Soft Serve

Vanilla Soft Serve.

That saccharine, definitely from a bag, amazing machine-molded treat.

At Stites Dance Studio, where my Grandpa Jack would pick me up, he would glance suggestively across the road at the Baskin-Robbins; practically announcing my cue to furtively ask: “Ice cream?”

He would break into that big, goofy smile and mumble, “Well, I guess, just this once.”

On the way to the beach house, no matter the weather, we would break at McDonald’s – “real fast” – for a cone. My grandmother grumbling in the passenger seat, and me and my brother just ecstatic to be alive after my grandfather’s tendency to pass 18-wheel logging trucks on the two lane mountain pass from Portland to Lincoln City, Oregon.


Goonies, anyone?

To this day whenever I crave ice cream, I get vanilla soft serve, and think of my grandpa.

I think of him chasing me along the shore line, shaking his head, as I dive through the frigid coastal waves. Of his ready willingness to drop everything to play dolls, or go “camping” in the driveway, or take care of whatever I needed.

The way he wrapped a gigantic bouquet of home-grown roses in aluminum foil and brought them to every one of my dance recitals.

His blue windbreaker hung by the door, the wrappers of green after-dinner mints stuffed into every possible place.

The honor, intelligence and laughter he taught me, all held in such a simple, sweet reminder.


The Art of the Everyday, January 10 – 32 flavors: Vanilla, chocolate, or something else entirely?


3 thoughts on “Soft Serve

  1. This brings tears to my eyes. I remember when I was about five, watching my grandmother ice the most beautiful two layer chocolate cake I’d ever seen. It was almost dinner time, so I didn’t even ask, but after glancing over her shoulder she cut a huge slice and handed it to me. “Don’t tell your mother,” she said, “This is our little secret.” Thanks for sharing.

    • Grandparents can really be the best, can’t they? My maternal grandparents passed when I was 16 – I miss them, but I love how many great, beautiful memories I have with them. Thanks so much for sharing yourself, let’s have something sweet in their honor today!

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