Monday, March 26, 2007

Ice Cream Memories

I love ice cream.

I love many flavors of ice cream, but one in particular is very special.

You see, I spent lots of summers in my youth with my maternal grandparents, John and Caldonia Pennie. They would spoil the crap out of me while I was there from mid-June to mid-August (upside-down pineapple cake, oatmeal cookies with raisins, pound cake, any kind of cereal I wanted, watermelons, barbeque chicken done on one of those grills made from a 50-gallon drum...) But one of my most favorite things was Blue Bell vanilla ice cream. It tastes like nothing else I've ever had - not in Colorado, not anywhere else. And I, in my adult life, have never been able to find it here.

Well, now my Papa is gone (almost 12 years now) and my Gramma isn't doing so well anymore (she'll be 90 in May). All the things that remind me of them, I cherish. I miss going to their little house in Brownwood, Texas (1102 Crothers Street), shooting off fireworks in the street for the 4th of July, playing dominoes in the little seating area under the carport, listening to the katydids in the trees in the evening and catching lightning bugs in glass jars...but I digress.

The other day at work, a coworker and I had a discussion about sweet tea, Sonic and other things Southern. I mentioned that I wished I could just have some vanilla Blue Bell ice cream (hadn't had it in years, since my last trip to Texas a couple of years after I got married). She said, "There is one place in Denver you can get it - Russell Stover Candies on Colorado Blvd..." GASP!!!! Could it be true? The REAL Blue Bell vanilla ice cream?

So today, I had a reason to be in the area, and I swung by. Walked in the store, smelling all of the wonderful chocolate confections... The nice lady behind the counter said, "Can I help you?"

"I'm looking for your vanilla Blue Bell ice cream."

"Come this way.." and she led me over to a counter with 24 flavors - but I just wanted to see... She handed me one of those little taster spoons and scooped out a bite. Into my mouth and....YESSSS!!! That's IT! All sorts of memories flooded back, and I almost cried.

"I'll take a pint." And I left the store with my prize.

I shared a bit with my mom when she came over tonight...but that's all she gets. She'll have to get her own. These are MY more piece to treasure. At least I'll have that to get when I want when my Gramma is gone.