Looking Lost

Humans want to belong. Even the introverts want to be a part of something outside themselves. That’s why we make friends, join clubs, gather for worship, and cling to the familial unit even when it is dysfunctional. The worst feeling for anyone is that of abandonment. Being abandoned is the twist of the knife of loneliness. It is devastating both physically and psychologically.

I can still remember the feeling. A coldness creeping around my heart and icy fingers squeezing all the air out of my lungs. I fought the tears but they leaked from my eyes anyway. I had been dropped off at the YWCA for a summer camp. My parents had each thought that the other had gone to pick me up. So there I sat on the steps as all the workers and camp counselors left for the day. I didn’t have any idea where a phone could even be found. Even if I’d found a phone booth, I had no money. One of the ladies leaving asked me if my parents were on their way to get me. With tears in my eyes, I shrugged. She suggested I walk the 4 blocks to the McDonald’s and see if they could call my home. Those 4 blocks were the longest distance ever. I was lucky. The manager allowed me to use their phone. I called home. Chaos erupted. My father assured me he was on his way to the YWCA to get me. I hung up and then walked the 4 blocks back. I was sitting out front waiting when my father drove up. For me that feeling of abandonment was temporary. It lasted less than 2 hours. But I still remember it clearly 55 years later.

I can only imagine the trauma of the children separated from their families, parents, siblings. Yes I’m talking about the children held at the border, and the children placed in foster care, and all the children left home alone by parents with addictions. I’m talking about the children who become parents to their younger siblings because they have to grow up at the age of 9 when their single mother is in jail for prostitution and can’t make bail. They have been abandoned. Abandoned by the very people who are supposed to be taking care of them and keeping them safe. Abandoned by society as well. The eligibility for public assistance is becoming more and more stringent. The ones that suffer most are the children. They are abandoned twice and I can only imagine the terror and helplessness as the icy fingers squeeze the air from their lungs and the blood from their hearts and the tears from their eyes. I lose sleep over this.

Looking at the Next Four Years

This year has been one of hit after hit. Our country has been fractured by political divisiveness, racial tensions, public protests, and violence. I suppose that all that has been present for many years and has been simmering under a fragile veneer of civility. Yesterday’s election was a turning point.

Cast my ballot I dare not
Look to see results
The outcome I care not
To know what insults
Scientific minds know
The experiment designs
Will either show
Success or failure
In the grand scheme
Of democratic rule a
Successful dream
Or nightmare wakes
When common values peak
Or subside to chaos in
What the elected seek
To promote for us

Looking for Ice Cream

I’ve never been a rabid fan of frozen treats. This is mostly due to dental sensitivity. It was exacerbated by having my jaw surgically broken and realigned resulting in a fair amount of metal implanted. If you have had any metal plates, screws, or surgical wire you will know how easily it conducts cold. The cold is drawn into your bones and causes a deep down ache that lasts for a long time – even after you have warmed up on the outside. Now, it seems downright unAmerican to state that one does not like ice cream. Far be it from me to be unpatriotic in regards to ice cream. I’ve been eating some sort of frozen treat every Sunday at the familial get together. This is to say I have a small bowl and can mostly swallow it without having to chew. I’ve developed a technique of eating ice cream sandwiches that involves sucking the melting vanilla from between the outer chocolate cookies thus avoiding having to sink my teeth into anything cold.

The issue is that I generally don’t get to decide what flavor is purchased. A little while ago Sparky decided that we should invest in some frozen treats to share. So we bought Neapolitan ice cream sandwiches. They were not served and instead we had the option of drumsticks or traditional ice cream sandwiches. The next week and the week after that saw a variety of individually wrapped treats offered but no Neapolitan sandwiches. I was a little concerned that they were buried in the freezer and getting freezer burn. So we investigated. They were gone. Seems Sparky’s dad really liked them… When we went back to get more the store was completely sold out.

This led to a decision to purchase some fake ice cream for Sparky’s mother who due to medical complications from her pancreatic cancer surgery cannot have ANY dairy products. She loves ice cream but was making due with popsicles. We looked over the flavors and decided on frozen cashew milk with sea salt caramel. She decide to give it a try. (She had been avoiding it because it was “too expensive” and she was afraid to spend the money and then be disappointed.) Long story short, she loved it. So that worked out.

After all the drama of COVID and a suspension of ice cream Sundays due to the cold weather making sitting outside uncomfortable, I decided that we should have some in our freezer. It is a nice treat even when the weather is cool. Sparky reluctantly agreed. He wanted to dictate the kind we got. He does not like anything with Oreos in it. So no cookies n cream. He also is not a fan of mint, or marshmallow. Add cotton candy, bubblegum, tutti frutti, and a variety of neon colored and fake fruit flavors to his list of unacceptable types. The ice cream that I don’t like are peanut butter/peanuts in the ice cream, anything with coconut, and I’m not sold on walnuts. Of course I didn’t get my favorite because I’ve never seen it in the grocery – Rum Raisin. I selected sea salt fudge brownie. Sparky was relieved. So as we head into the last stretch of Autumn days before we start getting to snow suits and wool sweater weather, we are having a small bowl of ice cream to treat ourselves…

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?