Friday, April 14, 2017

Ice Cream & Open Houses

Growing up in a small town means you need to make your own fun. Teenagers party in fields, or drive around aimlessly looking for something to do. Mothers take their kids to swimming holes or local parks on hot days. It's a kind of slow, sleepy bliss that's simultaneously exhilarating and magical. You don't really notice how special those days were until you get older, and move away.

One of my favorite childhood summer memories wasn't running through a sprinkler, or having a picnic at the park. It was a tradition that my mom started, without even realizing she was creating something special at all. 

Keep in mind, these were the days before tablets and smart phones. I'm bringing you back to the 90s and early 2000s here. On warm summer evenings, she would take us out for ice cream, milkshakes or slushies, and then we would take a drive down the highway to view some modular homes.

We lived in apartments back then, and would dream of the house we would someday own. I remember driving there, windows down, radio on, sunshine beaming through the windows and mom at my side. 

There were always 2-3 open houses at the location we went to, and we would walk from home to home, planning, laughing and dreaming. Even though we weren't planning on buying a house anytime soon, it was our way of getting excited for all the possibilities of the future. I would instantly run down the hallway, picking out what room would be "mine" and which would be my brother's (the smaller room of course). Mom would tell us where the couch would go in the living room, and we would try to decide if our table set would fit in the kitchen. For the evening, those houses were ours to dream with.

On the way home we would talk about which house was our favorite, and how much fun we would have decorating it. 

When I was 12 my mom finally got a home of her own, and we got to do this for real- walking through, picking out bedrooms and placing furniture.

 I can't wait until I get to do that with my own family and our future home. Until that happens, you might find Mason and I skipping through an open house somewhere, milkshakes in hand, laughing, planning and dreaming. I highly recommend trying it for yourself- it's a soul refreshing kind of experience. 



  1. This sounds like so much fun for any kid to do! I grew up on the opposite end of the spectrum from you (though it seems like the same time frame; before smartphones and tablets lol) in New York City (not a small town at all). But my family would take our summer vacation in a small town in New Hampshire where we would just hike, and swim in the river, and even get ice cream at the local small, family-owned ice cream parlor. I loved the small town feel and I think that's why I now live on a small island (Key West) and want to eventually move to a small town in Vermont (for our own real house). This was such a wonderful post and I loved that it brought me back to my own childhood memories =)

  2. YES! This speaks to my childhood! You brought back so many memories to me. I grew up in a tiny town in upstate new york. We used to go and check out the model homes at the end of town when we were bored (although we used to sneak in with our friends haha). Its so great that you guys got your dream home at the end!

  3. OMG! So cute! I love going to big fancy open houses and pretending we can afford the place!

  4. This definitely brings me back to my childhood! When we just ran and played OUTSIDE! There is something about ice cream that gives you that sense of nostalgia, too. Open houses I got into as an adult for decorating ideas!

  5. There is something so charming about your experience. Spmething so special, so emotionally wonderful in your writing. I could picture it in my head. Qyaint pretty houses and so much laughter!

  6. I loved this memory of yours! I could almost imagine it. Having moved to a small town from a big city, is a change. But the change is nice.

  7. Thanks for sharing your amazing childhood memory. It inspires me to consider the memories I want to make with my children and reflect on my own childhood and the moments I cherish most.

  8. I still love open houses. So full of possibilities.

  9. Sounds like lovely tradition. We want to start building our won house in next year so that open houses it's really nice idea before we start our own:D

  10. I still love going to open houses-home decor is my secret passion!


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