In early spring, we declared the need for an ice cream budget. It was actually a line item. Health insurance. Groceries. Electric. Ice cream.
It’s actually a smart idea to budget for fun stuff in your life. But we quickly decided that driving about THIRTY MINUTES, paying a big mark-up, and driving home another THIRTY MINUTES was way more expensive than it was worth. And we live in serious deer country. After we totaled a car in 2018, thanks to a deer collision, we’ve been extra aware of the risks of useless trips. (Although the deer crash actually happened on Julep’s morning drive to work.)
And then there were all the times we ordered a junk food dinner AND ice cream. It would add up to at least a $30 bill. Plus, we tended to make this trip on a Friday night. We’d get home late, there were still tasks to do for the farmers markets the next day, and it just ended up being more stressful than fun.
But still, summer’s hot and ice cream’s tasty. We went a few times when we were already in town for another task, we found a place that was more reasonably priced, and we only had ice cream – no junk food dinners.
On the night before our local (again, 30 minutes away) ice cream stand closed, we made the trip to send summer off properly. We had planned to go, so it wasn’t a last-minute decision. And we went all out – the little guy had a big, dripping, chocolate-raspberry cone, and Julep and I had a testament to human ingenuity known as the “hot fudge cake.” We sat at a picnic table in the fading September sun and enjoyed ourselves.
I can picture that night in detail. I can taste the hot fudge and the chocolate cake. I can see Silas happily licking his ice cream. It’s etched into my memory because it was a special night. Instead of a weekly decision to down sugar and rack up a bill, we selectively opted to turn the page on summer and enjoy a night together.