For my kids, the highlight of a weekend at the cottage is a boat ride to the marina. The marina is like an old-fashioned (think 1978) corner store, complete with mason jars filled with nickle and penny candy. The kids make a beeline to the rows of jars, grab a baggie and a pair of tweezers (things are more hygenic than in 1978), and then start the agonizing process of deciding how to best spend their quarters. 25 of the tiny 1 cent gummy bears? 5 of the marshmallow strawberries or circus peanuts? Two laffy taffys and a caramel? Or spend the works on one good lollipop? Decisions, decisions.
In the marina, all options are ultimately good (there are no bad candies, unless one is, of course, footing the dental bill.) In life, however, things are not always so straightforward. We get sick, or we get fired, or we discover that Bernie Madoff is our money manager. Instead of an assortment of caramels and taffy, we are faced with nothing but Hose Noses or Rotten Egg Jellybeans. We don't want the baggie or the tweezers and (with apologies to SATC's Charlotte York) we don't want to choose our choice.
Of course, this is when the gurus tell us that we can choose how we react to our choices. And while I get it and fundamentally agree, I am still sort of ticked that I'm not being offered any caramels.
So that's when I look for the ice cream freezer.
My kids are so intent on the jars of candy that they always forget that the marina sells ice cream. It's tucked behind the counter but it's there in all of its glorious moosetracksy, bear clawsy, wolf pawsy glory.
And though I need constant reminding, I am coming to believe that there is always a proverbial ice cream freezer tucked beneath the counter. Maybe it's an attitude thing or maybe it's a manifestation thing; the lady who helped me order a watch strap a long time ago swears it has to do with angels (I've had some highly interesting conversations in my time...). Whatever the reason, it's there.
As Kate Gosselin said, post-divorce: "You can find happiness if you look hard enough in any situation.... If you are determined to see the good and positive in any situation, it's there." Just like the freezer.
And you know what? I believe her.