I’ve been here for more than a year, but I still feel so new. Maryland, the whole DMV rather, is uncharted territory for me, causing shivers of anxiety and impatience for the intrepid adventurer in me. Give me trees, beaten and shrouded paths, natural mystere and … a good book of course, and I’m a happy camper. In fact, I have been itching to go camping too for a long while. No matter the nearly debilitating fear of all things creeping and crawling that nails down my heart when a tiny ant emerges on my doorstep. The outdoors call my name–I will step outside during work simply to stand in sun-kissed grass and wiggle my toes… before having to run back in because Geez how do 30 minutes fly by when all you’re doing is trying to master the talent of lifting your little piggies individually?
What? Is that weird?
Discovery motivates me the most, the big reveal behind a secret, a complete unknown. And the areas I live in or around or relatively close to or just a few hours’ drive away from are chock full of the experiential epiphanies. Just behind my home are trails and trails, leading away from mild suburbia into that utter silence that can only be understood juxtaposed against the cacophonous deluge of swampy cricket chirps. Yeah, I don’t go down that path too often. The trails, they call to me though. Just like the tranquil lakes, that demand a quick paddling through.
Summertime is upon us, having emerged from its slumber (only to jump back in bed at random and cause havoc on my internal system. Is it cold? Hot? Rainy? What’s with these allergies?! Ergh). But the sun has yanked me back to those unending discoveries. From freakishly haunting Victorian Sphynxes and “friendly” imp statues to real life pet cemeteries (eek!) guarded by stone pups, entreating you to tread with respect and offer a treat.
And from there to the wonderment of huge shaggy dogs hidden within monumental caverns, my enjoyment has not ceased these past few weeks. But surely it can be exhausting no? Trekking up to waterfalls and looking over the scope of the Shenandoah countryside makes you thirsty. Your spirit needs to be quenched, or at least let your physical being have a reprieve from the heat of activity.
So it was a wonderful pleasure to come across a tiny little mainstay tucked inside suburban Columbia. An oasis amidst all… the trees. An oasis, no less. Where young and old come together to fine happiness in Snow…. Cones.
As the husband and I drove up to this completely random locality, a tiny hut wrapped in a friendly fenced driveway on an expansive piece of land, I noticed an elderly couple chilling outside the hut. Yes, that fellow must be Pete (or a relation at the very least). ‘Twas the woman who got us two teacups fill with shaved ice and drenched in our flavored syrups of choice (yeah, snowballs are not exactly rocket science, but you don’t come here for that, so just shush up!), and while she didn’t exactly smile… or show any kind of emotion whatsoever, I couldnt help but feel endearment towards her. Towards the establishment of this summer escape where kids and parents trot in on foot just to feast on some icy goodness.
As it turns out, a short chat with Mr. Pete himself (to be fair, I didn’t find out his name, so if Pete is actually his son, I… well, that’s not relevant!) uncovered a rich history, full of travel between Greece and America for years, on being away from his children, on finally quitting his factory business in Greece to WORK in America (because as the old chap told me, America is a place you are meant to work. it’s not play! Young people, they just cause trouble! They need to work!). I felt enlightened and excited, not exactly for the snowballs themselves, but for knowing such a place exists, for nearly 20 years, where honey is produced and sold, where vegetables are in tall order, where the snow cones don’t have time to melt in the cup, they are shoveled in your mouth too quickly.
I will say the cups were a bit too large for me, so mine did melt. Such is life.
But it’s enough. On a hot, humid, draining day, only something like a snowball of Pete’s will suffice.