Posts Tagged ‘tuesdays with maga’


December 12, 2017


“Do you have any upcoming travel plans?” Maga asked.

“Just to Mom/Dad’s for Christmas.”

“Will [Sister J] and Abby be there?”

“Well, I’m Abby, so yes, in fact, I will be there.”

“Oh. Yes. Right.”

“You meant [Sister E]. And yes, she will be there too.”

Maga laughed. “Yes, that’s who I meant.”

“Don’t worry. Everyone confuses our names.”

“So I’m not the only one?”

“Nope. You’re in good company.”

We went round and round about the age gap between Sister E and me (“your mother was brave to have a baby that late in life”), the weather in NE (“you get a lot of moisture up there”), my parents’ recent visit to CO (“they’re such nice people”), their delayed departure (“poor dears”), and my job + how long I’ve worked there (“you are a good employee”) + how many people work with me (“it’s that many?”).

She gets extra forgetful when there’s a change (aka my parents leaving) or some big emotion (sadness), but tonight’s conversation consisted of me doubling back over topics before we’d even reached the end of one. So, yes, dear reader, I admit that during all that repetition and trying to think of different ways to say the same thing, I started keeping track of how often she said certain things: pleasant (5x), nice (17x), and good (8x).

It wasn’t my finest moment as a granddaughter, but maybe the words didn’t matter so much as the company we kept…



December 5, 2017

“What’s the weather like there?” Maga said.

“Raining, but warm.”

“No snow yet?”

“No, thank goodness. It doesn’t usually snow heavily until late in December or early in the new year.”

“I find as I get older I hate the snow. It’s not as fun as when I was younger and could go sledding.”

“Uh, when was the last time you went sledding?”

“Good gosh. Probably 30-40 years ago.”

“Makes sense.”

“What have you been up to lately?”

I took a deep breath. “Well, I need some advice.”

“Okay. Go ahead.”

“My boss is out on vacation and there’s this big meeting tomorrow that I’ll have to attend in his absence. I’m so nervous.”

“Write down a list of the things you want to say and do so you don’t forget. And think about it ahead of time so you know what you want to figure out at the meeting.”

Those are both things I do / will do / have planned to do, so this advice is right up my alley. And before I could ask her for anything further…

“Your mother and father are coming to visit Thursday.”

And just like that, we were back where Maga controlled the topics.

“Yes, they are! What sort of stuff do you have planned for when they visit?”

“Well, not much. I am 96 you know. They will stay at the house and probably clean it out. They cleaned out a lot before I just found out. I hate losing things.”

“But you’re not losing the memories.”

She may have been in control of the topics, but I was able to focus her attention where it mattered.

“Tuesdays are always a bright spot in my life because you call,” she said.

And just like that Maga reminded me that no matter if it was little details or big stories, our calls contained conversations that were evenly balanced.


November 28, 2017

Maga always talks to me while someone else sits within earshot, but I’m unaccustomed to doing the same. This time it due to a trivia game (3rd place finish) and heavy traffic that forced me to call Maga while I was within earshot of the Lyft driver, but, I had to call before we both turned to pumpkins.

We spoke about desserts and travel and family members and the late hour and other family members and Thanksgiving dinner and visitors and it being Tuesday evening. I felt self-conscious of every word, but Maga seemed grateful for each one, so the uncomfortableness on my end was well worth it.

‘Tis the season to spread joy wherever and whenever and however we can.


November 21, 2017

“Are you home?” Maga asked.

“I’m in my apartment, yes.”

“And I’m in my apartment, so that makes the two of us.”

As she relayed her dinner (“beef sandwich and ice cream for dessert, and salad at the beginning”), I realized we really are two of a kind. Sandwiches and salad and ice cream? That’s my kind of meal.

“Do you have any travel plans for the rest of the year?”

“Just to Mom and Dad’s for the holidays.”

“That’s it?”

“I’m waiting for my wallet to refill after all the other travels I’ve done this year.”

That got a hearty chuckle out of Maga. (Was it the sad state of my bank account? Or the way I phrased this period of saving/waiting?) Either way, there was plenty of room for laughter here for these two peas in a pod.


November 16, 2017

“Hi Maga. It’s Abby. How are you?”

“I’m doing pretty good for an old lady. I’m still here, so that’s something.”


“How was your evening?”

“Fun. I was out to dinner with some friends and we played a game called trivia.”

*commence me explaining Trivia no less than 5 times*

“And how did you do?” Maga asked.

“We got third place.”

“Oh, that’s not bad.”

“We were quite pleased. And how was your night?”

“Well, when you get to be 96, you don’t go out galavanting much. I had my good times when they were there, but now I’ve earned a rest.”

“That you have.”

“Do you have any other trips planned?”

“Just to Mom/Dad’s for Thanksgiving. My wallet’s a bit overtaxed at the moment.”

“Will you do the full turkey and everything?”

“Well, I’m not exactly sure. It’s just four of us, so we might not do a big whole turkey. It’s under negotiation.”

“But leftover are always nice to have.”

“True. And you know what? As much as I love the big Thanksgiving meal, my favorite is actually Friday at lunch when my dad makes turkey sandwiches.”

“Oh, he does? I didn’t realized he’s the culinary sort.”

“He’s always had a few specialities – turkey sandwiches being one of them – but he’s getting quite dishes under his belt now.”

“I guess now that he’s retired he has time to develop those skills.”

It has been interesting watching my dad evolve over this past year and change since retirement. I’d say he’s doing even more galavanting than ever before, but that also might be because his four children are spread across the US and we’ve been keeping him busier than a full time job. Not to mention the time he’s spent developing said culinary skills. Maga may be resting during these later years of retirement, but in this category of early retirement, my dad is going full steam ahead.

(P.S. It’s an interesting phone call that talking to your mother’s mother can make you think more deeply about your father.)