It's been two years.
Two years since my life as I knew it was turned upside down.
Two years since we said goodbye to my dad.
I can hardly believe it. In some ways it feels like yesterday, and in some ways, forever…
There are so many things that will always remind me of my dad, and among them, chocolate malts.
When my sister and I were little, (10 and 6 I think) my dad was bound and determined to find a place where we could go and sit down and have a malted milkshake. This was before the days of Oberweis and other fancy ice cream shops that had everything under the sun. We drove around, goofing around in the car and blasting music, going from restaurant to restaurant, ice cream shop to ice cream shop, searching for somewhere that served malted milkshakes. We ended up at a tiny hole-in-the-wall cafe where we sat and finally got our malts.
The wait was worth it, and I was hooked. I already knew that I liked malt balls (like Whoppers but with real chocolate) but the frozen ice cream version was perfection in my little 10-year-old brain. It became a ritual. Celebration? Get a malt. Cleaned my room? Get a malt. Home from college? Get a malt.
The day our dad passed away, two years ago today, Leigh and I escaped to downtown Eugene, Oregon and, in the oddly warm January weather, walked down the street drinking malts. "To dad…" we said.
I've had a malt on his birthday since, and last January 7th. Today, I made my own, and I think dad would be proud.