age as the little girl in the ad; )
            So many commonalities, in spite of being almost kitty-corner across the continent; ) T’anks for the memories! Say, Davey Crockett wasn’t of Scots’ blood, was he? What with “gang” to Texas…
            As so often happens when I visit here (like, EVERY time; ) I wander, enchanted; for far too long and now I’ve crammed what should be a bunch of comments into one. But such a lovely visit! ‘Specially the bit about helping Daddy – like I said – SO many similarities… See ya!

            1. I think she’s a Jersey, too. There is a big dairy operation south-ish of San Antonio that has an all-Jersey herd, and when I got a taste of their milk (no hormones, antibiotics, and so on) I was amazed. Their skim milk tastes as good as whole milk. It doesn’t have that watery consistency and look of so many brands.

              You made me curious about the Crockett family name. In fact, Crockett does seem to be English or Scottish, but there’s more to the story. The genealogy chart on Davy Crockett’s wiki page shows that in the second generation, Antoine de Saussure Peronette de Crocketagne (1643–1735) married Louise de Saix (1648-) and, at some point, change their name to Crockett. I never would have guessed French, but name changes hide a lot of history.

              There are so many forces in the world today trying to slice and dice us into ever smaller categories that I discovering commonalities, and revealing them in new ways. I’m glad you found some here! It’s always a pleasure to have you stop by.

  6. There’s always something new to learn when reading your posts! I absorbed and appreciated tidbits, but I threw on the brakes when you mentioned the recall. What? When? Why? Of course I made an easy guess and assume that the bacteria-tainted scare is history. (?)…

    I’ve enjoyed being online for the past few days and will be returning to the cloud forest and ‘off the grid’ for several weeks. All is better now, and a new rhythm is working its way into this new detour of Life.

    As always, I love seeing the ‘new post’ notices for your blog.

    Z

    1. It was a bacteria — specifically, listeria — that caused the recall. The plant in Alabama is back in operation, and the others will follow. They’re restocking in the Houston/Brenham corridor, and I believe in Alabama, and then will move into other areas as production increases. Flavors are limited now, too: homemade vanilla, chocolate, cookies & cream and a vanilla/chocolate combo.

      They made it through to this point thanks to a Texas businessman who infused buckets of cash into the business, in exchange for part ownership. And they did their best to keep people employed through all of this, even at reduced salaries. Believe me, customers are ready to reward them.

      While the rest of us live with a virtual cloud, you get to go back to the actual clouds — lucky you! Keep that rhythm easy and slow — and keep making time for art!

      1. Thanks for the update; wow, it’s always great when someone with the funds steps in and lends a hand. I’m sure that others will be content with limited flavor options, strictly because they have their beloved BlueBell back! BBBB – hows that for alliteration?!

        1. Your alliteration is perfect! I’ll be glad when one of my favorites, Southern blackberry cobbler, is back. Give me that, orange swirl, butter pecan, and peppermint, and I’m happy. All in good time, of course. First, we have to get BlueBell to everyone who wants it. Then, they can work on expanding the flavor list.

          1. I recently asked someone if they’d ever had ‘cobbler.’ I sometimes simmer plain ripened/cubed plantains with cinnamon and add a bit of ‘limon mandarina’ at the end, and to me, it tastes like a peach cobbler sauce! We have blackberries (mora) on the cloud forest property and they are soooo delicious!

      2. The deaths from the bacteria occurred in hospitals. The patients were already ill – immune systems compromised. Tragic.
        Many companies will not try to supply food product to hospitals because of the potential.
        Normal healthy people can handle listeria which is common without much trouble. So I’m ready and waiting for finally some real ice cream – nothing I tried came close to Blue Bell

  7. You were in the area where Mom and I plan to go in October. The bluebonnets won’t be blooming, but that’s OK. To get to Round Top you go on 290 between Giddings and Brenham, and turn south on 237.

    Those of us who miss Blue Bell ice cream will not have to miss it much longer, I hope.

    1. I’m thinking that by October you may have Blue Bell in your home territory — at least, if all goes well. In any event, check out this handy map. It looks as though you’ll be able to find the luscious treat through most of your travels.

      It’s possible you’ll have some different wildflowers to enjoy, too. Maximilian sunflowers, goldenrod, and purple gayfeather ought to be around, and probably some others. Of course, just getting out and seeing what there is to be seen often is pleasure enough, especially since you have some guaranteed history to explore. It’s my favorite month of the year — so beautiful.

  8. Hello from Bar Harbor Maine!
    Your post leaves room for comments on a piece with several layers of theme: from Daaaaveee, Daavee Crockett, King of the wild frontier to displacement to the delights of ice cream to poor production methods that those in the packaged food industry fear and finally, to recovery from bad publicity— a smorgasbord.

    I’ll take the least stressful route this morning as I gaze out at Frenchman Bay while listening to the beck and call of seabirds.

    My mother, a proud Texan born in Dallas in 1930, used to say, ” I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!”

    And like your mother, one of the things that brought her pleasure as her life narrowed was, indeed, ice cream!

    1. Well, aren’t you making tracks! That’s a lovely place to be. Is there any evidence of leaves turning, yet? I doubt it, but there are some subtle signs of fall here, especially in terms of migration, so I suppose it’s possible.

      I either didn’t know, or had forgotten, that your mother was born in Dallas. Dallas/Ft.Worth means only one thing to me: freeways and interstates that are almost impossible to navigate. It I have to go that way, I try to pass by to the east or the west. I don’t have to take on every challenge in life.

      My mother was the one who taught me the little ditty about screaming for ice cream. The song was published when she was nine years old, so she probably knew it as a song first. She never screamed for ice cream in her latter years, but woe unto the one who allowed the freezer to be emptied of the treat. She could be a world-class nagger when it came to important things.

      Keep having fun, and don’t forget to see if you can rustle up Betty and her house.

      1. Lol, apparently not just in Texas; ) ’cause my mom, a ’36, taught me that very same rhyme. I wasn’t aware of the song before; but it was obviously a sign of the(ir) time (even ‘way up here, north of the Great Lakes; )

        1. I just found a version with wonderful illustrations to go along with it. And, listening to the lyrics, I was surprised to hear the phrase “Eskimo Pie.” I went looking, and discovered this: “Danish immigrant Christian Kent Nelson, a schoolteacher and candy store owner, claimed to have received the inspiration for the Eskimo Pie in 1920 in Onawa, Iowa, when a boy in his store was unable to decide whether to spend his money on ice cream or a chocolate bar.” Yet another wonderful instance of both/and thinking!

          Eskimo Pie in 1920, and the song in 1927. Amazing. Here’s your musical treat for the morning!

  9. We had a Bluebell ice cream brand here in Melbourne; a small concern, I’m not sure if it had any link to your American brand, probably not. I recall meeting the owner of that business a long time ago. It too was recently sold/taken over. I have to say I wasn’t partial to their ice cream as it seemed too ‘icy’ in its structure, rather than creamy. Today’s homemade ice creams here are absolutely delicious, and not just flavourings, but fresh real ingredients such as fruit and rum and so on. Yum!

    I was a fan of Davy Crockett on TV too; always enjoyed the show.

    1. I doubt there was any connection, unless you have bluebell flowers, and your brand happened to like the marketing idea. Our Bluebell began in Texas, and slowly expanded through the southeast. It’s moved north and west to a degree, but I’m pretty sure it hasn’t gone national. Now, it will take them some time even to begin supplying the territory they’d already claimed.

      It does seem that ice cream has improved a good bit. The demand for decent ingredients has helped, and the increasing popularity of gelato has pushed some of the ice cream manufacturers to up their game. People have learned the melt test, too. If you let a bowl of ice cream sit around, and it turns into something resembling colored water, it’s probably not that fine combination of eggs, sugar and cream everyone loves.

      I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of this, but of course the Disneyland Crockett episodes are on YouTube. I believe I’ll take time later to watch Davy Crockett Goes to Congress.

  10. Once again Linda, you have managed to weave a tapestry of a story. The images your words call forth are just as full of that exceptionalism that Texas speaks of… whether intended or not. Beautiful.

    Just one thing to add… When you find that first half gallon of homemade vanilla, pick up a juice orange. Squeeze it over a bowl of Bluebell stir it up and you will be transported back to the summers of your youth and the Dreamcycles from the ice cream truck… I cannot wait.

    1. Gary, have you ever tried Blue Bell’s Orange Swirl — their combination of homemade vanilla and orange sherbet? There’s a pretty good review of it here that draws the Dreamsicle comparison. I’ve never seen it in the half gallon, but it’s often around in pints. Well, at least it was.

      I suppose it will take them a while to get some of the more esoteric flavors back on the shelves. In the meantime, I’ll take your advice and try the trick with the orange. It sounds wonderful, and we’re in for another stretch of hot weather, so it’s a perfect fit.

      Those Dreamsicles were good. The ones we bought weren’t like today’s. They came in a paper tube, and you pushed them up as you ate. I still can taste them.

  11. I am not sure how one begins a journey with Davy Crockett and ends with Blue Bell Ice Cream but while traveling with my mother, we often follow the same circuitous routes.

    1. All roads lead to Texas, it seems. Well, at least the road led this way for Crockett, and for my mother and me. As for circuitous routes, I’ve always liked what Woody Allen said: “The longest journeys begin with a single step. The best journeys begin with a moment of temporary insanity.”

  12. It’s coming. It’s coming. Room waiting in the freezer! Always loved that singing cow.

    You were smart to make that trip with your mom. I knew a couple of people who moved from Ohio to the 1960NW area in the 80’s who really felt they lived in hell. Hated the tall pine trees – that area was still open land and forests back then – with Greenspoint. Willowbrook, and Woodlands malls all within driving distance. Finally they got relocated to Dallas – where “If we want trees, we will plant them.” I hope they made it back “home” to Ohio. Some aren’t meant to move to new places…oddest thing is that they hated Houston yet never went went south of Greenspoint or Intercontinental air port area…so like, they really never made it to Houston – but have no doubt they are running their mouths about how terrible it was. Some people already know all the “answers” right?

    Sigh, even RC cat is patting paws waiting until tomorrow….her vet recommends the homemade vanilla for tummy soothing…and RC is quick to remind us it’s medicinal…Does seem to boost smiles and energy level with people, too?

    1. That cow wasn’t just groovy — she was moooovy.

      Did you know Lyle Metzdorf? He sailed out of Lakewood on a boat named Matisse. His marketing company came up with a lot of Blue Bell ads, as well as the slogan, “We eat all we can, and sell the rest.” He died in a fire on his boat in South Carolina, back around 2002. It was a terrible shock. But he left quite a legacy behind.

      My poor mother already had made one move from Iowa to Kansas City. It was necessary, and good, but the move itself was traumatic, and that second move to Texas didn’t help. But, life is what it is. We coped, and eventually we all adjusted pretty well.

      That’s an interesting tale about the Ohio folks. Even people who don’t live on compounds can develop a compound mentality. I try and watch for it in myself. There are some things I’d love to get involved with if I lived in Houston proper, but evening meetings that start at 7:00 or 7:30 p.m. just aren’t something that appeal when I have to add driving the Gulf freeeway at 10 at night to get home. With my new eyes, night driving isn’t the problem it was, but the last thing I’d want is a flat or an accident. It’s rough out there in the hood these days.

      I’m surprised about the ice cream for RC. I didn’t think cats were supposed to have such things. Maybe Dixie Rose could join in the celebration.

      1. I didn’t know what happened to him – always thought that was such a lovely selection for a boat name.
        I45 stops me from doing things in town more and more – it’s not just the construction and distance. Old relatives always advise to move wherever you want to end up being while you are still able to get out and see things, meet people, and edge into the community. So we look around…there’s stuff in the city, but not having big skies or being able to get outside and walk around any time of day or night will be difficult to move away from. Wish they’d get those commuter trains we’ve been voting for for over 30 years….
        A spoonful of Blue Bell (OMG. Must go buy!) helps some indoor cats…but not as much and as often as HRH demands…she knows where it is…only Molly’s presence prevents a sit-in with constant wailing.
        It’s back! It’s in the stores. There is no comparison!

        1. It’s not only in the stores, it’s in my freezer. I was curious to see what the scene would be like down at the SS Kroger, and it was delightful. Favorite sight? A fellow in coveralls and work boots walking out of the store with a spoon and a pint. Blue Bell! It’s what’s for breakfast!

          You’re right about making the move while it’s still possible to get out and about. Still, it’s complicated, especially knowing that life won’t always be so easy. Now and then I think about the fact that an old lady in the city is a target, but an old lady in the country is mostly a source of gossip and cookies. We’ll see.

          I’ll report later on Dixie’s response to the homemade vanilla.

  13. Davy was my first and forever love! I wrote about how he ‘saved’ when I was young. It always thrills to have others share similar memories of our folkheroes.

    You write so lovingly about Texas. The more I learn about Texas, the more I love it in all its natural beauty and historical iterations. Our infrequent visits have given us a glimpse of the generosity and resilience of Texans, traits I admire here in Colorado too.

    I don’t think we have Blue Bell (I can’t eat dairy), but I felt badly for the company and hope they fully recover from their temporary shutdown.

    Another lyrical essay of the finest writing, Linda. The word used by another reader ‘tapestry’ is perfect to describe your weaving words.

    1. I’ve actually learned more about Crockett since coming to Texas than I ever knew while growing up in Iowa. We were more attuned to Paul Bunyan for a folk hero, and my real loves were Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. But I knew the stories, and watched the program: even all the re-runs.

      I found that you do have Blue Bell in the state, though I wish you could enjoy it. They began selling there in 2011, and even devised a flavor — Rocky Mountain Road — that they sell only in Colorado. How’s that for being neighborly?

      One thing that might interest you is that the woman who sculpted the girl and the cow at the top of my post, Veryl Goodnight, also lives in Colorado. There are multiple galleries in your state who feature her work. Given your love of western art, it might be worth some exploration.

  14. One of my sisters got married when I was ten going on eleven and went to live with her husband in the rural village of Micoud on Saint Lucia’s south coast. On the weekends when she couldn’t visit, my mother always demanded that I visit my sister. As a city dweller born and raised, I always swore by Castries, and detested the idea of spending time in a place I described as “a one-horse village”. (I was heavily into North American western writers like Louis L’Amour then.)

    Several years later, especially after I met and married my wife who hails from Vieux Fort, another rural district on Saint Lucia’s south coast, I began to appreciate the beauty of country living. In fact, I love it. And, if finances and a couple of other things permit, my wife and I would have a house built in the south and move there in a heartbeat.

    A refreshing piece!

    1. I finally got out a map and took a look at Saint Lucia. I found Vieux Fort, the Micoud district, and the Micoud highway. I like getting a sense of your neighborhood.

      After years of living in the San Francisco Bay Area, Salt Lake City, and Houston, I wasn’t sure about moving to rural Texas. As it turned out, I liked it very much. It took time to adjust, of course, but I’d move back in a minute: if not to that particular place, to one like it. Right now, I’m stuck. There’s not a lot of boat varnishing that goes on in the Texas Hill Country. But, I don’t want to be ninety years old and worrying about evacuating for hurricanes. Most of the time, I just put it all on the back burner and say, “I’ll worry about that tomorrow!”

  15. It’s a great pleasure reading your posts, Linda… and especially this time, regarding your mother. I’m very glad that you found the way to help her enjoy Texas. I visited your state many, many years ago. And found it fascinating. Quite different from what I was expecting.

    1. Many people are surprised by Texas, Shimon.

      Even if they understand intellectually that it’s a big place, the actual distances — and Texans’ disregard of them — can be disorienting. There’s nothing quite like being with a group that decides to go out for dinner, and then discover you’re on your way to another town, an hour or two away.

      There’s more variety than I ever imagined: forests, beaches, mountains, prairie. And of course there’s the intricate and fascinating history. All in all, it’s a fine place to live. Mom thought so, too, once her creature comforts were assured, and some new friends were made.

  16. Ah, Linda, this is pure delight! I recall seeing sassy Texas sayings when I lived there — and found them charming. Of course, my son Domer is a native Texan, so I hope he’ll one day find his way back “home” for a visit (or a stay!).

    My late grandfather was an ice cream eater, too. He had a bowl — usually vanilla — every night before bedtime. Doctors would probably have a hissy fit nowadays for someone to do that! Life is short enough as it is. Why should they take all the fun away from us??

    Your etheree is splendid, and I love the upside-down ice cream cone shape of it!!

    1. In “Giant,” Edna Ferber writes, “It’s fun telling you tall Texas tales.You always look like a little girl who’s hearing Cinderella for the first time.” And that’s pretty much the way it was when I first came here. I was such a gullible sort, and it seemed I always was standing around saying, “Really?” Of course, half the time it wasn’t “really” at all, but all of those sayings, stories, tall tales and flat-out lies are some of the best entertainment in the world.

      I’m on your grandfather’s side, and my mom’s doctor would have been, too. Sometimes I worried about her devotion to ice cream, but when I mentioned it, he just rolled his eyes and said, “Your mother is in her 80s. She’s already outlived most of her family and friends. If she wants ice cream, give her ice cream.” All right!

      Have you ever had a cone go splat! on a sidewalk? That’s why I started getting mine in paper cups at the ice cream parlors.

  17. There is nothing better than a great bowl of ice cream! I remember visiting my grandparents years ago after they’d moved to Texas. I will never forget the springtime wildflowers. I’ve seen nothing like it since.

    1. Hmmm… perhaps it’s time for a return to the Lone Star State. It would be worth it for the wildflowers, not to mention assorted other treats. We probably could even arrange for you to have a bowl of Blue Bell, or two. And some barbeque.

      Have you ever heard the Texas barbeque song? Probably not. Here it is, with lyrics that mostly are a recitation of the names of the best barbeque joints in the state. It’s done by Clover and Rachel Carroll, a Texas duo.

  18. Alberta is my home province. With its plentiful oil and strong agricultural background, it.is sometimes called Texas of the North.

    It can be a bit of a renegade province, and as a former Albertan I hear more than a few caricatures – many related to its tendency to vote in politically conservative governments. But all of that has come undone. In the last provincial election the New Democratic Party was elected (the successor party of the CCF that introduced universal healthcare to Saskatchewan – the next province over). People are still a bit stunned, but it only goes to show that you never really know with people, since they can and sometimes do change.

    Glad to hear that you mom was able to change enough to find some small but significant comforts in her later days!

    1. I’ve learned a bit about Alberta since developing a friendship with a woman in Calgary, but I hadn’t heard the “Texas of the North” reference. On the other hand, I do know that Calgary’s known as “Cowtown,” and I’d love to see the Calgary Stampede.

      Interesting, about the political and other changes coming to Canada. Perhaps a gentle reminder about sowing and reaping would be in order, but it’s my experience that most people don’t take kindly to any suggestion that the latest and greatest scheme might not be the smartest.

      Mom was a great one for routine, and given enough time, she usually adjusted fairly well. She just required a little more time than some of us do. She was the one who best described the difference between us, and my aunt and I still laugh about it. She’d say, “Why don’t you slow down? You’re ten miles down the road before I’ve taken my suitcase off the shelf.” She was right about that.

      1. What a great memory about your mom! As for Alberta, I think you would like it quite a lot. It is beautiful country, but it can be cold, even in the summer. The Calgary Stampede is a great show, and worth the journey if you can make it!

  19. I totally enjoyed reading this! I’ve only driven through Texas, but I was born and raised in Tennessee, and Davy Crocket was one of my childhood heroes. And I would LOVE to taste Blue Bell ice cream!

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the piece, LubbyGirl. As far as I know, I’ve only been in Tennessee once, when I was very young and vacationing with my parents. My sole memory is of hills and haze, which suggests we were in the Smoky Mountains. It would be fun to go back and see it again — for the first time, really.

      i hope you get to try Blue Bell sometime. Of course, there are many good ice creams in the world, but part of Blue Bell’s appeal is the company’s firm roots in Texas. I grew up in a company town, where everything was connected to one family and one industry, so I suspect some of my fondness for Blue Bell and Brenham is rooted in that experience.

  20. Hi Linda!
    Thank you for sharing this story. It looks like your mother was a vibrant and wise woman, sure of herself and her convictions, and also open to new experiences? I think you have these qualities, also. Was she also a writer?
    Thank you for showing us the etheree. Maybe I will try writing one soon. Have a great week!

    1. My mother was a wise woman, Catherine. Sure of herself and her convictions? Not so much. Vibrant and open to new experiences? She could be persuaded, but she didn’t seek out novelty or change. That’s part of what made the uprootings so difficult.

      On the other hand, she could be as tough as they come. During a visit, before she moved down here, she fell and broke both her tibia and fibula at the ankle and couldn’t reach the phone, I came home to find her on the floor with a pillow and a book. As she said, “I knew you’d be home soon, so I didn’t worry about it.” You would have loved having her as a patient!

  21. Here’s a little trail I just followed. Wondering about the origins of “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream,” I quickly found in a Wikipedia article that it was originally “a popular song, first published in 1927, with words and music by Howard Johnson, Billy Moll, and Robert King.”

    The name of the first songwriter jumped out at me: it couldn’t be the Howard Johnson of that brand of ice cream, could it? As things turned out, no, it couldn’t, but I found in another Wikipedia article that this Howard Johnson was the lyricist as well on “When the Moon Comes over the Mountain,” which became the theme song of Kate Smith, who also had a (seemingly small) part in writing it.

    The website inspirationalstories.com includes an “inspirational” quote by the plump singer: “Ice cream was my undoing, and six chocolate milk shakes in a row were nothing to me at one time.” Those words are attributed to her on other quotation websites too, but I’m always leery of such sites and don’t know if Kate Smith really said that.

    1. I didn’t know that Howard Johnson’s restaurants had branded foods like ice cream associated with them. Of course, the only Howard Johnson I remember visiting was in Pennsylvania, so my experience was limited. My impression always has been that they were more common in the east and northeast parts of the country. We had to make do with Stuckey’s in Iowa, and they were terrible.

      In any event, here’s another little coincidence. As Blue Bell returned to stores today, there was a story on the morning news about a memorial march held this weekend to honor sheriff’s deputy Darren Goforth, the Harris County officer who was assassinated while putting gas in his patrol car. One of the songs sung at the memorial was “God Bless America” — one of Kate Smith’s signature songs.

      I had to ponder why anyone would consider that quotation attributed to her as “inspirational.” I suppose if I were into competitive eating, it might fit the category, but gracious — the thought of six milkshakes in a row isn’t something that seems very pleasurable. I suppose that might be part of the reason she referred to them as an “undoing.”

      I haven’t heard the word “plump” in a long time. My father’s parents were quite a pair. Grandpa was short and slender: almost skinny. Grandma was just the opposite. I once questioned an aunt who took after Grandma, asking whether the two of them were fat. She assured me that they weren’t; they just were plump. My whole life, every time I’ve heard someone refer to “plumping the pillows,” I think about those women, and grin.

      1. When I was growing up in my Long Island suburb, ice cream trucks selling one brand each would cruise the residential streets in summer and the drivers would jingle bells to get kids’ attention. One was Good Humor and another was Howard Johnson. The Bungalow Bar truck was made to look like a little house on wheels.

        I can’t remember when I last used the word plump. Fat would also have been truthful.

        In the Philippines they sing Irving Berlin’s song with the words changed to “God Bless the Philippines.” After Eve moved here she was surprised to learn about the American original.

        1. We had Good Humor trucks, but I wish we’d had the Bungalow Bars. That was one cute truck. It’s too bad they ended up in those unfortunate rhymes, but poking fun was part of life back then. Eat too many Bungalow Bars, and a kid might be hearing, “Fatty, Fatty, two by four, can’t get through the bathroom door.” I suppose that would be grounds for expulsion today.

          I wasn’t much of a “Sopranos” viewer, but I loved the thought of Tony and Gotti riding around in a Bungalow Bar truck. There aren’t any bells in my neighborhood; the trucks have gone to pre-recorded music. (I just looked up Knickerbocker Village. That’s a pretty interesting place, with quite a history.)

          I’m just as surprised to find that there’s a Philippine version of Berlin’s song. But, it’s a good one, so why not?

  22. I have such a beautiful mental image of you and your mom cruising through Texas, looking at the flowers and enjoying the ice cream. I didn’t know Blue Bell was from Texas! And it IS good ice cream. Since ice cream is one of my many weaknesses and great indulgences, I can see why that might be a feature to win her over!

    I contemplated a move back in the 80s, going to Boston and working at the PBS station there. A couple factors stopped me — one was the cost of living, which was significant, compared to the pay (probably a salary decrease, certainly not more) and the two didn’t come close to balancing. But even more so was the challenging health of my dad. To remove him from his friends here was cruel when there was a choice. And frankly, it would have been bad for me, too, for I don’t think I could have had the life I would have wanted in Boston if I was caregiving. At home, I knew what to do — live close, stop by often, take him where he needed to go after he couldn’t do it himself.

    I don’t regret it. But you always wonder…

    1. Jeanie, the routine you chose — live close, stop by often, provide transportation — is exactly the arrangement we ended up with. I was only two or three minutes away, so all of those little emergencies of life (like not being able to remember how to work the tv remote) could be dealt with easily. And during the week, we almost always ate dinner together, so I knew she was getting at least one good meal a day.

      There are things I’d do differently today, but that’s always the case. Especially when parent/child roles get switched, there’s a lot of adjusting to do on both sides.We were among the lucky ones. Mom was relatively healthy, and able to stay in her home, and most of the conflicts we had were resolved over time.

      But, yes: the ice cream helped. Speaking of which, here’s something that might tickle you. Jim Mcingvale, aka “Mattress Mack,” the biggest furniture dealer in Houston and a heck of a good guy, is throwing Blue Bell ice cream socials at his three stores tomorrow night. You can take the boy out of the country, etc!

  23. I just checked their locator page and Blue Bell is still a thousand miles away…or a little bit more. OTOH, we do get Blue Bunny which is based in Iowa and distributed nationally. It’s pretty hard to make bad ice cream unless intentionally, I think. About the only kind I don’t like are varieties with coffee flavor. I have no appreciation for anything coffee…with the one exception being Tiramisu. My mom-in-law made a killer Tiramisu…one of many reasons to love her. Since I don’t drink any java to wake up, maybe I should start having a bit of Tiramisu for breakfast. :-)

    How nice that your mother found a reason to enjoy life in Texas, although I bet there was plenty and she just didn’t want to admit it. Sounds as though the flowers won her over too.

    Crockett’s reaction sounds a bit like Nixon’s. Of course, we did have Nixon to kick around again.

    1. I still can’t get over the fact that I grew up in Iowa and can’t remember hearing about Blue Bunny ice cream, let alone eating it. They were in business before I entered the world, so it wasn’t a matter of them not being in existence. It’s a mystery, for sure.

      I do think we might have kept Borden’s ice cream in the freezer, when we weren’t going to local ice cream parlors. When I went to Google, I recognized the cartons and the logo. Beyond that, I discovered that the last Borden ice cream parlor is within striking distance, in Lafayette, Louisiana. And I remembered that, somewhere in my files, I have a photo of the huge Elsie the Cow head from a Borden building in Toronto, Canada. It was discovered lying in a room in a creaky old warehouse. I need to find that photo, just because.

      If you have Talenti Gelato in your area, you should check out their tiramisu flavor. It comes in pints, and it’s awfully good.

      Crockett was more interesting than I realized years ago. There really was a distinction between the “Davy” who was mostly a creation of imaginative writers and unauthorized biographers, and David, who had quite the careers in politics and business. As so often happens, the truth ends up being more interesting than the made-up stories.

      1. We do have Talenti Gelatos and I have had the Tiramisu. It is wonderful.
        I hope you find Elsie’s head. We used to have a restaurant nearby many years ago with two cow heads above the front entrance. The name of the place was “Crystal Spring Dairy”. What is interesting there is the fact that the town where it is located was once called Cold Spring and is much nicer than the present name…Belchertown..which is taken in “honor” of an early Royal Governor who came into possession of the land.

        1. Well, my memory wasn’t perfect, but I had the broad outlines. The two cow heads were part of Elmhurst Dairy in Montreal. You can see several photos and read a bit about them here. I remember now that it was an urban explorer who found them. There’s another short article with more history here.

          I tried to find out what happened to the cows. Apparently Parmalat bought Elmhurst, and there was word the cows were going back up, but as of 2012 it hadn’t happened. Seeing Parmalat mentioned was interesting, too. That’s the company that supplied milk in Liberia, in three-cornered cardboard cartons.

          I agree that Cold Spring is the more appealing name. But it’s interesting that they had their cows, too.

  24. I’ve never had Bluebell, which is sad because I LOVE ice cream! My favorite is Phish Food by Ben & Jerry (check it out – it’s the bomb!). Of course, it comes in pints & I never bother with a bowl – when I buy Phish Food I’m planning to eat the whole darn thing! Then I don’t again for a while – ha!

    1. The only Ben & Jerry’s I’ve enjoyed are the Cherry Garcia and Willie Nelson’s peach cobbler. I’d pass on the Phish Food, because I’m not so fond of marshmallow in ice cream. Ben & Jerry’s always seems a little over-the-top to me: too many ingredients, or something.

      I’m with you on the pints, though. I never, ever buy a half-gallon. It’s just too tempting. I do have to laugh at their half-cup “servings,” though. A pint is two servings, or maybe three. I did see more than a few people with pints and spoons coming out of the grocery store today. Most of them were grinning like Chessie cats.

  25. Oh my goodness, Linda, this is the type of beautiful writing that I so miss these days!! :) Thank you! If you ever give out writing classes, I am signing up.

    I love this history and the poem with ice cream piled on top, made me hungry, we are back into the 90F this week.
    After reading this, I suddenly have an urge to visit Texas and try the 3Bs even if I have to endure some Texan grandiosity and pomposity. :)

    Oh, and had to look up the “twang” – what is the twang in Texas? Sorry for the silly question, I had only been to Texas once.

    1. Bee, I think you should pile the kids in the car and head this way. After all, we have bison to go along with those other “Bs” — what could be better?

      I’m really glad you enjoyed the post, and the writing. I’m going to pull out a couple of things for you, but I have to do some searching — so that will be tomorrow. Likewise, with the “twang.” I have something I think you’ll enjoy hearing, but I’ve got to figure out how to get it uploaded so I can link to it. Stay tuned!

    2. So, about that Texas twang. Here’s a good article that provides some entertainment along with its information.

      But, of course, there’s nothing like hearing an accent. Mrs. Jewel Hill and Mrs. Nell Grisham can help you out with that.

      And, just because — a nice little bit of the “Yodel Blues.” Feel free to substitute Chicago for New York, if you like.

      “Got the blues just for you,
      and the sweetest little home I ever knew.
      Got to go, don’t you know,
      and I’ll sing the yodelady blues.

      Way up in New York City, they talk a different style.
      So busy makin’ money, ain’t got time to smile.
      Well, they got so doggone crowded,
      I felt so hemmed in there,
      I had to go to Texas to get a breath of air.

      Down in the valley,
      you’ll hear me when the lights are low,
      Down in the valley,
      you’ll hear me sing the yodelady blues….”

    3. As for writing, here are some rules I made up for myself, way back when. They seem to have worked pretty well for a blog, and probably wouldn’t do too badly for a book.

      Two other “rules” got added along the way. One was Chekov’s famous line, ““Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” The other has been noted by several authors I admire, particularly Faulkner: “Get your butt in the chair.”

      As far as I know, moleskin journals and Montblanc pens are not necessities.

  26. You had me smiling away here! Who knew that ice cream could play such a huge part in one’s happiness, but there you go! I enjoyed reading of Texas and your wonderful mother…lovely post.xxx

    1. Snowbird, I’ve come to think that, more often than not, it’s the little things woven together that make for happiness: not just one or two big things. If small pleasures are woven together and one thread in the happiness tapestry breaks, it’s not the end of the world. And if somehow the tear gets mended? You have an entire town lined up at stores as early as six in the morning to get their ice cream!

      Besides, life changes even if we stay in one place. Friends and family die, eyesight dims, we’re not as agile as we once were. It’s the way of the world — thank goodness for constant pleasures!

    1. You’re quite right, Otto: a little love, a little hate. Which predominated depended on the day, and circumstances. Of course, it’s a bit like darkness and light. If you have only one or the other, there won’t be many interesting photos taken. It seems finding the right mix is the trick.

  27. Great story, Linda. Photos flooded social media recently here in Louisiana of a long line of Blue Bell delivery trucks flying across Interstate 10 headed east from TX to LA. My dad started the first ice cream socials at our church when I was a teen, and man did we gorge ourselves on some home made happiness. There are folks around here who won’t eat any ice cream but Blue Bell, and so they have been on an ice cream strike, waiting for the only ice creams that could make their bowls happy (and their Amaretto freezes)!

    1. Have you ever been to the Borden’s ice cream shoppe in Lafayette Wendy? I just found out about it last night. It’s the last one in the country, and has quite a history. The next time I come over, I’m definitely going to stop by.

      Even though we bought commercial ice cream when I was a kid, it was more likely that we’d have homemade, or stop at one of the ice cream stores. I still remember the orange and lime sherbet from Hesse’s, in my home town. It was nothing ilke the sherbets you buy today. It wasn’t too sweet, and it was much creamier. When I went to Iowa for my mom’s internment, I stopped by, just to see if the place still was there. The building was, but it’s an accounting office now. So it goes.

      I thought of you and your boys this morning. It’s the first day of dove season here, and there’s a lot of hunting chatter going on. I happened to hear this song by Adam Carroll, about duck hunting with a fellow who twice was Rice Farmer of the Year over there. Lines like the ones about putting out the decoys, and landing butt-deep in mud brought to mind the hunting stories you’ve told. It’s called “Errol’s Song,” and it’s just great — brought tears to my eyes.

      1. I will listen to the song shortly. No dove hunting here. Boys all working different tugboat schedules these days. But YES we have been to the Borden Ice Cream shop in Lafayette. Quaint little store. Drove by it 4th of July weekend but didn’t go in.

  28. A delightful post, Linda, laced with humour and lashings of ice cream. How fortunate for you and your mother to have shared that wonderful road trip together. Those events create the happy memories that remain with us throughout our lives.
    And that great little etheree … a perfect conclusion to this offering.

    1. Speaking of lashings of ice cream, Mary, I just heard yesterday that the record for the longest ice-cream sundae ever constructed belongs to Manurewa, New Zealand. They had a bit of a community gathering in February, and hundreds turned out for the fun.

      Isn’t the etheree fun? I enjoyed Debbie pointing out up above that it looks like an upside-down ice cream cone.

  29. I have a very good friend who is an art history professor at Texas A&M International in Laredo. Many years ago I visited him while he was teaching at Austin College in Sherman. He is a barbecue aficionado and he took me to Lockhart for a meal at Kreuz market–an essential taste of Texas he said. I expect I’ll always remember that meal.

    I remember learning that it isn’t necessary to ask someone if they’re from Texas. If they are, the saying goes, they’ll tell you so in their first sentence or two. Of course folks say that about Virginians too, and when I became aware of the love Texans have for their state I (being Virginian) couldn’t help wondering what made them so fond of it. :)

    In an age in which we are increasingly unattached in any deep way to our communities, I find loyalty and affinity for place refreshing. So good for Texans, I say! A deep sense of love and attachment to place and community makes for a better world, in my humble opinion.

    1. I think it’s great that you’ve been to Kreuz market, Bill. It isn’t just good barbeque — it’s great barbeque. There are plenty of places around the state where you can get a good plate, of course, but the ones that serve up a little tradition with the sliced brisket are special.

      I’m not sure about Texans wanting to let everyone know their heritage right out of the box. Could be, but of course I wasn’t born here, so maybe my compulsion’s not so strong. What I do know is that there’s a kind of radar Texans use to find each other, whether in foreign countries, or even places like California or South Dakota. There are all kinds of cues: the accent, of course, or the boots, the hat, the politeness, the idioms.

      Beyond that,I can’t help but think that the big spaces and the big history we have has led both to tall tales and big-heartedness.

      What’s sure is that we love our music, and dance, and partying. Here’s one of the best party songs in the state. Give it a listen all the way through, and notice what happens at about 2:46. I think it supports your point about loyalty and affinity for place.

    1. There were a lot of us who were enamoured of Davy Crockett, it seems. One thing I didn’t learn until a few years ago is that the Disney version of Crockett going down while swinging his rifle isn’t the way it happened. Like others, he was captured and executed.
      There’s a good summation of his life and death here.

      Now that I’m older and have read more about him, I’ve re-learned an old lesson: truth often is much better than fiction.

  30. Okay, you went and did it. I felt my eyes filling at your mother’s delight at finding such a nostalgic treat. You also taught me that Texas has at least several things that I could thoroughly enjoy. I’m sure there are more, but you got me at chicken-fried steak and barbecue.

    I loved Davy Crockett when I was a kid. I used to sing that song all the time. “Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier.” My son fell for him when he read his biography and did a report on him when he was a kid.

    1. If it hadn’t been for Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, I would have had a Davy Crockett lunch box. For one thing, his song was better than “Happy Trails,” which always seemed a little sad to me. On the other hand, Roy had Trigger, and Dale had a salad that we made in high school home ec, so there’s that.

      It was a sweet memory for me, too, thinking of Mom and her ice cream. By the time I came along, there was refrigeration and freezers and ice a-plenty, but she had memories of getting ice from the ice house, both for refrigeration and for making ice cream. It still amazes me to think that sawdust or hay would keep the ice from melting, well into the summer.

      If you and H get down this way, I’ll fix you right up with that chicken-fried and barbeque. I’d even make you a pecan pie. Mine’s the best in the world, if I do say so myself.

  31. I am waaay behind reading and commenting on my favorite bloggers sites. I apologize but I can not keep up.

    I really got a nice feeling and some parts of this post made me dry. It must have been hell for a northerner or mid-westerner to move to Texas where the heat and humidity can kill a person. I can understand her dislike since it was a move to the Houston area. I detest the coast except for around Corpus and the barrier islands. To be honest I’m not crazy about lots of places in Texas but I enjoy living in a calmer part here in Central Texas.

    I’m glad she did enjoy some of the wonderful things to eat and especially Blue Bell and the wondrous fields of wildflowers.

    I really like this post, Linda. You done good to have “gotten here as fast as you could.” I’m yanking your chain just a bit. :-)

    ~Yvonne

    1. There’s no need to apologize, Yvonne. I never close comments on any of my posts, and they’re very rarely time-sensitive, so you can show up any old time you please and it’s fine by me.

      I think Mom would have been happier in a less urban part of the state. She stopped driving when she moved here, partly because her sense of direction wasn’t the best (actually, it was bad) but even more, she just couldn’t deal with the pace of the traffic. She was used to putzing around town at 25 mph, and that just wasn’t going to cut it here. It worked out all right, since she had a full-time chauffeur. (That would be me.)

      Beyond that, she never quite figured out that all of the murder and mayhem on Houston tv was for ratings. I tried to explain to her the principle that “if it bleeds, it leads,” but she never quite got it, and was just sure I was going to be murdered if I took the trash out after dark.

      But, she liked the spring and the fall, and believe it or not, she liked the beach. The first couple of years she was here, she was quite spry, and we did a lot of day-tripping. Later, she wasn’t as active, but by that time she’d found a knitting group, and spent a lot of time with those folks. It worked out well — especially after the ice cream and chicken-fried showed up.

  32. Truer words were never spoken….now where is that ice cream scoop!! But, its ok now…I buy Organic, never been fed hormones or antibiotics ice cream now!!

    1. If I ate as much ice cream as I would like, the issue of organic, no hormone/antibiotic milk and cream might be an issue. As it is, Ieats my Blue Bell and smiles — although Talenti gelato makes me just as happy. I’m happy to have the BB homemade vanilla back, although I’ll be even happier when their vanilla bean is back on the shelves. I do hope they have their peppermint available at Christmas. That’s another tradition.

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