I drove by the South Pole over the weekend. Not that South Pole. This one is a drive-in ice cream place. You may have already guessed, it’s in a small town. Where but small-town America would you find that?
I was on my way to visit my sister, who recently moved there. She and her horses, cats, and dogs are getting settled in at their new place a few miles outside of town, out in the country. Come summer, they will be surrounded by cornfields. I hope I’ll be able to find them! So far, I’ve gone right past her county road, missing the turn, every time. I may get totally lost when the corn is high.
Her old place has sold. So Saturday we went over to get those last left over odds and ends out of the house, garage, and barn. Good thing our brother came over, and a friend, too- the “not much left” turned out to be two carloads and a pick-up truck load! It was another bittersweet time, going through things, deciding what was on the way to Goodwill and making sure no treasures headed that way.
I could look out in the fields surrounding the house and picture my daughter as a little girl, her horse galloping and her long hair flying in the wind as she rode with her aunt, or zooming around the home-made track, racing her uncle in one of his go-carts. As I walked out of the house the last time, I paused at the end of the hallway and glanced back to the room where my brother-in-law used to sit in his recliner watching NASCAR and said good-bye like I did so many times through the years. And my heart caught in my throat to think of my sister saying a good-bye again, too. But I smiled, too, thinking of how resolutely she is moving forward into the future, and building a life she loves.
We took our carload back to the new house and unloaded a few things. We were so hungry we didn’t quite finish the job before we drove into town. We’re saving the South Pole for warmer days, so we pulled into the packed parking lot of the Pizza Shack. We joined the crowd that included fiftieth birthday and fifth birthday parties, a youth sports team celebrating, young couples on a cheap date, and families out for dinner. We were waited on by teens on their first job. The decor has a railroad theme- one “rail car” housed the salad bar and another the pizza buffet. The very reasonable $8.50 included both of those, along with endless plates of spaghetti and soft drinks with crushed ice. Not fancy, but good and filling food and a casual and comfortable atmosphere that makes you feel at home among friends. The best of small-town America!