Roots and Ben and Jerry’s

My dad’s side of the family has a lot of its ancestry mapped-out, and due to that, I know for a fact that all the way back to my 6th great-grandfather on my father’s side of the family, they had lived in and around this tiny town on the outskirts of the White Mountain National Forest. I’d never been in this part of the country and with the recent passing of my grandfather, who was born there, it seemed like a spot we needed to visit. As expected, it was about as tiny as tiny gets. City-center is a post office, a small general store, and not much else. I imagine it’s been that way for quite some time. We tried to drive around to see where my grandfather had grown up but only found a baseball diamond and a propane place. We took a few pictures to document the moment, which I’m keeping for myself, family, & friends (too personal for this page). It felt good to go, and good to move on.

From there we made a beeline to a spot all of us were excited to visit, the Ben & Jerry’s Factory in Waterbury, VT. The place was packed because (we learned on the way over) it was National Ice Cream Day. Nevertheless, we persisted (sorry, hard to resist that) and we took the tour (on Sunday’s there’s part of the tour you don’t get but I can’t remember what it was we missed out on) and at the end of the tour, we got a tasty sample of ice cream. That, of course, whets the appetite, stokes the fire of patience, and bolsters the endurance needed to wait in the line that wraps around the building to go buy a heaping, HEAPING big ice cream cone with ANY Ben & Jerry’s favorite you want. Trust me, unless there are dietary discomforts or life-threatening allergies at play, you will totally go for the mega portions because come on, it’s Ben & Jerry’s. This became our supper. With a wistful farewell, we waved at the black and white bovine in the field as we pulled out and back onto the highway. Sometimes, life is just very sweet.

That night we drove down to a little town outside of Boston for the second sibling visit of the trip. There was something mighty welcoming about a flat driveway and a long extension cord that powered our a/c. The icing on this otherwise sweet day was my itty bitty 4-day old nephew in his daddy’s arms there to greet us.

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KID THOUGHTS ON NEW HAMPSHIRE AND VERMONT (or, Kid thoughts on Ben & Jerry’s that sound a bit like free advertising)

D~ “Ben & Jerry’s is not like other businesses. It is non-GMO and supports good treatment of animals. It also supports good treatment of the earth, too.” 

Djr~ “Ben and Jerry are still alive! They are 60!” (please note, Djr’s grandparents are still alive and over 60)

A~ “Ben & Jerry’s has ice cream that changes the world.”