Monday, October 8, 2007

1919-2007

When I was a little girl, my father and I often spent summer afternoons chasing Good Humor ice cream trucks. For those of you too young to remember Good Humor ice cream, let me just say that for a mere 10 cents, you could purchase a little bit of frozen heaven. I recall, with almost painful nostalgia, the Orange Creamsicles and the Chocolate Eclair bars.

Daddy and I would ride around town for hours until we cornered a truck and then wasted a pleasant ten minutes debating the pros and cons of Toasted Almond vs. Candy Center Crunch bars.

In those days, supermarkets were grocery stores, which meant they were small and not very well stocked. My mother bought this humongous chest freezer so she wouldn't have to go food shopping every few days. Every six months or so, she would place an order with some wholesale supplier and fill that freezer with junk like liver, frozen Brussels sprouts, and liverwurst. My mother was a health food nut and I always wondered how she could have married my father, who refused to eat anything green.

Anyway, one summer day, when the freezer's contents were down to a few packages of peas and carrots, my father and I went on a Good Humor hunt.

When we corralled the truck underneath a bridge, Daddy looked at me, looked at the driver, and said "Follow us home, why don't you?"

Our little caravan arrived at our house, where Daddy had the driver back the truck up to the chest freezer and unload the entire contents of the truck on top of the peas and carrots. The freezer was really full, but we managed to slam it shut after consuming a bit of the overflow.

A few hours later, my mother came home and paid a visit to the freezer to procure some healthy delights for dinner.

I am really sorry that nobody had a camera to preserve, for all eternity, the priceless look on her face when she flipped open the freezer.

I have to say that my mother's personality ranged from merely cranky to intensely volcanic. She knew more curse words in more languages than anyone I have ever met, and trust me, Daddy and I heard all of them that afternoon.

The two of us just plastered goofy smiles on our faces and let her vent. Daddy and I spent a lovely summer wandering around the garden consuming more ice cream bars than most people eat in ten years.

No ice cream ever tasted as good as those Good Humors.

Daddy died last Saturday. He was 88.

85 comments:

lori said...

Fleegle,
I am so sorry for you. I have much the same thing going on here, not much time left. So know that you are not alone. I will be thinking about you and sending healing your way. If you need to vent to someone who knows what you've been through, please e-mail me. Again, you have my sympathy and my support. You give me something to smile about with your posts when there is nothing funny here, so if I can do anything to return the blessing, please let me know.

√úhltje said...

Very sorry to read about your loss. It's a good thing that even when your grief is so fresh, you remember good things about him and want to share them, so we get a bit of a picture of the type of man he was. Take care.

BadCatDesigns said...

That was a great story. One to cherish. I am so sorry for your loss and my thoughts are with you.

Bogie said...

I'm very sorry for your loss. Your story took me back to when I was a little girl. It's a wonderful thing to cherish the memories of a loved one. Take care and be well.

Kathy Wajerski said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss. What a wonderful memorial to your father. I was thinking as I read this that it should be in a newspaper somewhere so everyone could read it.

Sue said...

What a great story and memory. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Dave said...

I'm so sorry. What a wonderful remembrance. Your father sounds like he was my kind of guy.

Janice in GA said...

Ah, I am so sorry for your loss. My dad's 83. I don't know how much longer we'll have him, but I'll love him as much as I can while I do.

shortoldlady said...

So sorry for your loss - I lost my father a few years ago and miss him. What a wonderful memory to pull up. From the sound of that one I'm sure there are others just as wonderful to get you thru the rough patches.

Denise in Kent, WA said...

Your remembrance is beautifully written and very touching. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

Fleegle, thank you for sharing a wonderful story. My sympathies to you for the loss of your wonderful father. I see thru your posts that he has given us a wonderfully artistic person. Take good care. Terry

Carol said...

I was saddened to read about your loss. But the memory that preceded it was sweet. (in many ways.) Those are the things that sustain us when life kicks us in the pants.

Anita in SE IN said...

What a great story about a great dad! I am so sorry for your loss.

Beth said...

What a sweet memory. I lost my dad 11 years ago and those are the same sort of remembrances I have.

Maddy said...

You had me laughing through tears remembering grocery shopping with my own dear parents. Dad would only come if they were shopping for an up coming party or large family holiday gathering. They would each grab a cart and ask me, "Do you want to go with Mom or Dad?" DUH!! Mom was the cook-from-scratch health food nut, Dad was the junk food junkie who couldn't say no to his little girl.

So sorry for your recent loss. Thanks for sharing a memory that has me asking - could we be related??

WandaWoman said...

What a lovely story. I'm very sorry for your loss.

Kat said...

What a wonderful story, and a great tribute to your dad! I'm so sorry for your loss. (Mere words are so inadequate. Please consider yourself hugged.)

missalicefaye said...

I'm so sorry, dear Fleegle--I'll be thinking about you.

Chery said...

Wonderful memories! Cherish them. My Dad died 24 years ago and I still miss him. Memories keep him alive in my heart. I wish the same for you.

Soo said...

What a great story - about an obviously great father.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this precious memory.

I am so sorry.
-punkin

Daryl said...

What an absolutely glorious memory to have of your daddy, and thankyou for sharing it with us. I am one more sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Your remembrance, though, was so tragically sweet and I'm happy for you that you have such a dear memory of your dad to treasure. I too remember the Good Humor man and his jingling bell on hot summer days. Nothing quite like an orange creamsicle to cool down with.

Laritza said...

My thoughts with you.

Scarlett said...

I am blessed to have shared your memory.

Having lost all my parents, it is the memories that ease the loss.

sjmercure said...

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Thank you for sharing your memory of him with us.

coral-seas said...

Each line I read my smile increased,
by the time you where filling the freezer with ice cream, I was giggling at the delicious naughtiness of it all. When I read your last line, large tears spilled from my eyes.

How sad when we must part from those who are precious to us; how sweet the memories of the time we share together. My thoughts are with you.

CA

Opal said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. This was a beautiful memory of him. I have to admit I'm teary-eyed.

Terry said...

I too am sorry for your loss. How wonderful to have such happy memories. Your description leaves no doubt he was a very special man.

2trees said...

I'm so sorry. What a wonderful memory to have.

Kenny said...

My condolences.

Dee said...

Please accept my sincerest condolences.

orata said...

I'm really sorry to hear that, and I hope you're hanging in there OK. What a sweet story about your dad, though, thanks for sharing it.

Judith said...

what a great story about your dad, wish I had had one like him. My condolences to you and your family, prayers and good thoughts for you all.

Judith

Leslie - knitting therapist said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My father is 81, and I dread the day. He also has a streak of the devil, like your father seems to have had. Thank you for the lovely story, and know that all of us "daddy's girls" out here are thinking warm and compassionate thoughts for you.

errs said...

Our condolences to you and your family. What a beautiful memory -- thank you for sharing it with us.

--Deb said...

That is a wonderful story, thank you so much for sharing it! I'm just very sorry for the reason--my sincere condolences.

Anonymous said...

What a sweet story to memorialize your dad--it sounds like you shared a lot and truly enjoyed one another. I'm so sorry, Susan.
-LauraE

BB said...

Very sorry for your loss. We say, "May you know no further sorrows."

Kate/Massachusetts said...

((((HUGS))))

Freda said...

What a great Dad. That story shows why your Mom married him..

I'm so sorry he's gone. I lost my Dad some years ago. I know how you are feeling.

Freda

The Chickengoddess said...

I am so sorry about your Dad, but what a wonderful memory to have! Thank you for sharing that story, and I hope the good thoughts help outweigh the sad for you now.

KnitSanity said...

Dear Fleegle,

Your father sounds like a wonderful man. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Hanh said...

Dear Fleegle,
Please accept my deepest sympathy, however your shared memories show that not all is lost, especially the sweetest essence of life: spontaneity, kindness, joy of life, creativity some of which you are passing down from your father's spirit to the realm of knitting by hands, heart, and mind. Take good care.

Donna in VA said...

That is a lovely tribute to your father. I am sorry for your loss.

Karla (ThreadBndr) said...

Dear, I lost my Daddy a few years back. I know your grief is too fresh now to believe that you will ever heal.

But you will. We learn to live 'around' the holes that our beloveds leave in our lives when they leave us. Like lace, the holes become integral to the whole that we are.

You and yours are in my prayers.

Sereknitty said...

What a wonderful Dad! Bless you for sharing that wonderful memory with us when your pain is so fresh. May you continue to enjoy those wonderful and love filled memories and may they replace the pain of the loss you have just experienced.

fluffbuff said...

I am very sorry to hear about your dad. I hope you have a lot of other wonderful memories, although it seems hard that they would top the Good Humor ice-creams. That one really seems priceless.

Romi said...

Oh, my. What a wonderful wonderful memory of your Dad. And what a wonderful way for him to live on.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

LittleBerry said...

so sorry for your loss, my own father died 11 years ago so I know how it feels; like a black hole.... your story reminded me so much of how dad & I ganged up (her words) on mum when I was growing up..... Will be thinking of you

nurhanne said...

My sincerest condolences - I'm thinking of you.

Melissa said...

My sincere condolences on the loss of your father. But what a delightful story to share in his memory. It made me smile :)

KnitYoga said...

My condolences to you, Fleegle. It's lovely that you have such happy memories and what a wonderful father he sounds, too.

Monika said...

So sorry for your loss. My sympathy goes out to you and your family!

Dina said...

Oh Fleegle, I am so sorry to hear of your father's passing. But, I am glad you have stories like this one to remember him by.

Thinking of you.

PenCraft said...

Please accept my most sincere condolences. Your father sounds like a wonderful man who loved his daughter very much.

Restless Knitter said...

What a wonderful story :) I'm very sorry for your loss.

Natural State Knitter said...

Dear Fleegle; so sorry for your loss, thankfull for precious memories! Was your dad a WWII veteran? My father-in-law is 85 and a WWII veteran. This new Ken Burns PBS special really helps us understand their generation and what made them so great!

michelle said...

I am very sorry for your loss. It sounds as though your father was a very special person.

fujiyamamama said...

Oh, Fleegle,
I am so sorry. Please accept my condolences.

CrazyFiberLady said...

I'm very sorry for your loss. Your wonderful story took me back to hunting the Good Humor truck when visiting grandma's house on Long Island as a little girl. I loved that white truck with the bells.

Melanie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. It's good that you have such happy memeories of your dad. I wish you peace.

Fancy Pants said...

I am so sorry to read about your loss. It seems like you have some wonderful memories of the time you spent with your father and the one you chose to share with us was especially sweet. I wish for you peace and feelings of love from everyone out here in cyberland and all those around you. When it is the hardest, remember how blessed you were by the universe to have such a special man as a father. My sympathy to you and your family.

miyamojo said...

Fleegle,
I'm so sorry for your loss.
Hugs to you and yours.
I'm going to have ice cream tonight in honor of your dad.
What a great guy! m

mmc_3 said...

I'm very sorry for your loss, but touched by the way you chose to celebrate your father's life. Your story was such a beautiful way to remember him.

Jane said...

Dear Susan,

Your father was an amazing, loving man. It shows in every word you write about him and in the way you look at life and share it with all of us. I am truly sorry for your loss but I hope the good memories will help to keep you going.

Yarnmama said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss. (hug)

Silvia said...

So very sorry for your loss. Our good thoughts are with you.
best wishes,
Silvia

z's momma said...

My condolences.

ClaireEJ said...

Oh sweetie, what a wonderful story!
I'm so sorry for your loss but so glad you have such good memories of your Dad.
Big gentle hugs to you and your loved ones.

Rose said...

I am a long time lurker and my first time commenting... I have been on holiday and I am so sad to hear the news.

I am truly sorry for your loss and I hope your wonderful memories of your father, such as the one you shared with us, will heal you.

Dallas Schulze said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. What a lovely memory to have.

Logan said...

What to say? I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm so glad you have such a wonderful memory of your father (surely one of many). Your post made me smile for the relationship you had with your father, and cry for the pain of his loss. I hope he went easy, but even if he didn't, he left you knowing you were loved, and that he knew of your love. And yes, I immediately phoned my father (thankfully still with us and relatively healthy), reminisced a little, then told him I loved him. He was a bit surprised, but I'm going to make sure he's never surprised by that sentiment again - I'll be telling him I love him as often as I can. So, thank you for that - by sharing your story, you've improved what will someday be mine.

KathyR said...

Wonderful story, terrible loss. My deepest sympathies, Fleegle.

donnac368 said...

So sorry for your loss - my dad is near the next part of his journey right now...

Lorette said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss. That is a wonderful memory to have of your father. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.

Yosemite said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. The story is so touching and lovely. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you and you're entire family. I will keep you all in my prayers.

June said...

So sorry for your loss, and so happy to hear about the good times. Take care of yourself and go have some ice cream as a toast to your Dad -

Cheryl said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your memories of your Dad. They made me smile :-)

Lynn said...

What a delightful memory of your father to share with us. Your dad was 14 years younger than mine, and lived about as long.

*Hugs*. I remember how it felt; it's been 17 years since he graduated from earth. I was talking about him with LittleBit on the drive to church this morning. I need to type up that memory to share with her sisters.

jenifair said...

I'm sorry I'm posting so late, I love your blog and usually am better at keeping up. Thank you for posting such a wonderful memory. I'm so sorry for your loss, I hope you have many more such memories and that they help you through this time.

jenifair said...

I'm sorry I'm posting so late, I love your blog and usually am better at keeping up. Thank you for posting such a wonderful memory. I'm so sorry for your loss, I hope you have many more such memories and that they help you through this time.

Jeri said...

I'm so sorry about your daddy. I lost my daddy 15 years ago and I still miss him.
Eat an ice cream bar and think about him often.

Angeluna said...

I am so sorry about your father. But glad you have such delightful memories to cherish. My father is also 88 and has trouble with those old memories now.

Will be thinking about you.

Patty said...

I am very sorry for your loss. What a wonderful story and memory. Thank you for sharing your love for your father.