Today I had lunch with Sally at a location in Arlington, VA dear to my heart. You see, it used to be the home of Gifford’s Ice Cream which my family visited every Sunday after church. Sometimes, we would “go in” for an ice cream sundae. My dad always got a banana split; my mom and I usually got a hot fudge sundae. They served the hot fudge in tiny little ceramic pitchers that were so fun to pour. I can recall rich smell of sugar, chocolate, and homemade candies almost as much as I can remember the feel of slightly sticky chairs and tables.
On Sundays when we stayed in the car, one of us would go inside with my Dad to help carry the cones to the car. Pistachio for Dad; Swiss Chocolate for Mom; Lemon Custard or Mint Chip for my sisters and me. My mouth is watering just thinking about this ice cream. In the summers, we had to lick fast in order to prevent our ice cream from melting all over our Sunday clothes, and in the winter, we would shiver as we ate and enjoyed it just as much.
Some years ago, it became Joe’s Pizza. Joe renamed his restaurant “A Modo Mio.” The building itself has not changed much on the outside and I enjoyed sitting near the big picture windows that face what was, until recently, Lee Highway (now Langston Avenue).
As Sally and I talked and talked and talked about writing, teaching, family, and change, I had the warm sense of being grounded in a place where friends and family have built memories over the years. Grateful.