My lovely bride and I recently made a brief, four-day incursion into the American Southland. We went there to visit our granddaughter at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. She’s our little soldier girl (I hope it’s okay to call her that—she’s twenty, but she was our first grandchild and will always be my little girl).
On the way home, I saw something I hadn’t seen in years—a Tastee Freez. This is probably not a big deal to many, and you’re wondering why I even mention it. But frankly, it was a big deal to me. When I saw it, I got all excited.
I can’t remember the last time I saw one. Growing up in Western Pennsylvania, the big treat was to take a trip to the local Tastee Freez. For a dime, you could get a wonderfully delicious, soft-serve, ice cream cone. If you were extra rich that day, a banana split could be landed for fifty cents (yes…fifty cents—I’m that old).
The words, Tastee Freez, conjure up fabulous memories. They also remind me of a love for ice cream that has never abated in all these years. It still remains one of my biggest weaknesses. Fortunately for me (and my never ending battle of the bulge), no Tastee Freez units can be found within shouting distance of my gas tank (although I do live within walking distance of a Dairy Queen—but that’s a story for another day).
I checked their website and discovered many of them still exist, but they’re located primarily in the southwest. California is loaded with them. We may have to plan our next vacation along the west coast. Vineyards and sundaes…what a combo!
I’m not sure why these little coveys of culinary delight have all but disappeared from the Northeastern section of our country. There could be a lot of reasons for this, but all I know is they’re few and far between.
In stark contrast, there seems to be a church on every street corner—at least that’s the impression one gets when taking a drive around this groovy nation. That’s why I was so surprised recently to discover that churches are going the way of the Tastee Freez.
7000 churches close every year…
I recently read a statistic reporting that 7000 churches close every year. I’m acutely aware, as are you, that statistics can be manipulated, misleading, and misused. However, this is amazing to me. Seven thousand… How can that be? Is it even possible?
I have, for a long time, had a belief that (when it comes to all things church) “no _________ is better than a bad _________.” In my belief system, those blanks can be filled in with numerous nouns—Sunday School, Bible Study, Youth Group, and even Church. There I’ve said it. No church is better than a bad church.