Posts Tagged ‘tuesdays with maga’


October 20, 2020

“And you know where the first place I’ll travel will be?” I asked.

“Where?” Maga’s voice was breathless with anticipation.

“To see you!”

“Really? Do you mean it?”

“I do! Of course, I do.”

We both sighed with longing and imagined a world where it’d be safe to visit with each other. Or, that’s what I was doing.

Maga was busy trying to orient my location so she could better picture who she was talking to. I detailed my town, my apartment, my work, etc.

“You mean you don’t go into the office?” she asked.

“Nope. Not since March.”

“You don’t mean it.”

“Sure do.”

“This is nasty business. The germs.”

“I agree.”

“I’ve got my mask right here,” Maga said.

“You do?”

“Yes. I’m holding it in my lap.”

“Did you just get back from the cafeteria?”

“Yes. A little bit ago. And then my caregiver said we should go out for a walk or go sit on the terrace.”

“Oh, gosh. I don’t mean to keep you. Go do that.”

“Well, wait a minute. Let me have your…” she fumbled for the words, “your phone number.”

I provided it. She promised to call me back after dark. We’ll see what this spooky season brings.

[Editor’s note: it’s been 2 hours. I don’t think I’m getting a return call…]


October 13, 2020

“Maga! Hi! It’s Abby!”

“Who is it, please?”

I repeated myself at a shout-ier level than normal in an attempt to be heard over the TV.

“Oh, hi,” Maga said. “The TV is very loud. Let me ask my caregiver to turn it down.”

If Maga thought the TV was too loud?!? I tried to start a fresh topic now that she could hear me. “How was your day?”

“I haven’t had a very exciting day, but it was good enough.”

“Ditto,” I shouted twice more.

We covered what town I lived in, where I was working from, why my office was closed, when I graduated from college, why I hadn’t visited her yet, how often I usually visit her, and where else I’d traveled to this year. That may seem like a lot, but in actuality, our conversation at this point was more start and stop than circular.

“What town do your parents live in?” Maga asked.

I told her. She asked me if they lived in my town. I told her no and rattled off their town name again.

“Is that the house Cathy’s mom and dad built?”

I paused. “You’re Cathy’s mom.”

“Did I build the house?”

“I don’t think so.”

We both chuckled at the absurdity of her swinging a hammer.

“Did you call me or did I call you?” Maga asked.

“I called you.”

“You usually call me on Saturday. Is today Saturday?”

“I usually call on Tuesdays. Today’s Tuesday.”

“Oh, Tuesday. Yes, that’s our talkative day. You can call me other days, you know.”

“Yes, I know. I will.”

“Oh, honey bun. I wish you were here.”

“Me too.”

“Where do you work?”

“[Big Name University.]”

“[Big Name University] Press, right?”

“Yes! Very good!”

“I got that one right.”

“Very well done, Maga.”

“Let’s say goodbye now and wait for the next time.”

Abrupt, yes, but she certainly has a knack for how to end a conversation on a high note!


October 6, 2020

“Hello?” Caregiver P answered.

“Hi! Is Virginia there?”

P paused, “Well. Yes. Would you like to talk to her?”

“Yes, please.”

“Who is this, please?”

“It’s her granddaughter, Abby.”

“Oh, hi, Abby. It’s [Caregiver P].”


“I’m just trying to get her up for supper. I went and picked it up for her. Maybe if I tell her you’re on the phone…?”

“Sure! Let’s try it.”

Some muffled noises ensued, then P’s voice explaining I was on the phone, then Maga’s hoarse voice, “Hello?”

“Hi, Maga! It’s Abby!” I tried especially hard for a bright, yellow tone.

“Who is it please?”

“It’s Abby!”


“It’s Abby! Can you hear me?”

“I can hear you.”

“Are you taking a rest?”

“Yes, I’m lying down.”

“Are you feeling sick? Or just tired?”

“I’ll get better sooner or later. Listen, thank you so much for calling. I appreciate it. We’ll talk again soon.”

And that was that. Short, succinct, sleepy. I do hope this brief phone call made her alert enough that her appetite perked up. There’s not much else I can do from this distance…


September 29, 2020

“I just got back from the dining room,” Maga said with an unusually chipper voice.

“Oh, wow! That’s super exciting,” I said.

“Not really. The food isn’t as good and there weren’t too many people. It was kind of a let down.”

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. But wasn’t it exciting to eat outside of your room?”

“I guess.”

“Did you wear lipstick to the dining room?”

“Oh, sure,” she said. “At least I think I did. That would be silly if I thought I wore it and I didn’t.”

“I’m sure you wore it. You’re good about applying it.” She wears the most classic red color. It’s an amazing shade.

“Where do you work from?” Maga asked out of nowhere.

So it’s going to be one of those types of conversations. I buckled up. “Well, currently I work from my second bedroom.”

“Where’s that?” Maga asked.

“Off my kitchen.”

“How do you get work?”

“The computer.”

“I don’t understand how those things work. I don’t have anything like it.”

“Well, you do have wifi, so you could work from your apartment too.”

“I do? Are you sure?”


“I’ll have to investigate that. Do you see any friends?”

“Just a few. And only outside.”


“Some friends who live nearby.”

“Who? What are their names?”

“M and G and C.”

“C. That’s a nice name. Is she as nice as her name?”

“Yes, in fact, she is.”

“How long have you known her?”

“About 19 years.”

“Really? My goodness. And how do you know her?”

I detailed how we worked at the same summer camp for kids, which delighted Maga. She especially liked the part where the kids asked for any other counselor besides me to throw the football.

“Did you know I’m almost 100?” Maga continued on with her rapid fire questioning.

“I did.”

“I don’t know how I got here.”

“One day at a time.”

“Yes, I suppose so.”

“Maga! 100! IT’S SO COOL!”

“I don’t know if it’s cool or not, but it is the situation.”

Questions. Opinions. The weather. Friends. Work. A lot of repeated information. A lot of new information. This 45 minute conversation covered everything and I was here for it all.


September 22, 2020

“We just got in this minute,” Maga said in lieu of a greeting.

Jumping right in, I asked, “Where were you?”

“Sitting on the patio watching the cars go by.”

“People watching too?”

“People watching and car watching, yes.”

“That sounds fun. Fresh air is good for you.”

“It’s a nice day for it. What did you do today?”

“I worked and ran some errands and made dinner and that’s about it.”

“What errands?”

“I went to the library and to the grocery store.”

“You were very successful in that department.”

“Yes, I guess you could say that!” I said, feeling infinitely better about the lack of events on today’s schedule. Maga for the ego boost.

We then went over the details of my day a few more times + the area of the country I live in + the time difference between us.

“I have to go check…” Maga trailed off, searching for the word, phrase, excuse. “Well, I don’t know what I have to check for, but it’s something. Goodbye.”

Yikes. I knew my life was boring lately, but dang! I guess when you’re 99, you don’t need an excuse to leave nor do you need to waste any time, so you just hang up. And there went that ego boost…