Unwanted Relatives Come to Visit the Rocky Mountains

The last laugh column shares MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader submitted regional American humor. Dan Bova shares a story about moving to the country, John Denver's music inspiration, and when his unwanted relatives come to visit the Rocky Mountains.

| February/March 1997

Visiting relatives can make life a joy … or a living hell. 

Last Laugh shares MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader submitted American humor with other readers. Dan Bova tells the story of when his unwanted relatives come to visit the Rocky Mountains. 

A while back, I found myself deeply connecting on a cosmic level with songsmith extraordinaire John Denver, a circumstance that came as something of a surprise to me since John and I don't generally share the same musical tasteat all. It occurred when I picked up my life and moved to a small town nestled in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. Since the day I unpacked, I have been experiencing a daily dose of what Mr. Denver termed simply Rocky Mountain High.

Whether I am driving to work, chopping wood for the stove, or cooking in the kitchen, I look out on the horizon and there they are with their majestic snow-covered peaks and brilliant yellow and orange valleys. They are inescapable. I'd been told how the mountains can change a man, make him more spiritual, bring him closer to God. But the thing that nobody told me about moving to the mountains is that the second I signed the lease, everyone and everything I have ever crossed paths with in my life would inevitably show up at my doorstep looking for an inexpensive (read: free room and board) week-long getaway. While it is easy to explain to most people that you are "unfortunately bogged down with work" or "going away that weekend" to avoid any extended stays, there exists a certain breed of visitors that cannot and will not be deterred: relatives.

Don't get me wrong, I love my family, particularly when they live in another state or even better a different time zone. They can be a little eccentric at times, to say the least, and a little less appreciative of Mother Nature's wonders than I would like. But still they come. Yes, move to the mountains and unwanted relatives come to visit the Rocky Mountains.

On a recent visit, my grandparents came down with my little cousin Dennis and my older brother Richie. Things actually got off to a pretty good start. I had a few friends over for dinner that night and we all shared a remarkably pleasant and uneventful dinner together. Afterwards, we sat by the wood-burning stove in the living room and spent some time chatting and catching up. Grandma and Gramps changed into their pajamas and got ready for bed as my friend Ken showed Dennis a scar he had acquired on his arm during a run in with a chain saw. Gramps caught sight of the display and for some reason deep within the crevices of his mind, he came to the conclusion that a contest to see who had the nastiest scar was being waged. Without so much as a word, Gramps walked up to Ken, cleared his throat, and dropped his pants to the floor to show everyone the scar from his hernia operation. His pants were joined shortly by everyone's jaw (including my girlfriend's) as we all learned that Gramps unfortunately does not wear underwear under his pajamas.

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: September 14-16, 2018
Seven Springs, PA

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard