Family Memories and the Ice Cream Cone I will Never Forget

The Podcasting Store
4 min readFeb 1, 2024

by Drew Holmes

After weeks of sub-freezing temperatures, the first “false spring” of 2024 has descended upon the Front Range of Northern Colorado. Short sleeves were in order as the mercury reached the low 60’s and Timothy greeted me at the door as I returned home after a long, busy day.

“Dad!” he exclaimed. “Let’s get our bikes and go for a ride!”

The shadows were growing long as retreating sun was ducking behind the foothills and the warm daytime temperatures were rapidly becoming the chill of the night.

“Not today, buddy,” I said. It’s getting dark and cold, and we still haven’t had dinner. I’ll get home earlier tomorrow, and maybe we can go for a ride then.”

“Okay,” replied Timothy, slightly deflated. He picked up his tablet and immersed himself in Minecraft until dinner was ready.

Truth be told, though I enjoy riding my bike I did not want to go. The cold and the dark were significant factors, but after miles of walking school hallways and hours spent visiting with teachers that day all I wanted was a quiet night on my warm couch.

Decades ago, when I was in middle school, my mother had not yet returned to the workforce after a hiatus to care for my sister and me. Each afternoon she would greet us as we exited the school bus with a warm smile. One day, she met us at the bus stop with an idea.

“Get in the car,” she said. “We’re going for ice cream.”

For a normal person in East Bridgewater this would mean a quick trip north on Route 18 just across the Whitman line to Peaceful Meadows and their special brand of homemade heaven. Not for my mother.

Years before she had latched on to the idea that the best ice cream in the world was found only at Dairy Queen. And not any Dairy Queen, but the one in Kennebunkport, Maine, just up the road from Wells where we would spend endless summer vacations in our camper. The idea of traveling two states north to get ice cream was both insane and brilliant.

A few hours later we were in Vacationland, my sister and I with dipped cones in hand and my beaming mother savoring her signature Peanut Buster Parfait. I don’t remember how late it was when we arrived back home, but the memory of that impulsive trip always makes me smile.

Our earliest family memories were formed in Maine. When the adoption agency called to tell my parents there was a baby boy needing a home, they took my sister to the camper to break the news that their little family of three was about to become four. Treasured family albums overflow with pictures of us building sandcastles at the nearby beach using Peanut Buster Parfait cups as tower molds. Breezy summer nights were spent at the drive-in, my sister and I in our pajamas (though I’m still fuzzy on the endings of the movies we attended).

That impromptu excursion was about sharing a tasty treat, but it was so much more than just ice cream. By then the camper was long gone and we were on the cusp of high school. That trip was about recapturing some of that magic while we were still young enough to enjoy it. It was about making some more memories before we were too busy to slow down and do something silly and impulsive.

The next night I arrived home while the sun was still warm in the sky. A hopeful Timothy met me at the door.

“Dad, about that bike ride…”

“You got it, buddy. Let me go change.”

The sun and the temperature dropped faster than anticipated and our route took us further than I had planned, but that mattered little. The whole time Timothy was babbling. About his day, about the ride, about anything that was on his mind. Chilly and tired, we returned home for a slightly delayed dinner.

It has been said with parenting that the years are short, and the days are long. I hope I can build similar lasting memories with Timothy that I have with my mother. I hope he feels the same connection to a time and place, is instantly transported back, and remembers it with fondness. And someday before it’s too late maybe I can take him to a nondescript Dairy Queen in Kennebunkport, Maine. I hear the Peanut Buster Parfait is excellent.



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