Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Meemaw and the Rocks

In July 2006, I took a train trip to Glacier National Park with my mother and my grandmother.  I'd like to start telling you a series of stories about this trip.  I'll start with the only one for which I was not present, as I had acquired an epic sunburn on my face the day before.  Every time my face gets sunburned, my lips swell to twice their normal size and I lose my already-minimal desire for human contact.

While I wallowed at the hotel room, Mom and Meemaw drove to the south side of the park and hiked to Running Eagle Falls.  It was an easy-to-moderate trail, and Meemaw has always been in excellent shape.

So imagine Mom's surprise, and concern, when Meemaw started lagging behind and appearing short of breath.

Although Meemaw insisted vehemently that she was fine, Mom thought the problem might be that her backpack was too heavy, so she offered (several times) to carry it for her.  Each time, her offer was rebuffed with increasing zeal.

They kept hiking.

Exasperated, Mom finally wrested the backpack from Meemaw.

She was shocked to discover that it weighed at least ten pounds.


It was full of rocks.

Rocks that Meemaw wanted to take home to Alabama as souvenirs of our trip.

I don't remember what they did with the rocks, but since taking specimens from national parks is illegal, and even if it weren't, there was a weight limit on our train luggage, I'm pretty sure Meemaw was forced to abandon her cargo.

Before you start feeling too sorry for Meemaw, though, I should tell you she already has an extensive collection of rocks from places she's traveled over the years.  A lot of them are from the summer she, Mom, and my Aunt Angela spent in Colorado while Pappaw took a training course there.  Others are from South Alabama, where she and Pappaw met.  And every once in a while when I'm at their house, she'll take me aside and slip me a (reasonably small) rock, whispering, "This one's from Montana."


  1. I would have had trouble not laughing also.

    I guess it is cheaper to bring home rocks rather than shot glasses or little spoons.

  2. You know, that's a whole new angle I never even thought about... rocks are like redneck souvenirs!

  3. That is actually so adorable. =] I used to collect rocks in this way as a small kid, but eventually I got rid of them.

    Why did she need so many, though?

  4. MeMaw is so cute! My parents also collect rocks and are in terrific shape. Perhaps that is why they all are in such good shape?

  5. This is hilarious. I love funny grandma stories :)

    Although... is taking a rock from places you visit weird? I have a windowsill full of them... and I can tell you exactly where each one came from...

  6. Ellen, I might have exaggerated a little for comedic effect. :) I think in reality, she had just chosen a few that were WAY too big and heavy.

    Skwishee, I have a habit of taking rocks from places I visit too! I just try to take smaller ones. They're stacked up in all sorts of nooks and crannies in my house.

  7. This made me lol, especially when Meemaw starts crawling up the hill.

    And I love when she slips her the Montana rock, like it is crack.

  8. I laughed out loud at the picture of Meemaw hissing. This post is gold. (Even if you DO have word verification. Ha!)

  9. Hahha she's a crazy little rock hoarder...

  10. this is awesome. how did I miss this post!? (and I have also been a victim of the vicious sunburns, just wrote an essay about it, ugh)

    I was totally laughing when Meemaw's backpack was full of rocks! ahaha hahahaha! Perfect!

    great story and great illustrations, as usual. Keep it up!


  11. Your posts aren't coming up in my blogroll! And this is the funniest stuff ever!! I too hoard rocks. And Little People. And gum.