Coloring icicles

Between ages 2-5, we lived near Hurley, MO-the middle of nowhere and we had to drive to get anywhere we wanted to go. Most of the time we had to pass a section of highway aptly named “the Galena Curves” and I am sure you can guess why. In the wintertime, I especially liked the drive because there are some large sections of rock jutting out of the hillside next to the road and if it was cold and wet, large icicles would form on these rocks. One time, my mom thought to bring food coloring and color the icicles. The roadway wasn’t horribly busy then, but it was not safe to stop on the road so mom recruited her baby sister to drive and drop us off. We just squirted the coloring right onto the icicles and it would drop down and color the icicle all the way down. When Aunt Judy picked us up, we looked quite comical because we had long streaks of color down our arms from reaching up to squirt the coloring onto the icicles and it would drip down our arms as well as the icicles if our aim wasn’t on point. But, from that a tradition was born. If it was wintertime and cold, we almost always had food coloring in the car with us. Over the years I have colored icicles a time or two, but, it’s not too often that the conditions are right for it. This past winter, the conditions were right though and I thought it would be fun to share this tradition with a grandchild. So, I picked up a Keihanna and off we went. The first place we went was beside a fairly busy highway, but it was early so I thought we would be OK. Then, mister highway safety guy came and though he thought what we were doing was cool, he made us leave. So, we headed back to where the tradition started with mom doing the driving this time. She dropped us off and we were armed with bottles of food coloring and some gallons of dyed water so we could get the higher spots with squirt guns. We colored icicles until we ran out of coloring. What a great time we had too! As we texted mom to come and get us, we admired our handiwork and smiled and I knew right then, we had created a memory she will never forget. Thank you mom for all the cool things you did with me that I can now pass down.

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