The Ice Cream Man

In the summer of 2010, I bought a house.  A shell of a house, actually.  But after hunting around for what seemed like forever, I followed my brother, a carpenter/construction expert, into this unfinished rehab.  He exclaimed, “This is the one for you.  This is your new house.  You can start from scratch and make this into anything you want.”

We did.  The family did.  My  brother, Mike, was the mastermind.  He went with me on countless visits to what had become my favorite stores – Menards, Home Depot, and Hobos.  He was the contractor on the job.

His employees:

a plumber (my son-in-law, who that first day jumped down into the rat invested crawlspace without a second thought and installed a whole new plumbing system)

a security salesman (my brother-in-law who spent almost every weekend of his summer, working on my house rather than relaxing at his cabin by the lake)

a fireman/roofer (my other brother, who very nearly got attacked by the squirrels living in the attic)

a retired electrician (my 80 year old father, who loved to design, invent, and draw blueprints)

an estimator/fabricator (Jim, who fortunately liked to man the old wheelbarrow we used as a barbecue grill to make hot dogs and such, besides doing other odd jobs needing to be done)

an MRI specialist (my sister who hated painting, but did it anyway)

a mother/wife (my daughter who didn’t mind getting her hands dirty with any job necessary, and was there without fail, with two small children in tow)

a machine operator (another brother who did odd jobs to assist)

and various other family members and friends who belonged to this project

What a summer!

Each weekend, late in the afternoon, an ice cream truck could be heard from a distance.  All of the kids, and an adult or two that needed the much deserved break, would head towards the usual stopping point near my house and wait. He probably made more money on our block than any other during the weekends that summer.  I will never forget the comment this ice cream man made towards the end of that summer.  He exclaimed, “I love this part of my day.  Watching all of you, obviously family, working together, laughing together, and enjoying each other’s company in the midst of all the hard work. There is such a bond that is present here.”

He was right!  Our family is a strong one, deeply committed to promoting the happiness and welfare of each other. We are all different, we have our differences, but we come together in need, and we spend a lot of time enjoying each other’s company. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I am blessed!

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8 thoughts on “The Ice Cream Man

  1. Ahhhh, wise words from the ice cream man – practicing his magic in many ways. It does indeed sound as though you are blessed to be surrounded by such a supportive family. A heart warming post; I loved it.

  2. Love the list of employees- acknowledging them, giving us a little bit about who they are, makes the building of the house- feel more like a home- they are real people- people you know putting everything into this home. I love that the ice cream man could see what an amazing family you had and decided to tell you.

  3. Lynn, I love so much of this piece. Your list of employees, the ice cream man, the pictures…just so great! A feeling of family and unity came over me after reading and looking through your pictures. Your closing…”I am blessed!” perfectly sums it up.

  4. Love the pics, the projects, the finished product. Looks amazing. The list of people working was fantastic – started with those that had specific skills to assist in the rehab but then I loved how you moved to those that have nothing to do with the housing industry, listed their titles and how they helped. The ice cream man’s comment was priceless and what an observation. Such a warm story, Lynn. Thanks for sharing!

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