Sunshine and Ice Cream

Cassie, Becky, & Ice CreamAh! The aroma of cow body odor, manure, and freshly-squeezed milk! How can I begin to describe it? Unique, maybe? Or fresh, perhaps? Memorable, for sure. That aroma is why milk makes me gag to this very day.

I blame it on my dad. When I was a kid, he took me to Wills’ Dairy Farm each week to buy milk. We’d enter the “milk parlor,” a small room with concrete-block walls and a cement floor at the front of a barn. Through a door at the back I could see cows curiously lined up in a row. Mr. Wills would fill our gallon “milk jug” from a refrigerated stainless steel tank for a whopping fifty cents. I would try not to breathe the entire time we were there. And then, after the milk sat in our refrigerator for an hour, an inch of off-white thick stuff would form on top. We’d have to shake it up before we could drink it. I’m feeling a bit sick remembering it.

So I didn’t drink milk as a kid. And I didn’t drink milk as a teenager. And I didn’t drink milk as an adult. Now I’m fifty-four years old and Dr. Schuster told me my bone density is decreasing due to a lack of calcium. Imagine that! I thought the next words out of his mouth would be to drink the white stuff. I was already formulating my protest.

“Get lots of sunshine and ice cream,” he said.

“What?” I exclaimed.

Dr. Schuster repeated, “Get lots of sunshine and ice cream.”

I liked his thinking! “Would you put that in writing?” I asked.

He opened his prescription pad and wrote: “SUNSHINE TRANSDERMAL QD, ICE CREAM PO QD.” (Translation: Sunshine on my skin daily and ice cream in my mouth every day!)

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“Oh, how sweet the light of day and how wonderful to live in the sunshine! Even if you live a long time, don’t take a single day for granted. Take delight in each light-filled hour” (Ecclesiastes 11:7-8 MSG).

Sunshine and Ice Cream

Fresh Milk

Isaac and Papaw on the Selby Farm- 1996
Isaac and Papaw on the Selby Farm- 1996

I was beat from a long, stressful day at work. My plan was to run inside Kroger, pick up a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread, go through the express check-out lane, and head home. Supper would be a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats cereal with two pieces of cinnamon toast. Then I could crash in the recliner, mindlessly watching crime shows for the rest of the evening.

I hope I don’t see anybody I know, I thought. I am too tired to talk.

I grabbed some honey wheat bread and walked to the back refrigerated wall. I opened the glass door and put my fingers through the handle of a milk jug. Just as I started to lift it, a sound boomed from somewhere behind the shelves of milk: “Moo-oo-oo!”

At first I was startled. Then I giggled. Somebody was enjoying his job way too much. I set the milk in my shopping cart and made my way to the front to pay. It was strange—my heart felt a bit lighter—my mind seemed almost at ease.

Are you stressed? Take a break and go grocery shopping.

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“God, it’s time for a break!” (Psalm 69:13 MSG).