Thursday, October 10, 2013


At first glance, this could be all about the Icee - the frozen concoction staring at me from the blue and red striped cup, complete with the fetching plastic domed lid and the necessary long red straw, delivered into the cup at 28 degrees.  Without a doubt for even a nano second, this is one of my very favorite items, in the world.
Just because I love an Icee doesn't mean I drink one every day or one every week.  But since the discovery of my new favorite flavor, I have had three Icees in the last four or five weeks.  Winter, spring, summer or fall.  These are not factors when considering the best time for partaking of this frozen concoction.  

Despite growing up in the Big City, I was able to enjoy a satisfying measure of independence.  A large city park was literally steps away, complete with a softball field, a concrete pool, a playground full of swing sets and a merry-go-round and a tall metal slide - all accidents waiting to happen- and a bridge over the creek.  At the edge of the park, the fire station sold candy to all the accidents waiting to happen - pocketfuls of Now and Laters, Sweetarts, ChickOSticks (Atkinson Candy, Lufkin, TX) and Double Bubble, to name a few.  But going to the park alone is not much fun. 

I preferred riding up to the 7-Eleven on my bike, all by myself.  This was a rare treat.  The store was located on a busy street but I knew the short-cut down a residential street.  Wow, memory from the past triggers another memory from the past!  A two story tan brick apartment building was near the store.  Sister and I dreamed of sharing an apartment there someday.  We drove by it almost daily in our course of elementary life, and I remember looking up into a window and seeing an iron on an ironing board.  Seeing that symbol of hearth and home, such a prominent fixture in our own den, presided over by our Mistress of Starch and Pressing, made the little apartment even more appealing, as long as we had a dog and a cat to complete our idea of career women.  The careers were in some question because all of the women in our lives, except for two aunts, were housewives.

Creature of habit but lover of change for change sake, I usually got a Coke Icee.  Maybe a Cherry Coke Icee.  Ah, the mighty state and city of my birth, played a huge part in furthering the original design of Omar Knedlik, a WWII veteran from Coffeyville, Kansas.  He invented the idea and the mechanical start, and with further help from an engineering firm, began marketing the wonderful new product and machines to 7-Elevens in the early 60's.  At some point, the convenience store held a naming contest for the drink and the Slurpee was born.  My current drink was not purchased at a 7-Eleven, maybe that accounts for the original name.

My biking independence was well rewarded as I returned home, a large Icee in one hand and the other hand on the handle bars, most of the time.  I practiced becoming hands-free on the flat streets.  I felt great physical prowess (didn't know what it was called but I did feel supremely able) in my ability to navigate without my hands, leaning my body in a certain way to travel down a street.  The best trick came when I could turn onto D.H.'s street, ride past the field and the little garage where I got my first kiss in first grade, past my friend's house and go down the hill (a rarity in my neck of the woods) and then around the corner onto the next street.  My idea of heaven is to be able to go back to my childhood and do the fun, physically demanding things that were originally as automatic as breathing like climbing trees, playing four square, jumping rope, and whirling like a dervish.  Makes me a little dizzy.  Whew.

The hill was successfully mastered many a morning, until I took a spill.  I was late to school because I had to hobble my way along, after leaving a good deal of my knees and forearm back on the pavement.  I still have a scar but I think age and fat have erased it nicely, almost.  But I would love to hop back on my bike, and give that hill another try.  Except I am wiser.

My new flavor of Icee is Dr. Pepper, which I can't ever remember stirring up before.  This would definitely be in my category "Nectar from the Gods" alongside other favorites - Almond Tea and Strawberry Tea.  I highly recommend the experience as a freely opinionated endorser.

In the above picture, my 28 degree beverage is sitting above the car's outside temp reading.  Just a cool 98 degrees in the shade.  No wonder this is such a desirable brainfreeze! Doesn't your life revolve around the temperature of the moment or the prediction of the high for tomorrow or the low for two weeks from yesterday?  Coming out of the sauna of summertime, we seem to hang on every little degree no matter which direction it is going.  The Weather Channel trained us years ago, beginning with brass dials of wind speed, temperature, and barometric pressure, to fixate, at first, on the movement of a dial when we didn't even know what barometric pressure did. 

Now we can look at the temperature handy dandy,
the minute our cell phone lights up.  Or in retiring for the evening, "Check the temp, please."  One degree does not a heat wave make, unless you are of a certain age.  Jumping for degrees, I am pleased to share this almost current photo of my hall thermostat.  Now we are beginning to feel a difference and actually breathe true cool air.  Heat, I am not sad to see you go.  I was a premature baby but I can't imagine being cold, even at that point in my life.  When I say fetch another blanket, you might just want to fetch the doctor.  Welcome fall. 


wishing and hoping, I'd rather drink than eat 

For more Icee Info:

Mental_ Floss    The Cool History of the Slurpee       Rob Lammie

Wichita Eagle,  Coffeyville Man Creates Icee           Beccy Tanner

No comments:

Post a Comment