Monday, August 30, 2010

Reflections on Ice

On my way out of the grocery store the other day, I passed the ice freezer (you know the one with the big letters I-C-E and the picture of icicles hanging off it). The decal on the freezer door said, "Are you sure one bag is enough?" It didn't occur to me to buy any ice (I wasn't doing any entertaining), but if I had been (as I've been known to do from time to time), this sign would have stopped me cold, so to speak. I never know how much ice to buy for an occasion. Buy too much (without a deep freeze to store it in) and you'll be left with a puddle reminding you you've wasted money. Buy too little and your guests will have to endure lukewarm drinks. It is wise to err on the side of too much. The ice sellers know this, and they have no shame about flaunting it.

In the 30+ degree heat today (without humidex) I met a colleague for coffee. On the hot walk over to the coffee shop, I imagined how my iced latte would taste - and refreshing. I put in my order, making sure I remembered to specify "decaf" and "skim" (I sometimes forget such important details). It was only as I was handed a steaming mug that I realized I'd forgotten one important word - "iced." And so, in the sweltering heat of almost midday, I sipped my piping hot beverage as I watched my co-worker enjoy an iced coffee.

As I sit at home this evening in the heat, I imagine how nice a cool, refreshing beverage would taste. If only I had some ice. I own ice cube trays, but rarely fill them. Instead they sit empty in my cupboard, taking up space, denied their worldly purpose. On nights like tonight, I am tempted to fill them, but rarely do, knowing the rewards will not come quickly enough to meet my immediate need for cold. I think not of tomorrow (although am seriously considering filling at least one tray).

Who knew that frozen water could hold such wonder, such appeal? In winter, I despise it as it sticks to my windshield and coats the roads and sidewalks. Yet in summer, I treasure it - the way it clinks in the glass, the cool, refreshing feel of it. You are a paradox, ice. Or I am. I shall reflect on that - perhaps over a glass of lukewarm water.

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