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!)


“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.


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