standard 240 Ice creams

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The WOW of……….

I will start with a question (or maybe two) and think about it first:

What is your wow factor in life?

What achievement stands out for you?

For me, and I’m sure I’m not alone here, the really big one is having my family all getting together – all 12 of us. Young and old, big and small – all three generations. Our 5 little grand children are the biggest bonus.

How could I have imagined all this when I came to Australia – a single young back packer on my own? It wasn’t possible then to see this wonderful life ahead. First my dear, long suffering wife who’s stuck with me for all of these years, supporting me with the family business and giving me three strong, clever and independent daughters. And then being presented with five healthy (and adorable) young grandchildren!

The other wow factor is being able to take the family for holiday and having the means to pay the bill. What a privilege and a pleasure! 
Our five little grand children are counting the sleeps. The day arrives and we go to the airport. Our family holiday to Fiji 2016!

We’re staying at a resort with big pools and restaurants. I notice that our room is near the Ice Cream Shop and I think “What If everyone has 2 ice creams a day twice a day for 10 days? That would Be 240 ice creams and lots of money”. I’m a Dutch man after all and you’ve heard those nasty rumours about Dutchmen parting with their money.

If they all coming to visit Nana and Dada in the morning and afternoon the temptation would be far too big. A lick from a cone or a kiss and a hug from Nana – what would they choose?

Each day there are big decisions to be made. What to do? Where to go? Have fun in the kids club? Go for a dip in the pool or a walk on the beach? What about catching a fish with dad on the wharf?

With all these important choices to consider there is the added difficulty of choosing what flavor ice cream to select? The list is long. Which one would be best? So much to think about! Do you get more in a bucket or a cone?

The daily flavor makes it even harder. Today there’s a picture of chocolate and cream. What to do? Who likes changes – especially when you are little kid and we haven’t yet tried this new flavour. How do you know it’ll be extra good. What if you don’t like it? If you don’t try you might miss out on the best lick of your life – so you might have to take the risk.

In the afternoon we gather around the Ice cream shop, all happy and tanned, with white rings around the eyes from the goggles. Some talk about the fish they nearly caught, except it got away. The children are leaping about with excitement. Quiet everyone grand-dad’s getting tired. They’re all excited and tired. It’s been a long day and even more to come. Now it is decision time again on what to select

A hot afternoon is made much better with ice cream melting over your chin. What could be yummier than the last one?

The ice cream lady rings the big golden bell.

Bula! Bula! Everyone come! Come and get an ice cream! The lady smiles and starts scooping out a strawberry cheese cake ice cream.

Hurry all will be gone! Wow I’ll have one of those!

Family dramas play out in front of the Ice cream shop. Important issues are discussed and sometimes solved along with a melting ice cream.

The children have smiles of contentment.

Finally the kids are in bed and the adults watch the sun go down over
the Pacific Ocean – with the last big lick of yet another ice cream and a glass of wine. Life is good. The family is happy.

If only day-to-day life was as easy as that! What can we learn from our holiday experience? Wouldn’t it be easy if all problems could be resolved with a lick of an ice cream?

But we can re-create some of that joy by taking some lessons from our family holiday on how to go about living. How to make the most of simple pleasures? Yes it’s easy at holiday time, with responsibility on the back burner – but we can all take time in our busy days to connect with family and friends. Ice cream is not reserved for holidays!

So why do we work so hard to make money? Answer – so that we can take holidays to really connect with our partners, our children and if we’re really lucky – our children’s partners and our grand children too.

We could take a lesson from the ice creams and view the world with child-like wonder, seeking enjoyment in small things, learning to trust and to try different things.

How about an ice cream shop at work where we can stand and have our meetings.

This would be another Wow factor.
Richard Kuipers

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