Sep 28, 2011

Shawnee Trip II - Marvelous Melissa

From the beginning, I should have known that Melissa was not exactly your average college student.

“What year are you in?” somebody had asked at the pre-trip meeting.
“I don’t exactly know” said Melissa. “It’s my fifth year in college but I changed major so many times, I only got one year of my current major done, so maybe I am a sophomore or a junior, I don’t know....”

On the day of the trip, everyone seemed to fall asleep after the first hour of the excitement of starting out. I nudged Melissa. “You and I are the only persons awake here!” “Yea, that’s what I was thinking” replied Melissa. She was very soft spoken, I had to lean in to hear her. We began talking.

“This is my first camping trip” said Melissa.

“Are you excited?” I asked.

“Umm hmm. But my mam was so concerned. She has been praying for me. My entire family, my daddy, my granny, they all been praying for me” said she.

“Wow!” I was amazed at so much love.

“My mamee told me, Melisa, if you see a bear, don’t talk to a bear. And I was like, what maamy, I aint gonna talk to no bear…


“You know this song?” Melissa asked in the middle of a conversation.

I did not. It was a very soulful song that talked about love and pain. “I like this song” said Melissa. “The songs these days, so many songs just talk about things like clothes you know, like I wanna wear this, and I wanna ride this car. I don’t understand that you know.” I could not agree more. True, that, Melissa. I don’t like no songs either unless they talk about emotions.


At the campsite, Melissa peered in excitedly inside the tent. “Woooow this is just like in a movie” she said. Her excitement was infectious, and continued all the way through the trip.

“Who put those rocks here?” she asked at the first sight of the rocks.
“Who put the rocks? Nobody..they are here naturally” replied Brandon.
“But they are all so neatly stacked” Melissa still refused to believe him.
“Yes, they are formed by thousands of years of natural wear and tear” I tried to help out “Who would put them here anyways?”
“I don’t know, maybe somebody put them here for a movie or something...”

We walked deeper and deeper into the forest, where we were surrounded by huge yellowing trees, dwarfed by the spectacular rocks. Every few minutes Melissa stopped to express her amazement. “Wow, this is so cool, we could be anywhere, we could be in the middle of Lord of the rings or something.”


Melissa was climbing the highest rocks, and dropping down the most dangerous precipices, and leading everyone. “Look at Melissa, she is the one who has never been camping, and now she is the one leading everyone” said Trisha.
“You go Melissa” yelled Trisha.
“YEAH” Melissa yelled back, and promptly dropped on her hands and knees to crawl into the lowest crevice. When everyone else came out crawling on their hands and knees, Melissa was the only person to come out with knees unscathed.

Melissa at a restaurant. “Hey girl, pass me the salt please.”
A pause.
“I call everyone girl....” she explained
“Why? Is it because you don’t know their names?” I asked.
“Yes, that’s a part of the reason, but also, its so cool, it’s like I’m treating everyone the same, loving everyone the same, hey gurl...”

“The fire is taking in oxygen and throwing out carbon dioxide” Grant was telling Melissa. “Oh wow!” Melissa turned to me. “This is the closest I’ve ever been to a fire. My mamma says Melissa, you don't go near no fire, and I say ok mamma, and I never went near no fire!”

“Hi!” Johnny aunt waved at us cordially. Johnny’s uncle and aunt had come to say hello.
“Wow!!” said Melissa. “It’s great that his folks came to visit him. My folks, they would never go near no wood!”

“I am so glad I am here. I feel like I am such a cool person just for being here. I am having the time of my life. I am camping, YEAH!” said, who else but, Melissa.

Fireside conversation. “We swallow nine spiders ever year” said Trisha.
“Oh wait, I thought that was one your lifetime” Brandon objected.
“Well, I know I swallow a lot more spiders than that, you can tell from all the spider bites on my lips" replied Trisha.
“Watchu let a spider bite you for , girl?” said, obviously, Melissa.

On the ride back home, I am perfectly sure that the trip would not be half as fun without Melissa. The girls seemed to feel the same.
“Thank you Melissa for coming on this trip with us” said Trisha.

Thank you Melissa, you made the trip so awesome!!



There was an error in this gadget