July is National Ice Cream Month—here’s another excuse to celebrate

Every summer memory I have includes ice cream, and every memory is a happy one.  July is National Ice Cream Month so first, I say thanks to the person responsible for creating it, and secondly, I say let’s get the party started! (Does it seem like I’m always trying to find a reason to celebrate? It’s true, I do.)

I grew up in an era before electric ice cream freezers and before someone discovered that the best way to get ice cream quickly was to make a cylinder, put it in the freezer, plug it up for a few short minutes, and get to the good stuff sooner. We always had homemade ice cream and because my father worked at a place where they made it, we had “store-bought” ice cream, too. Dad brought home every flavor they were making or experimenting with so when Baskin and Robbins came along, there was no mystery there.

Sunday dinners included ice cream, community picnics included ice cream, birthdays included ice cream – everything included ice cream. According to www.census.gov, Americans eat on the average more than 23 gallons/48 pints each of this sweet treat annually. That doesn’t surprise me because I work hard not to be a slacker in this arena, and any day with ice cream is just better.

I love the numbers: according to census.gov, (1) ice cream companies contribute $11 billion to the national economy and generate more than 26,000 direct jobs; (2) the USA is the leading ice cream producer; (3) while my favorites, butter pecan, chocolate mousse royale, black walnut and rainbow sherbet, are popular, the most popular flavors are vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.

Former Kentucky Senator Walter Dee Huddleston is credited with helping to create the month and then having the third Sunday in July highlighted as National Ice Cream Day. In February there is also a National Ice Cream for Breakfast Day though I am not quite ready to celebrate a bowl of yummy Rocky Road with my eggs and toast.

Like music, ice cream seems to help build bridges and ease tension. Whatever form or excuse you choose, whether in a bowl, a cone, dish, or out of the container with one of those awful li’l wooden spoons, enjoy your favorite ice cream and sweeten your day.

On a more serious note, as hot summer days turn into sultry summer nights, remember the COVID-19 virus rages on and is a serious threat to our families and communities. Yes, we want to do what we always do in July and August—go swimming, to the park, hang out with friends and family, but it’s just too risky. Most of the warnings about the second wave of the virus have proven true and every day something new is learned about this deadly scourge.

I don’t know where COVID-19 came from, don’t know when it will be over but I do know that if something as simple as washing your hands often, wearing a mask and staying six feet apart works, why on earth wouldn’t we do it religiously?

People are dying every day—this is not a hoax, not a scam, not something that will quickly go away. My cousin Rena was strong, a fighter, someone who lived every minute of her 67 years but couldn’t win against this disease. The enormous hole her death left in our family will never be filled.

Please take care, stay well and safe–better yet, have some ice cream and really celebrate summer.

What are your favorite ice cream flavors? I am delighted to hear about them at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook!

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. Now listen to her new podcast, “Three Stores, Two Cotton Gins, One Remarkable Life: The Journey From There To Here,” and meet her favorite family and friends as they share laughter and heartwarming life lessons. Look for it on this page or wherever you get your favorite podcasts.

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