October 17, 2017

“Abby, dear! You’re back!” Maga didn’t question why I was calling on a Monday.

“I am. Still a bit jet lagged, but getting back into the swing of things.”

“Did you happen to send me a postcard?”

“Of course. I mailed it on Saturday, so it’ll take some time to get to you because I don’t think they have mail services on Sundays and then Hurricane Ophelia hit them today, so you’ll have to be patient.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a postcard from Ireland.”

“You will in a few days time!”

I’m certain she could hear the smile in my voice as I went over the details of my trip + my travel companions more than once. “I’ve gotten it all straightened out in my mind now,” Maga said. “It sure is nice to have company to travel with.”

“I am very lucky in that regard.”

“You sure are the traveler of the family.”

“I certainly have held that title of late.”

I’ve had strong traveling role models in the forms of Maga, Jobo, and my parents. Hmm, does that make the travel bug something I’ve developed by nature or nurture (or maybe a mixture of both)?




October 3, 2017

The phone rang and rang and I set up my salad (I got home late) and water and pen and paper and rang and rang and, “Oops,” I thought, “she’s probably on the other line.” Her phone is one of the last dinosaurs in the US that doesn’t send you to voicemail if the person is unavailable and while I was setting up my phone call space, I was only half paying attention. Anyways, I hung up the phone and dug into my dinner.

A couple of minutes later, Maga called me. “WHAT?!?” I thought. She rarely calls. It’s always me doing the initiating. (Look at her. 96 and playing hard to get. ;)) “Maga, hi!”

“Abby, dear? Is that you?” As if she hadn’t just dialed my number.

“Of course it is, Maga. You called me! Were you just on the other line? I tried you a moment ago.”

“I thought I’d give you a call tonight before your big trip. I dialed your number, but then your mother answered.”

“Oh, so that’s who you were talking to.” (And, oh, that’s why she was so cautious when I answered.)

“She had company over so she had to go and I tried dialing your number again.”

“Here I am.”

“You’re quite the traveler of the family.”

“I have been recently that’s for sure.”

We spoke of my upcoming trip and when I tried to prod her memory for details about what she liked when she’d visited the country, she said, “I don’t think Jobo and I were there. Or if we were, we didn’t spend much time there. I don’t really remember right now. My memory is fading.”

Her memory may not be what it used to be, but her legacy is alive and thriving in every bit of travel that I do. She traveled widely and my mom travels broadly and I’m just attempting to follow in their footsteps. It’s a big world. Someone’s got to see it all!


September 26, 2017

Our call was later than normal and filled with more medical jargon than usual, but the caring and concern for our surrounding family members was the same.

Her hearing and her mind were sharp tonight which helped dispel some of the recent disappointing news as I had answers to all of her questions.

“I’d completely forgotten that had happened 15 years ago,” Maga said in an effort to frame it in a way she understood, in a way that revolved around her own daily life.

I allowed this line of thought because I figured it’d help everyone out if she better understood why her most frequent out of town visitor had to cancel a trip out west.

And it did seem to work. She sounded calmer, more clear, and steadier as we wrapped up the conversation.

“I wish you health and happiness,” she said in lieu of goodbye. I wished her (and everyone in my family) the same.


September 19, 2017

“I got your postcard from Chicago,” Maga said.

“And one from Nantucket. And I sent one from Newport this past weekend.”

“My goodness you’re busy. What were you there for?”

“Two of my friends got married.”

“Oh, how lovely. Did you know the bride or groom?”

“It was two brides and I know them both. They live up here.”


“Maga? You still there?”

“Did you say two women were the participants?”

“I did.”


“Why I didn’t know that was possible?” Maga said.

“I don’t know. It is. Federally, for about two years. In Massachusetts, for longer than that. Maybe 5-6 years?”

“I am absolutely astounded.”

“In a good way?”

“Well, I guess it depends on the people.”

“How so?”

“If they’re good people and love each other…”

“They are. They do.”

“Do men marry other men too?”

“In fact they do.”

“You’ve just opened a whole new chapter for me.”

“Happy to have done so. I mean, come on, finding love is hard. I should know. If two people can find happiness and love together, what’s wrong with that?”

“I guess so. I just didn’t know this existed.”

“You read the newspaper every day. You’ve never seen an article about it?”

“Not that I recall.”

“Keep your eyes peeled. It’s very common. You’ll start seeing news about it everywhere.”

“You’ve opened my eyes tonight.”

I’m not sure if it was leftover from one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve been to or a new addition from the act of educating my 96 year old grandmother, but as I hung up, I was glowing.


September 12, 2017

“Before I forget to tell you, I got your lovely postcard from Chicago,” Maga said.

“Oh good. I was thinking it should have arrived by now.”

“Who did you travel with?”

“It was a mini high school reunion.”

“You didn’t go to high school in Chicago.”

“You’re right. All of the ladies I was with I met while in high school, though, which is why it was like a mini reunion.”

“How delightful!”

“I think so.”

“It’s fun to collect postcards from all over the world. I don’t even throw them away!” Pride slathered her words, but I couldn’t help but cringe as I thought about how her extensive postcard collection is one of the smallest piles remaining in her house. So. Many. Collections. She barreled through my train of thought, “Your Aunt C and Uncle N are going [abroad] soon, right?”

“I prefer to call them Mom and Dad, but yes, they have a big trip coming up to celebrate Mom’s birthday.”

Maga laughed. “I sure am foozeldee tonight. Of course, you call them Mom and Dad.”

Knowing how her brain works, I suspected she had some sort of earlier adventure. “What sort of trouble did you get yourself into today?”

“Oh my. I’m not sure I’d classify it like that. I had lunch with some friends at Cherry Hills. It was an absolutely glorious day. The mountains were out. The blue sky. New landscaping on the grounds. We sat on the edge of the patio so we could really look out at the mountains and the beauty.”

“That sounds spectacular. Who were your dining companions?”

“Well, M of course because she drove me. And Bubbles. And someone else who, my goodness, I cannot think of the name.”

“Did you say Bubbles?!?”

“Yes. It’s kind of a nickname. Gosh. I can’t think of her first name right now either. What is wrong with me?”

“Nothing’s wrong. It was a long day. And by the way I love her nickname!”

Maga may have been mixing up names and relationships tonight, but with a name like Bubbles, there’s no need for any other moniker.

In the absence of quality time together, we hung up thrilled with the company the other was keeping in the meantime.