Everyone has summer traditions. As the season winds to a close I’m remembering some of my favorite summertime treats. When I was young my family would spend our summers in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, at our little cabin on Elbow Lake. All spring I would squirrel away loose change, because at the lake, there was a little office that sold summertime odds and ends, a small selection of popular candy, and one magical, amazing, and oh so perfect summer treat; Double Lollies. For those who haven’t had the pleasure, Double Lollies are in essence giant Smarties on a stick. They’re made by the Smarties company and share the same texture and similar flavors to the beloved little rolls, but something about bumping up the size and putting them on a stick, was a game changer for me.
When we pulled up to the cabin, I’d begrudgingly help unload the truck, then make a beeline for the office. Every summer like clockwork I’d blow through the door, and on the counter waiting for me would be the the expertly arranged bouquet of Double Lollies in their little red stand. These days I can’t recall what they cost but I’d spread out my change and buy all the lollies I could afford. The woman at the counter would always throw in a few more with a wink and a “welcome back.”
This tradition went on for years. Once I hit middle school I may have walked a little slower, you know to seem casual and all, but the excitement remained. I eventually went away to highschool and then college, too far and too busy to make the yearly trek. It wasn’t till a few years ago that I went back. I had almost forgotten about this wonderful little treat till I popped into the office to say hello. When I got there the little display wasn’t in its proud spot on the counter, but rather tucked away on a lower shelf. I bent down and frowned a bit, thinking I must have miss remembered, when the women who had always been behind that counter laughed at me and told me the whole story. It turns out she and I are the only two people in all of northern Wisconsin, it would seem, that love Double Lollies. She would order a big supply at the beginning of the summer, then when my family was scheduled to come up, she’d pull them out of their hiding spot and give them the proud counter realestate I always remembered. Now every time I see a Double Lolly I think of that amazing women who went out of her way to share her favorite treat, and make a little magic for someone else.
I hope that someday, my kids can find the same magic in their own little summertime tradition.