On a hot summer day, we would eat the square bars of ice cream coated in crunchy chocolate. Sometimes we would sit out on the porch and play the car game as we chiseled at the edges of the chocolate with our teeth so we could lick the ice cream inside. Other times we would join her in the living room and watch America’s Funniest Home Videos. She would relax on the chair in front of the television, pulling the lever back so her legs could rest up in the air a little. She deserved to do this. Her days started early. First, to church. Then, to the bread store. When she came back home, we’d all have fresh warm bread, jelly and butter for breakfast. While we ate, she would spend her time in the kitchen making my grandfather a cooked breakfast of meat, eggs and ketchup. After breakfast she would pack lunch for us all. Then, she would change into her beach clothes: a cotton shirt, white cotton pants, nude knee highs, and sandals with two buckles over the top of the foot. She would walk us down to the beach by the lifeguard and monitor us as we all wreaked havoc in the sand. We’d stay there for hours. As the weather became a little cooler and the beachgoers began to clear, we would, too. So, she would walk us back home, go into the kitchen and then make dinner for us all. At the end of the day she would reward herself. On her lap would be a plate and on the plate would be a half gallon of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Not the brand name of ice cream. Never the brand name. She would peel the sides of the half gallon of Acme ice cream. First, she would find the opening to the top, separate it from the rest of the cardboard and lift it back as it tried to cling to the green sugary iced cream. She would then, take her time and use her spoon to pry each of the sides of the box away. She seemed to savor the action. When all she could see was a frozen, green-with-brown chips block, she would patiently start to scoop. She’d take her time chipping away at the ice cream. When the sides became all melty she’d slide the edge of her spoon up to catch them. Before the end of the show the plate would be empty with nothing to show but the opened sides of an ice cream box. Somehow, she ate the entire half gallon. All. By. Herself. Now, everytime I see green chocolate mint ice cream, I think of her. I never thought to ask her about this weekly ritual. What was it about generic mint chocolate chip ice cream? Was there a story behind this? When every other person on this earth ate a serving (or two) of ice cream in a bowl, or a cone, or a cup, even, she’d eat the whole half gallon straight out of the box in one sitting! Why? And how. Did she stay. So thin.