It’s “National Hot Dog” and “Vanilla Ice Cream” Day

This is a day made just for kids. These two items permanently reside on Ben’s favorite food list, which I’m sure will make it onto today’s menu.

Ben is currently “NPO”, meaning he cannot eat in the hours before his surgery. We are to check in at 12:30 PM today with surgery scheduled for 2:30 PM. It should take less than an hour to place his port and then hopefully he’ll whiz through PACU and we can be off to get our hot dogs and vanilla ice cream.

Ben enjoys his dog with ketchup only. Sometimes he likes them cut up so he can eat them with chopsticks. One time, Matt slid uncooked spaghetti noodles through the hotdog and then boiled it to give the hotdog a little more character. The kids weren’t impressed, but, of course, I took a picture.


My favorite hot dog is a Chicago style dog – loaded with onions, relish, mustard, tomatoes, celery salt, and those two little spicy peppers that squirt the neighboring table when you bite into them. Wholly Joe’s in Powell, Ohio offer these, as does Bernie’s Dogs in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Or, you can just go to Chicago and get a REAL dog. But while you’re there, you’ll HAVE to stand in line for hours on end to get Garrett’s Popcorn. Their cheddar cheese and caramel combo is AMAZING. I’m not talking about the nasty stuff you get in Christmas tins… this has to be experienced to be appreciated. But today is not about popcorn, is it?

As I’ve said in a couple of my prior posts I’m not a fan of ice cream. If I’m going to eat some I would most likely eat vanilla – or perhaps a little butter pecan. I guess that’s why I chose “ice cream” as my first occupation since I wasn’t in danger of eating the merchandise. This “first job” of mine was at the Kirk Kone in Kirkersville, Ohio. I spent a couple of summers there – I think I was 14 or 15. I know I couldn’t drive yet, so I found a job that was close to home. I liked the job well enough, we got to see nearly everyone in town and then on “race days” at National Trails it was a given that some greasy car enthusiast would try to “pick me up”. I’d always say, “But sir, I’m only 14.” I’d often get that blank look stating that age was not an issue with this group. *Shudder.*

I was pretty good at my job, yet never fully understood just how to make a medium sized cone. I could make a small. I could definitely make a large. But the medium size was always elusive to me. I’d make it too small or too large. Sometimes I’d tell my customers that we were all out of medium cones. That particular size was the bane of my existence.

The other problem I had was with banana splits. I would get so caught up in getting out the little plastic boat, creating the adorable little islands of ice cream, spooning pineapple, strawberry, and chocolate topping over the little islands, giving a brief sprinkling of nuts, top with whipped cream and a cherry, hand it to the customer along with the long spoon reserved solely for banana splits and malted shakes, accept payment for my creation, only to be told “Hey! You forgot the banana!”. It was true. For whatever reason I could never remember to put the banana in the banana split. It was a mental block that I just never got over.

Okay, I need to get going. We have to leave shortly to get Ben to the hospital. Please pray for smooth sailing and that he can enjoy a hotdog and some vanilla ice cream afterward. As long as I don’t have to make him a medium cone, I’ll be good.

More tomorrow 🙂

IMG_0920This photo is from Dairy Queen’s “Miracle Treat Day”, a National Fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network. If all goes well with treatment, Ben will participate again this year (August, I think). It’ll be his third year as a “Miracle Kid” for CMN. This picture is currently featured on the wall of The Children’s Hospital in Aurora, Colorado.

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  1. Prayers for you today!

    And I’m totaly going to Wholly Joes when we’re in Ohio next week. Can you believe, I’ve never been? And there was one right near our house on Polaris!


  2. Matt would make a great spaghetti hot dog artist but he shouldn’t quit his day job quite yet. You, on the other hand, need to practice on those splits…WITH bananas! Hmmm, now I’m going to have to try out the chopsticks on my next wiener.


  3. Sarah,

    I’m a friend of Natalie Rooney’s and heard about Ben and your family from her. My heart goes out to you all. Like Finn, my son had ALL. He is treated where we live in VT, at the Vermont Children’s Hospital. I so realize this might be totally unhelpful, already known, irritatingly repetitive information, but I couldn’t keep myself from asking if you guys know about Dr. Giselle Sholler? She is a pediatric oncologist at VCH, and it is my understanding that she’s one of the people to talk to regarding relapsed neuroblastoma. I usually wouldn’t make such a claim about someone tucked away in VT, but I think she’s pretty cutting edge in that one specific area. My apologies if I’m wrong, and also I know you and Ben are already in great hands, but I thought I’d at least share what little I knew.

    Lauren Quinn


  4. Hi Sarah and Matt,

    It’s hard to believe that I was a kid but back in the days I used to like to eat a McDonlads vanilla ice cream cone with salty fries. I used to ride my bike to the only McDonalds in town about 3 miles from my house with the money I had collected from recycling cans and bottles.

    Danna Veatch


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