Dairy Queen

On Thursday I took the boys to a science demo at the library. It was very cool and the 6 year old pumped his hands above his head in victory when Dr. Data said he was going to teach them how to make indoor fireworks. I am going to have to make sure that Dad hides all his fireworks when we go and visit or E might show us some indoor fireworks of his own. I don’t think the 3-year old blinked once.

Afterwards we went to Dairy Queen. There are not a lot of DQs in Maryland. In fact, I can only think of 2 locations. In Iowa they are everywhere and they hold a special place in my heart. Dairy Queen was where we’d go after every little league game and to celebrate instrument concerts. My grandparents had one just a block or two from their house and some evenings they would walk there and get a sundae. Grandma liked them with hot fudge and I think Grandpa got a cone. Very occasionally one of them would get the peanut buster parfait.

As I’ve gotten older I have developed this image of them walking together down the block on a summer evening. Two people who have been married for 50 years, with kids out of the house, slowly walking to a small shop to have a little treat and some good conversation together. And being people who were in The Great Depression they saved their spoons.

They had a whole passel of grandchildren and we were at their house a lot for family functions and celebrations. Always at the end we’d get a little Dixie cup of RC Cola and a dish of ice cream. Grandma would go into her drawer in the corner by the kitchen sink and pull out all those DQ spoons that she had saved. The DQ spoons are perfectly shaped for putting ice cream into little mouths and we all clamored around to get one. There were lots of the short ones that they got in the sundaes, but if you were very lucky you would get a coveted long-handled spoon from the peanut buster parfaits.

I loved those long-handled spoons. To a 5-year old, they were elegant and adult and made the ice cream taste 200 times better. For my 30-something self they are a time machine transporting me back to a place where Grandma loved me best.


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