January 26, 2003

This Weekend

Mike and Michele brought the girls over in their new car yesterday. Michele recognized that I was longing for a Zoe and Mira fix as we spoke on the phone in the morning. The girls spent the rest of the day with us. We went to the beach. Yes, it was hot here during the day. They fell asleep in the car going home. Zoe was out within minutes, and Mira chattered happily away. She usually falls asleep mid-sentence. I love that!

Foster's Freeze
It is always fun at Foster's Freeze. And there is always a line of waiting patrons. We have lived with in 5 minutes of Old Town Torrance since 1972. It is a charming neighborhood of old homes with a few business streets that started to die away with the advent of the Del Amo Mall which existed when we moved to Torrance in 1967. In the last few years, however, there has been a revival of the Old Town business section with new restaurants and shops mixed with the old ones that weathered the storm of the Mall Frenzy Decades. Pete and I have been finding that lots of neat places that we ignored, or just didn't know existed in the past. One place is the old Foster's Freeze on Cravens Street.

One day, after checking out the Old Town Antique Faire, a friend and I decided to stop for a cone. I had forgotten how good the soft serve sundaes of my childhood tasted. Since then, Pete and I stop there from time to time. There is never a time where there is not a line in front of the place. Last night, on the way home from dropping the girls off, I got a craving for a little hot fudge sundae. Pete made the detour, and we arrived. It was still open at 9:40, most of the lights on the sign had burned out, and not another business on the street was open. Yet, there was a line. As we took our place, we noticed that there was only one employee calmly serving each customer in turn. Pete and I were patient. It was getting chilly, but everyone waited with good nature.

Pretty soon the young man in front of us, said something about being cold. I noticed that he was wearing shorts and flip flops. I said "I bet you are". He then proceeded to tell me that he had hurt his toe and couldn't put on his shoes. Interested, I asked what had happened. He explained, and added that it was his birthday and he had just turned 14. He was hoping he would get a free ice cream. He was alone, but told me he had a great day. In a few minutes I learned about his life. He told me about his day, his family, and some of his challenges. Pretty soon most of the rest of the customers joined in the conversation, and we were among friends. We slowly moved up in line. I noticed a sign that said that closing time was 10:00 PM. It was past that time when the patient employee, made a small hot fudge sundae with bananas for me and a cone for Pete. As we walked back to our waiting car, we saw that the queue was now longer than when we had arrived. As I said, it's always fun and there is always a line at the Foster Freeze.

This morning, before we headed out to Mike and Michele's for their Superbowl Party, I drove over to check out this month's Antique Street Faire. There was a line at the Foster Freeze.

I love California. Sometimes people wonder why so many of us live in Greater LA. Reason number one: I love that even on hot days, it cools down at night.

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