SUNDAY AFTERNOON AND THE LINES at Blast Softserve in Owatonna stretch sometimes 15 deep.
Families and couples and teens and dogs (yes, canines, too), all waiting for ice cream treats. No one complaining. No one seemingly in a hurry. Not even me, Ms. Impatience.
But after this Winter of Our Discontent—the winter that has blasted us with too much cold and too much snow—I am delighting in the 64-degree weather. No snow, although I order a peach pie flurry. Winter still on the brain, apparently.
I am still dressed in warm threads, too, a flannel shirt, while some here are baring their winter white arms and legs.
The mood is jovial. My husband jokes with a boy, about nine, that getting grasshoppers for a grasshopper treat may be difficult given they are out of season.
His father, quick with the wit, shoots back: “Maybe they bring them (the grasshoppers) in from South America.”
And they all laugh.
You can’t help but feel happy here at this hometown ice cream shop.
Sun and clouds. Kids and dogs. Shirt sleeves and shorts.
Bikes parked in the bike rack. Stenciled letters. Kitschy art.
A bell to ring.
Dripping ice cream cones. A mother wiping chocolate ice cream from her son’s face. Temporary brain freeze.
Life is good on a Sunday afternoon in April in southern Minnesota.
© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling