A Story with a Twist
Just after my parents got home from work on Friday, everyone was in motion. My siblings and I would toss our clothes in what dad called our “Polish suitcases” which were just brown paper grocery bags. No racial slur, we were a Polish family who always joked around. We were heading to our summer cottage and we did not need the finest luggage!
It was never hard to pack for the cottage; a bathing suit or two, shorts, t-shirts, underwear, pajamas, a pair of jeans, a light sweatshirt for predicted cool nights, and our church clothes.
My family was blessed to own this summer cottage. The crickets lulled us to sleep at night and the songbirds gently woke us in the morning. My dad and my brothers were lured in from early morning fishing simply by the delicious aroma of bacon and pancakes mom so effortlessly prepared with love. Our cottage was heaven on earth and only 20 minutes away from our city living. It was absolutely the best place to have grown up.
We spent all our time outdoors. If there wasn’t a game of horseshoes going on, then we were playing lawn jarts. You know, the really dangerous ones that were pointed metal and tossed into a circle so many feet away. We had kids and adults all over the place, yet no one ever got hurt as they sailed through the air.
We swam, we fished, and we explored the nearby swamp. It was relaxing, to say the least.
We had to end our play by around 3pm every Saturday to eat dinner and get cleaned up for church. I love it that we had a church to attend at home and at the cottage and it was important to my parents that we attend each weekend. This country church was not air-conditioned and every so often you could smell manure enter in an open window and join us for the Mass. Ahh, the country life.
Every now and then after church, my dad would take a different route back to the cottage. The route led us straight to the ice-cream shop. “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice-cream!”
I am fairly certain I could have gotten anything off the menu, but I always chose a cone with twisted vanilla and chocolate soft-serve. My favorite flavors married in one cone. The size of cone grew with the size of my hand and no matter what, the ice-cream would melt faster than I could lick it. Mom or dad would come to my rescue and have a lick of my soft-serve to keep it from hitting my church clothes.
As our current temperatures dip into the single digits this night, I am feeling the warmth these memories bring.
Psalm 103:10 (NIV)
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.