In my household, the middle of March means one thing: our local ice cream stand is opening. After the long winters we have here in upstate New York, the lure of the ice cream stand sirens call is not to be denied.
Our local shop is Bonomo’s Dairy Cream. Now entering their 53rd season, Bonomo’s has been a favorite of mine since 1984. I was introduced to this ice cream Mecca while on a date with a girl I really wasn’t interested in. We stopped here for ice cream, and while the girl didn’t work out, the ice cream stayed with me.
Heading to Bonomo’s has been a rite of spring for me and my wife since we first started dating. Now 20+ years later, we look forward to bringing our children here and passing on the love that we carry to them.
For me, the ice cream is secondary, the time spent with my family and the continuation of a tradition is the primary goal. Each spring the older kids ask “When does Bonomo’s open?” to which I answer, “Not soon enough.” They look forward to the treat and the time spent together in the van, chatting and reminiscing about ice cream visits long passed. We compare numbers on the cones (did you know there is a number printed on every ice cream cone? Neither did we!) and declare that the highest, or lowest, is the winner. We always say the winner buys the cones next time, but somehow, I end up footing the bill.
Today was extra special, as it was the first time my 15-month-old son experienced an ice cream cone! Truth be told, he was more infatuated with the video controls on the dash than he was with the cone, but he enjoyed it quite a bit.
The temperature was a chilly 29 degrees, but there was steady stream of customers arriving as we sat in the van and consumed our frozen treats. Apparently, the tradition of March ice cream isn’t unique to my household. After all, who doesn’t love an ice cream cone, regardless of the weather?
So today, no matter where you live, load up the family into the gas-powered sleigh and find an ice cream stand near you. Spend some time together, and enjoy the sweet side of life.