Facing the Loss of Chocolate in the Ice Cream Cone of Life

Last night, my husband and I were lying in bed, and I said, “I can’t think of anything to blog about tomorrow.”

Silence.

“Did you hear me?”

“What?  I mean yes.  You said you couldn’t think of anything to blog about.”

Silence.

Silence.

“Well?”  I said, pointedly.

“Huh?” my husband replied sleepily.  “Well what?”

“Well I obviously wanted you to come up with a blog topic for me.”

“Oh…Oh!  Now I understand.”

Silence.

Silence.

“Well?” I said again.

“I’m still thinking.  Okay, you could write about our Sunday night routine of going down to the Oceanfront and getting a Dairy Queen on the Boardwalk and how you have decided not to get the chocolate dipped cone anymore because it melts the ice cream too fast.”

“And you seriously think people would want to read about that?”

“Well, you know, it sort of deals with facing disappointments in life.  Sort of,” he said, trying to drift back into the edge of sleep.

“Right.  And the ice cream cone example is definitely right up there at the top of the list of life’s disappointments.”

I know, I know.  This is my blog, not his, but you can’t blame me for trying.

All was not lost, though, because the subject of disappointments did get me thinking.  On my refrigerator door I keep comics I’ve cut out of the paper.  One of my favorites is one from “Pearls Before Swine.”

 

It rings so true.  We start out in life with all these grand dreams.  I remember my sons used to use their allowances when they were in middle school to buy a magazine called Unique Homes, a magazine for luxury real estate.  They would drool over the pictures and plan what car they would buy to go along with their mansion.  They even got their dad to take them to the Ferrari dealer.  I have to tell you, though, that when they weren’t looking, I’d peruse those magazines, too.  Who wouldn’t want to live like that!

The older I get, however, and the more time I have for reflection, my dreams are on a much smaller scale.  I’d like the economy to improve so my husband can retire in a few years and we can spend more time together.  I’d like to live closer to our kids, though living here is so much closer than when we were in Texas.  I don’t need to take European vacations or cruises, but I’d like to take a road trip to Nova Scotia.  Those grandiose dreams of our youth just slip quietly away, don’t they, but we find that we didn’t need them to be happy.  Of course, I’m not saying I’d turn down lottery winnings if they ever come my way, and if that happens, I’ll go straight to the book store and grab the newest copy of Unique Homes.  But, yes,  new vinyl windows would thrill me.

I can’t even remember why some of those dreams I had seemed so important when I had them.  I guess I thought they would make me happy, but somewhere along the way, I found I was happy just the way things have turned out.  A few hours before he died, my father said to me from his hospital bed, “I’ve been a good man, haven’t I?”  “The best!” I replied.  That’s the only thing in this life I really want, that at the end of it, I know I was a good person.  I don’t need the chocolate icing.

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About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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26 Responses to Facing the Loss of Chocolate in the Ice Cream Cone of Life

  1. mypajamadays says:

    You and dad are just so stinking cute! Do you remember how we used to draw up “blue prints” on graph paper too? We had stack and stacks of them…and they were all going to be built on a family compound. How things change.

    • comingeast says:

      We still dream of a family compound, even if it’s just for vacations. When we win the lottery, we’ll get a place on Cape Cod where we can all crash. Deal?

  2. This last-minute topic turned out grand!

  3. Oh, how lovely and how sad and how sweet, even without the chocolate icing. All we want in the end is to know we’ve done well. But you’re right: after washing windows and having a temper tantrum and throwing a broken screen out the window this morning, new vinyl windows would be nice, too.

  4. I love this post! Finding happiness where you are is what it’s all about – even if where you are is Home Depot 🙂

    I have to admit though that it was the opening with your husband that I adored the most. I’m so glad to know that I am not the only one who rambles on at night in bed when my husband is on the edge of sleep. Is that a wife thing, or a writer thing? Perhaps an afternoon coffee thing?

    • comingeast says:

      LOL! I think it must be a wife thing! We try to go to bed early because my husband knows that just climbing into bed and turning the lights out doesn’t necessarily mean I’m done with him. Thanks, Amy.

  5. I commented once but I’mm not sure if it went through so here we go again. I love the conversation between you and your husband so comfortable with each other. He sounds like a gem. You are right now days I care more about family, writing, Thai food and friends.

  6. This was so touching. And isn’t it so true–something I’ve never thought about. My ‘dreams’ now are smaller and a lil more homespun, than like winning the lottery or living at the Ritz in Paris. Friday I get to fly to DC and help my daughter move and I can’t think of anything on earth I’d rather do more.
    –And I know what a mensch is!! Hilarious.

    • comingeast says:

      I know just what you mean. My 13-year-old granddaughter asked me to come to Michigan this past May to see her in a school musical, and I was able to do that. That’s what my dreams are made of! You enjoy your trip and your time with your daughter.

  7. The dreams of our youth are such for a reason; as youth, we don’t know what we need or even what we want. We barely know ourselves. The dreams of our later years (however we define them) are so much more meaningful because they’re born of our truths. I think you are very mindful; your blog seems to prove you have chocolate coatings after all. 🙂

  8. winsomebella says:

    Great thoughts–especially “somewhere along the way I found I was happy just the way things turned out.” Very wise words.

  9. Robin says:

    This is such a wonderful post. I love the way you started with nothing and turned it into something quite thought-provoking. I hadn’t considered it before reading your post but my dreams, too, have simplified. I wish for some of the same things you do (including a road trip to Nova Scotia — my husband and I have been talking about that one for years).

    • comingeast says:

      How interesting that you want to go to Nova Scotia, too. That’s not a road trip I hear a lot of people wanting to take. We’re thinking of taking that trip next summer to celebrate our 40th anniversary. Our actual anniversary is in February, but that’s not a good time for Nova Scotia! Thanks for your comment, Robin.

  10. The older I get, the less material stuff I “need” for me to be content with life. The simpler, the better. And if when I leave this world, if I can say I was a good mother, wife, friend, person I will die happy because that is all I really wanted in the first place.

  11. Julia says:

    That story about your dad is so sweet — it’s true that we really just want the people in our lives to be happy with who we are. I know that often I’ll think that as long as my kids think I’m a good mom and my husband and I are happy, then that’s more than enough. I also don’t really need the chocolate icing.

  12. Jenny says:

    I enjoyed this post! Keep dreaming and keep being the wonderful person you are!

  13. Wow, what a great post! Your Dad’s question was so touching. Big thanks to your husband for inspiring such a thought-provoking entry.

    • comingeast says:

      I don’t think my husband intentionally gave me a good idea. He just want to go to sleep. LOL! I was so fortunate to have one last really good conversation with my dad before he died. I actually said, “You were a mensch!” when he asked me that question, but a lot of people don’t know what a mensch is.

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