During the space between careers, I had the great fortune to enjoy some amazing travel. What started as 'taking the summer off' after getting laid off from my high powered engineering job at a now-busted optical networking startup (I know, that's a long way away from making ice cream), turned into nearly two incredible years of wanderlust. First, I drove cross-country in my little Acura, with just a tent, some camping supplies, my laptop & camera, and U.S. road atlas. Thiry-five states, three months, and many thousands of miles. 16 National Parks. Alaska. Mountain biking in Moab, Utah. Camping in Grand Canyon National Park. Getting up early to catch Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park. So many unforgetable moments.
My second adventure took me to Australia and New Zealand with a buddy who also got laid off that summer. We did the entire east coast of that land down under. Syndey to Caines. Dove the Great Barrier Reef. Camped on a deserted island. Walked on a glacier on the South Island of New Zealand. Hiked through rainforests.
We were hiking, wide-eyed, through one of the rainforests in New Zealand, and my buddy says to me, 'remember this moment. This is something you'll remember your entire life.' As we sat in that mossy forest and scarfed power bars, we literally savored the moment.
There were many moments during those years of adventure. When I think back, the moments that stand out in my mind aren't things like the hike down into the Grand Canyon (although that was very cool) or driving the twisties of Big Sur (again very cool). No, it was more the little moments. Sitting with a glass of red on the edge of a lake reflecting the majestic Grand Tetons. Being woken up in the middle of the night by a light so bright I thought it was morning, only to open the flap of my tent to discover a full moon so bright you could read a book under it. That moon was rising over the desert of Joshua Tree National Park in California, and became a moment carved into my mind as one of the most tranquil, dare I say spiritual, I've ever experienced.I could go on and on. Perhaps in a book for my counter someday.
So what does all this have to do with life and ice cream, you begin to wonder?
It's simple, really. As our t-shirts like to say,
Life is Short.
Eat Ice Cream.
Eat Ice Cream.
Life is short.
Savor the moments.
The nature of the moments I experience in this adventure I call 'Mt. Tom's' is certainly different, but that doesn't stop me from occasionally stopping to try to 'remember the moment' as my buddy suggested a few years back in New Zealand. And sometimes, I'm even able to grab my camera before that moment's passed...
My nephew, Willy, during a rare visit from his home state of Florida.
A buddy's kids. Check out baby sis in the background.
A couple scoopers decided to do a shift with the ice cream party hats. Seems they didn't aspire to have the moment recorded.
If you haven't been to the shop this year, you haven't seen the digital picture frame on the counter. It's chock full of pleasant moments of life in an ice cream shop.
Ok, so some customers are more reluctant than others to make the digital picture of moments frame. Perhaps I'll just stick to kiddos. They don't seem to mind...
Let's face it. There's plenty of reasons to feel down these days. Just open the newspaper to any page. In these times of foreclosures, $4.00 gas, inflation, stock market dips, and the temporary demise of the travel vacation, one's ability to enjoy the simple moments becomes even more important. I guess that's what makes this gig so great. I get to be part of one of those simple moments of happiness nearly all day, every day.
What more could you ask for in a job.
Thanks for listening.