Paying Up / Paying Off

About two weeks ago (maybe a little more now) I made a deal with #4 of 5.  The deal was this… If she got 100% on her States and Capitols test, I would have a “special surprise” for her.  In all honesty, I had no doubts that she would get 100% – but “doubting” became a fun little interaction.

Dad:  Oh, I’m sure you’ll do well, but 100%, as in ALL of them correct?  Come on now… 
#4 of 5:  Oh Daddy – I know them all.  I’ll get them all right. 
Dad: Really???  ALLLLLL of them 
#4 of 5:  Yeah.  ALLLLLL of them. 
Dad:  Hmmmm… I just gotta wonder about that. 
#4 of 5: Oh, you can be sure all right. 
Dad:  Well, let’s just say that if you get 100%, that I may have a “special surprise” for you. 
#4 of 5:  REALLY???  

This was immediately picked up on, and I was (forced) to hold true to my word.  So, after much anticipation (waiting for her teacher to grade, and return the tests) the day finally came!  She boasted the 100% – and told me she got 63 out of 63…

Dad:  Wait just one minute!  SIXTY FIVE??  I thought there were FIFTY states, and therefore FIFTY capitols…  How does a kid score 63 on a test of fifty states and fifty capitols??

After a couple of days of additional “protest” on my part – saying there was no way to get 100% on a States and Capitols test with a score of 63 (knowing full well that she did) – she was finally able to “convince” me that she did indeed get 100% and that I would have to pay up on my promise of a “special surprise”.

I tried offering her potatoes.  I tried offering her onions (red, yellow, and / or purple).  I tried offering her mushrooms.  I tried combining the above ingredients into something I thought sounded good (Cheesy onion mushroom bake) – but they were all a no-go.  Despite my love for all the above, I knew I had to produce something much better.

What I had planned all along was a stop at Carasim Coffee Shop

Carasim Coffee Shop - Jordan, MN

After a beautiful day spent outside doing yard work, and converting a vegetable garden into a raspberry patch,  I took #4 of 5 to Carasim Coffee Shop for her long awaited (and well deserved) “special surprise”. 

Carasim is a old time coffee shop in Jordan, MN which also boasts a small ice cream offering. 

It’s primary feature is a high gloss solid wood “art deco” bar that runs the length of the shop.  There is additional seating in a few old time booths.  Additionally, the shop is decorated with (and sells) antiques throughout.  Carasim just drips with nostalgia!  It is quite a site!

We went to the far end of the counter (where the ice cream freezer is located) and placed our order.

Single scoop English toffee for me, and double scoop Java Chunk for #4 of 5.  Yes, Java Chunk.  I verified that she knew what “Java Chunk” was (coffee flavored ice cream) – and was told she has had it before – so Java Chunk it was!


 Carasim Coffee Shop - Jordan, MN Carasim Coffee Shop - Jordan, MN Carasim Coffee Shop - Jordan, MN 


I went to pay for our ice cream and whipped out my debit card – when I was told they do not accept debit cards.  Cash and check only.  (BLUSH)  I had to tell the proprietor that I did not have any cash, and would have to call my wife to bring me some.  She was so kind – told me that would be fine and that we could go ahead and enjoy our ice cream in the mean time.  (Thankfully the Mother of Five was home and able to “bail me out”).



As we sat and enjoyed our “special surprise” we did some visiting, yet I also enjoyed some of the “quiet time” between our conversations.  I just sat there watching her enjoy her ice cream.  She is ten years old now.  Soon enough she will have other distractions to keep her too busy to spend “quality” time with her dear old dad, so I better enjoy it while I still can.

#4 of 5 and I at Carasim Coffee Shop - Jordan, MN #4 of 5 and I at Carasim Coffee Shop - Jordan, MN #4 of 5 and I at Carasim Coffee Shop - Jordan, MN


  1. Ah, the dreaded "Cash Only" merchant. I've been hit with those a few times myself and there are few things as embarrassing, which is silly considering it is THEY who are in the minority and not you.

    But, I'm with you on the pizza over ice cream thing, but kids...
    Good for her for pulling through on the test!

  2. This story would have been much better if it ended in you washing dishes to pay off your debt!!! J/P

    So can we get some elaboration on this score of 63 on a 50 state test???


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