I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream: ICE CREAM

I was today years old when I processed the information that ice cream consumption and Alzheimer's disease have been linked in multiple publications. A quick Google search netted a startling number of articles.

For my fellow ice cream junkies, rest easy, it is not a coffee and cancer correlation type of situation. Instead, it seems from a skim of the articles, the case of ice cream and dementia distills down to the positive mental benefits of a delicious treat.1

Who doesn't love the effects that the dopamine release, leading to general pleasure and happiness in our lives? Here's the scoop...

Always an ice cream man

For longer than I have been on this planet, my Poppop loved ice cream. He would call in to the kitchen from the living room and his easy chair, usually following the 6 o'clock news, to have my gram scoop him a bowl of Breyer's Neapolitan deliciousness. There were the few occasions where this lead to a demolition of the entire half gallon, especially if a few grandbabies heard this siren call to the kitchen!

I am, in fact, a bit of a snob about my ice cream from growing up with such a connoisseur. Through the impact of excellent taste and a little nudge from my mom (that's another story entirely) the only ice cream truck I have ever run after has been a Mister Softie. (If you know, you know.) If we weren't in the kitchen chowing down on some Breyer's, you could find a line of barefoot kids fresh off the sprinklers lined up like little ducklings behind Poppop dolling out cones from Mister Softie.

Something to smile about

When I would come home from being away at university, I would make a trip to Gram and Pop's with one of 2 food items in mind: ice cream or tea (the latter for Gram). It was a common practice of mine to call ahead to find out if they needed anything on my way to the visit. And I would quietly gauge what type of treat was needed. If Poppop was having a bad day, a little love from one of his favorite granddaughters and quarts of soft serve from the ice cream spot around the corner would turn that frown upside down.

If I'm being honest, I also brought the ice cream for me too. It served as a nice distraction from Alzheimer's and doctor's appointments and forgetfulness and the list of family members who never called or visited. But the big one is that it was the best way I knew how to avoid the moment when Pop would be looking for a word to continue his story, lose it, and through blue water eyes come to terms with the fact that he would never find it. So, in this way, ice cream was our medicine.

Somewhere to go

We had a scare one summer. Pop took the car and up and disappeared. Gram was calling around doing her best to keep calm and find him without having a vehicle of her own. On the way over to their apartment to help, I had a sneaky suspicion I knew exactly where he was. I pulled up that the local ice cream shop, outfitted with its plaster dome in the same of a soft serve swirl located around the corner from his apartment building.

There he was, sitting a wooden picnic table. I walked up to the window, purchased a chocolate cone and a vanilla and chocolate cone, sent a text to my mom to call off the search, and then walked over to him extending a cone in his direction.

"Don't tell anybody I'm here," he said.
"OK Pop, it's our little secret."

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