Monday, January 16, 2012


A few weeks ago my mom, aunt, Camille, and I headed off to the land of po' boys, alligators, fried okra, and a large part of my family I barely know. My wonderful great grandma had passed away the day before we left and we wanted to make it to her funeral so, as you can imagine, the trip was rather last minute.
We left at 10:00 pm on Saturday and by midnight we'd already been pulled over twice (no tickets though). It was a great start to one of the longest car trips I've been on. We drove straight through the night (yeah, Camille and I were lucky and got to sleep the whole time). The next morning we decided to stop in Amarillo, Texas for some breakfast or lunch. We wanted to find a cool, little place where we wouldn't be able to eat at home. We found one restaurant where they cook hamburgers in the shape of Texas that sounded pretty good. Texas really has the biggest ego I've ever seen in a state. That place ended up being closed so we settled for a chain breakfast restaurant.
It was crazy crowded. Our waitress took us to our seats and kept saying "okeh?" at the end of every sentence she said. "Here's your table, okeh?" "Take a look at the menu, okeh?" "Our special is on the back, okeh?" etc. etc.
Camille and I ordered hamburgers and fries because they sounded good and can you really mess up a burger? Believe me, you can. The buns were soggy. I mean like sponge-type consistency. And fries? It really is hard to mess those up, but they were pretty gross as well. Like over-cooked, but not crispy or flavorful. Just over-cooked. We were all kind of disgusted by our meals. Right after we left, we went through the Wendy's drive through. It tasted so good--and I don't even like fast food.
It took us forever to actually get to Louisiana. It took us about 20 hours to get to my aunt Kristie's house near Dallas because Texas seriously goes on forever. Then she and her family joined us the next day as well as Uncle Mike and his family. We finally made it to my uncle Eddie's camp after hours and hours of driving. I did learn how to make a cool bracelet in the car though, it took about 6 times of trying and failing before I finally got it. I had plenty time for that though so it worked out.
Eddie's camp is pretty cool. It's right next to a river and there are alligators inside. I remember seeing one way back when I was like 10? 12? Somewhere around there. They were hibernating this time though since this was in December. Camille and I got to hang out with all of our awesome cousins who came. I love them, they are crazy cool. Some of them live in Tennessee so we actually only get to see them about every six years or so. I wish we saw them more often though, we get along really well.
Cassie with her cool Kermit the frog hat.
Kelsey, teaching the little cousins how to plank. :)

On of my favorite parts of this trip was definitely the food. We had everything delicious. At Eddie's camp we had a fish fry (turns out fried fish isn't so bad). We also had french fries, fried okra, and I think other fried things but I can't remember.
Oh my goodness, I love beignets. They are so filling though. Just looking at this picture makes me want to go find some haha.

The roast beef po' boys are amazing from Bear's. As well as fries and Abitas root beer... mmm so good.

On the way back the roads were so icy so lots of roads were closed and so we took a different way. I woke up in the car when we were going through Colorado and I was amazed! On either side of us were frosted mountains contrasted with cloudless, blue skies. It was beautiful.
 Although the trip was really short, I loved it. I loved the food, the people, the stories I heard, etc. But, really this whole thing was for my great grandmother who I have only met a couple of times. I barely remember her, but while on this trip I learned so much about her and how awesome she was. My mom gave a talk at the funeral, she talked about how Grandma would do little things for other people. Like, one time my mom worked with her and she saw that a bunch of the other ladies had given Grandma beautiful flowers. My mom had stayed a little later after work and saw my great grandma placing flowers on the desk of a lady who was going through a divorce. She didn't know my mom was watching. I thought that story was so cool.
Another story that I liked was when she went on a road trip with her daughter and some other women. She was worried about them traveling alone, so she brought a blow up man! They stuck him in a seat and drove their whole road trip with him. Apparently at gas stations her daughter could see the people just laugh because they could definitely tell it was a blow up man.
My great grandmother was a career woman in a time when that was not very common. She worked hard, she raised three children, she served three or four missions, she told crazy good stories, etc. She sounds really cool, right?
The thing that stood out to me most about her while listening to all these stories was that she really knew how to make every person in her life feel special. She went to the mission president in my sister's mission and told him that she would be taking my sister to lunch, no matter what the rules about that were haha. So she did!
She never forgot birthdays, she sent birthday cards to children, grandchildren, great grandchildren. I don't know how she remembered all of that. I still remember getting birthday cards from her every year though. She sent people newspaper clippings that she thought they would be interested. Everyone talked about how they were sure that he/she was her favorite person. She was just cool like that, she knew just how to make each person feel like she loved him/her the most.
I think this is something I'd like to work on. I want to be more like my great grandma and treat each person like they are my favorite. I want to be able to look at each person in my life and really put forth the effort to show them that I care specifically about them. It's so hard sometimes though! I'm sure it will take a lifetime of practice.
I also want to make some of her sayings catch on like: "This sweater attracts everything but money and men!"

That is all.


Rob said...

Your great-grandma sounds awesome! That is so cool. Mine was so old by the time I was old enough to remember anything that she didn't do much. It is great to have people to look up to.

Maren said...

Yeah, I wish I'd known her better! But stories are good too. :)