“How are you?”

“I just finished dinner, so I’m still digesting,” Maga said.

“Ooh, okay.”

“How about you? Have you had dinner yet?”

“I finished just a little bit ago.”

“Are you a good cook?”

My response was to laugh out loud. “No.”

“What’d you have for dinner?”

“A baked potato.”

“That’s it?!”


“Oh, well, I guess that’s nutritious enough.”

“It’s the ‘I-just-bought-a-furnace’ diet.”

“What’s that got to do with a baked potato?”

“A furnace is a lot of money. My savings took a hit. Potatoes are only 79 cents per item.”

Maga’s response was to ask about the weather. I clued her in about the brief snow squall this morning and the crazy winds that blustered about all day.

“We got snow yesterday,” Maga said.

“How much?”

Maga’s caregiver confirmed the amount. “8.5 inches,” Maga repeated.

“Did you go sledding?”

Maga’s response was to laugh out loud. “My sledding days are long since over, plus there aren’t too many hills around here.”

My response was to let my imagination run wild with Maga and a sled, or as she referred to it, a toboggan. I guess my mind really ran amok and the silence accidentally piled up. Maga, with her non-sequiturs, took charge.

“Your mom was my firstborn.”

I shook off the lingering imagery in my head and addressed the practicality in front of me. “Yes, she was.”

“I’m impressed with the progress she’s made. She’s done well with whatever she undertakes.”

My response was not to argue. Everything she said was accurate (which is why I took notes on how exactly she phrased it).

Our conversation may have been a night early and it may have not followed a logical path, but it was full of laughter along the way.



“I’m sitting here writing some birthday cards,” said Maga. “And it’s snowing and horrible outside.”

“Good thing you’re inside and warm!”

“Yes, I guess so. How’s your weather lately?”

“It was very cold today. Snowed yesterday.”

“Have you gotten any snow lately?”


“I do not like the snow. Maybe it’s my age.”

“We’ve been lucky so far this year. Just a few little storms here and there.”

“Us too. It’s been enough, though not the great big heavy drifts and such. I do not like that. Oh, hey. Do you still do your Tuesday night thing with that crew?”

“No, unfortunately not.”

“Why not?”

I went into the finer, sadder details of why not, which I’ll refrain from repeating online since it’s not my news. Maga ingested the news, then asked if my boss had any kids, which had nothing to do with anything we were talking about…

“Nope, no children. Just dogs.”

“Some people would rather have a good pet, I guess.”

Not me, but I’ll refrain from repeating those details online as well.

Maga pushed me for more stories, more details, more excitement.

“I’m afraid I’m not very exciting right now. I’m living the just-bought-myself-a-new-furnace-financial-diet which is a lot of me sitting at home spinning the two pennies I have left.”

“Sometimes life is good. Sometimes life is boring.”

“I’m definitely in a boring slump right night. Maybe next week I’ll have something more interesting to say.”

“And maybe I will too,” Maga said.

An unofficial pact to live our lives here and now so that we’ll have oodles of tales for our Tuesday night phone calls.



“I’m watching something really wild on TV,” Maga said.

“What’s that?”

“It’s red and white.”

“What? That does sound wild!”

“It’s hard to keep up with things these days.”

“Trust me. It’s hard even if you’re not almost 98.”

“Is it? Oh, good.”

We then covered the weather and family news (trips and roads and fender benders) as the snow fell softly outside. It felt right that I was experiencing weather with the woman who always asks me about it.

“Well, that’s about all the family news I have,” Maga said. “Have you heard from anyone lately?”

“Just the Seattle crew. They’re getting crazy snow right now. A lot more than we are.”

“Oh. I had heard about that today.”

We discussed the details of more family news (lumps of snow and lumps on ankles and igloos) and ended with a promise to see each other next month.

“You sound good. Keep it up,” Maga said.

“You too,” I replied.



“Are there lots of exhibits there?” Maga asked.

“Oh, yes. Tons.”

“I’ve only been to Disneyland.”

“That came after Disney World.”

“Are you sure? I thought Disneyland was first.”

“I’m pretty sure World was first.”

We’d had this conversation or a version of it three times and I was about to google it when Sister E piped up that Land was first. Maga was right. I was wrong.

That’s what happens when you’re sharing a hotel room with three other people. They can hear your conversation without even trying. Unlike Maga who, again, didn’t have her hearing aids in and required a five minute explanation/repetition of the title of the movie Toy Story (best part of the park(s) so far!)

“Have you been to Disneyland,” Maga asked.


“I think the CA one came before the FLA one…”

What also happens is that Maga keeps needling a topic until you’ve actually agreed with her, agreed with her just to be able to change the topic, or found the true answer. Now if that isn’t making proper use of Disney Magic, you can take away my Mickey ears.