Eat the ice cream before it melts

August 12, 2021

By Jeff Becraft


Our youngest daughter is Hannah. As Hannah got older and was driving, there were many experiences that I called: “Riding with Hannah.”

As one guy said about riding with his dad in a car, “You’ll be praying whether you believe or not.”

On one trip, it was just Hannah and me and we were heading all the way to Arkansas for a camp. I was extremely tired heading into this trip and so I looked forward to making use of Hannah’s skills.  She drove the first leg.

We had just gotten through Malfunction Junction and were on I-26 West.  I had already put the seat in recline and I asked her, “Do you know where you are going?”

Since we were on an interstate, I was satisfied with that and simply replied, “Yes.” (What I had meant was that we stay on I-26 until we hit Asheville and then take I-40 West.)

She then asked, “Which lane do we want?”

“Follow that tractor trailer,” I said pointing diagonally.

Right then, a pickup truck pulling a trailer with a tractor on it went by us.  She thought I meant that.  We both laughed.

All of our kids are grown now and out of the house. There aren’t many opportunities to go “Riding with Hannah” anymore.  I miss those experiences.

We did just take a whirlwind weekend trip to Maryland so she could see her Grandad and Bubbe (my parents).  Because of the demands of her job, she had not had a chance to see them in over a year.  She invited me to ride with her.  I had just been off a bunch of days because of the birth of our grandson, Emerson. To take off another day to go on a 1,000 mile round trip in a weekend… I wrestled with it. Could I miss yet another day right then from work?  But as the Friday approached, it became crystal clear to me… I was all in. How often do you get to go “Riding with Hannah?”

So I met up with Hannah in Charlotte that Friday morning and we loaded up in her car with her dog, Gus. We switched off driving various times on the trip. Gus was in his plush, box-seat, season-ticket-holder dog “seat” in the back (he’s just a little pup)… many times stretching out over my shoulder and talking to me.   I didn’t always know what he was barking about but when I was eating my Bojangles, I knew exactly what he was saying.  So now it has become “Riding with Hannah and Gus.”

The trip was one of the highlights of the whole year for me.

As one of my friends says (as our kids were growing up) — “Eat the ice cream before it melts.”

So… make the most of this day!


Jeff Becraft is the Executive Director for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives.  Youth Corps is a life-changing leadership development experience that inspires high school students to be leaders in the Midlands and beyond. You can connect with Jeff at [email protected].