The “Ice Cream Sprint,” or a Summer Adventure with a Dying Car

Summer is a time of extra physical activity for me. I would often drive the 20 miles to town in order to get a thorough workout at the local gym and wellness center. A typical workout consisted of about 1-1/2 hours of yoga, weightlifting and lap swimming. One Saturday, I did all this and then stopped to purchase a half gallon of ice cream to take home. I called it “undoing all my good work.”

I could usually get the ice cream home before it melted irreversibly. However, this particular Saturday in July, with a heat index of 110, my car had other plans. About 6 miles from home, the air conditioning cut out. Then, 4 miles from home, the power steering cut out; 2 miles, electrical gauges and displays. And finally, 1 mile from home, the car sputtered, lurched and rolled to a stop.

I was alone with no cell phone on this particular Saturday, and not one soul seemed to be home along the road. Not even the yard dogs. It was like everyone had been vaporized and I was the Last Woman On Earth. So I packed the ice cream on top of sweaty gym clothes in my backpack, and I proceeded to jog home. Thanks to my dedication to exercise and tolerance for profuse sweating, I made it home quickly, stowed my ice cream, and rallied my husband and father-in-law to help me get the dead vehicle home.

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