A Sweet Disgrace


My grandmother learned to drive in snow country but even the best drivers slide on ice. Late one November, wearing a dress and heels, Grandma headed to a church potluck with two pumpkin pies nestled carefully in the passenger seat beside her. Even for Idaho, the weather was bad. Snow had fallen, then melted, and now was freezing on the highway.

She eased onto the roads and, concentrating fiercely, managed to get almost to the red brick church but the darkening skies brought colder temperatures and more ice. Making a turn across an intersection, the car took a notion to be in charge and slid across two lanes and smacked hard into a snow bank. The car momentarily leaned on its side before righting itself. Inside the cab was confusion. her Bible fluttering in shock landed in her lap and her head hit the steering wheel—though not too hard.

Almost in tears, trembling she opened the door and stepped out onto the icy roadway. A police officer must have been nearby because he was already getting out of his car, too.

Seeing this sweet faced older woman almost in shock, he kindly stepped towards her. “Can I hel…?” But he stopped midway through the word and stared in dawning horror at her leg.

Confused Grandma looked down. Seeping from under her dress and dripping down her leg was a disgusting brown goo. Humiliated at her body’s betrayal, Grandma began weeping quietly. The officer hesitated, torn between a desire to help and gut level need to flee. As Grandma gazed open mouthed, a chunk fell off and plopped wetly onto the snow.

The officer turned and headed blindly towards his vehicle. “I’ll just call for help, ma’am,” he mumbled hastily.

Staring at the thick clot on the ground, Grandma had a revelation. “Pie, Pumpkin pie,” She called after him.

She knows he didn’t believe her because he didn’t even respond. He just began jogging towards the car.

There was no way to prove she hadn’t…uh, messed herself short of picking up a piece and eating it.

Stoically she took a rag and cleaned herself while the officer found reasons to keep himself occupied in his car.


  • Now you know why I NEVER eat pumpkin pie!!

  • LOL! Well Kym, is it okay if I submit corrections to this story? Ok, I will. 🙂

    It was actually Grandma and Uncle Hale on their way to Victor Idaho from Salt Lake City, for Thanksgiving. Grandma wasn’t that elderly at the time; in fact, I’m pretty sure she was about your age! I believe it was somewhere around Pocatello that the car hit black ice and wrecked. The pumpkin pie was all over the car, and the officer “assumed” it was a human accident caused by the car accident. Grandma did try to tell him it was pumpkin pie, but I think his response was, “If you say so, lady.”

    And Myrna, you don’t know what you are missing! Pumpkin pie is YUMMY!

  • Hmmph, a storyteller knows that the emotional truth of the story is the only part that matters. Historical facts must be adjusted to ‘assist’ in bringing the emotional truth to life.

    So, if my story isn’t accurate, it is true;>

  • Pumpkin pie is the only truth we need!

  • Maybe Uncle Hale “sharted” during the accident, and it really wasn’t all pumpkin pie? (just kidding, Uncle Hale!)

  • BTW, I liked the imagery, Kym, of a piece plopping off of her dress into the snow. That clinched it, and it didn’t matter that the details weren’t exactly how I remember them 😀

  • I knew I could count on you Heather. Those old fogies always want to stick to accuracy. Phooey!

  • Jackie. That is called literary license. Sheesh you are so grounded.

  • OMG! I’m so glad my family won’t be on there correcting MY version of events. I’m terrified of the corrections my husband will make.
    What an awesome story. And a little license is a good thing.
    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. LOL.

  • Max and Kym, if you are telling family histories, they should be accurate! But if you are telling stories, that’s different. I just didn’t know you were telling a story. 🙂

  • Well, unfortunately I thought I was doing both but my memory needs a little assistance. Thanks to you I got it. Now my memory is corrected but I’m leaving my story because, well because it makes me laugh…;>

    Knowing me, the next time I tell this, it won’t be either historically accurate or a repeat of this one. I just kind of go where dramatic license takes me…

  • For those who want more Grandma stories, Jackie has memories of Grandma and food.
    The two are irrevocably intertwined in my mind.

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