Popa's Coke Floats and Wonder Woman

What do the two of these have in common you ask?  You see, when I was a little girl I used to go and spend time with my grandfather during the summer.  The summer when I was twelve, I spent a lot of time with him.  My grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and he was unable to care for her so she was placed in a nursing home.  My grandfather, though he would never admit it, was very lonely.  My mom had me stay with him to give him some company.  He lived in a small town not too far from where I live now.  He would frequent the post office and the local grocery store quite often.  Most of my family calls me Lissa, but he called me Lissy.  That made me feel so special.  One of the times we visited the grocery store he bought me a Wonder Woman Pez dispenser, not that I was a big fan of Wonder Woman but that it is what the store had. That is my most treasured possession.  My grandparents had these dogwood trees in the front yard of the house.  The house was right on the main highway.  I would sit out there on most days and listen to my tape recorder and play "girls just wanna have fun" by Cyndi Lauper while sitting in those trees just waving at the cars going by.  I thought that was the coolest thing ever.  Life was so simple back then.   I spent a lot of time there that summer and I loved it but I also became homesick.  A few weeks before we were to return to school I just really wanted to come home.  That was the end of August that summer and he became sick in October.  I could not help but feel so guilty for leaving him and blamed myself.  While he was in the hospital my Mom would not let me go and see him.  My Popa died in the hospital and I was unable to tell him goodbye.  I know now my mom was only protecting me from seeing him so sick.  Back then I felt like my world had ended.  I feel so honored that I was able to spend those special moments with him.  Those moments that I often refer back to have made me who I am today.  My grandparents home had to be sold so my grandma could be cared for.  Whenever I ride by there I instantly go back to those days and I feel like I am twelve again sitting in those dogwood trees that are still there.

Lets get to this recipe, shall we....

My grandparents always had coke in the house and Pet ice cream.  Every night we would have a bowl of ice cream but every now and then we were treated with Coke floats.  Imagine a root beer float but with Coke instead.  These are pretty simple but oh so good.

Coke, Vanilla Ice Cream

Scoop vanilla ice cream in a cup.

Pour coke over the ice cream.

You can either use a straw or eat it with a spoon.  I have not had this in quite a while and the first bite brought back so many happy memories of my Popa.

This is my Wonder Woman Pez dispenser.  It is hard to believe I still have it after all these years.  My Popa has been gone for 25 years and what I would do for just one more day to spend with him.  If you are blessed to still have your grandparents take the time to go and see them often.  Treasure those moments while you can. 

Thank you for taking the time to read about my grandaddy.  He was my hero and is missed dearly. I love you Popa, one day I will be able to place my arms around you again.  Until then I have my wonderful memories of our time together.

This recipe is linked up at:


  1. Thank you for reading, I could go on and on about my Popa. Not a day goes by that I don't think of him.

  2. So sweet! My dad made us Coke floats too!! And I feel the same about my Granny as you do about your Popa. Used to spend summers with her and swim at her condo until my blonde hair turned green. We had it really good, girl! Still do. :) PS ~ Think I will have Coke floats with my girls this weekend, thank you.

  3. Elizabeth, thank you so much. Those were the best days! I hope your girls enjoy them and I hope it brings back wonderful memories for you. Glad you stopped by.

  4. Melissa,
    We are very lucky to have such honorable, honest, loving , caring and that all their children became such wonderful loving, honest, and not a bad bone in the Vanlandingham culture. Always they put God and Family their most important possessions. That piece made me cry too. Poppa/Grandaddy and Grandmaw were a legend and great role model for all us grandchildren. They were literally "THE BEST".

  5. It's wonderful that you were able to keep your Pez dispenser after all of these years. Thanks for sharing your story and recipe on Sweet Indulgences Sunday!


  6. Thanks girls, the post was one of the hardest I ever wrote. I could have wrote and wrote about my Popa, he was my hero and I truly miss him! Thanks for visiting! If anything every happened to my pez dispenser I would be devastated!

  7. I just love this story! What treasured memories you have of your Popa!

    Oh, I remember Coke Floats! I haven't had one in a long time. Think I will make some for the boys. Thank you for sharing! ~hugs~

  8. What a wonderful post! I love how food can take us back to someone we loved so much. We love Coke floats and I personally love Cherry Coke Floats! Thanks for sharing at Church Supper! Have a great week.

    Everyday Mom's Meals

  9. Love this story, I have some of my Grandma's recipe cards and cookbooks, but what I treasure most is her beat up, rusted biscuit cutter, every time I see it, I think of her.

  10. I have fond memories of my grandpa too. It's nice that you hold him so dear to your heart.


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