Posts Tagged ‘tuesdays with maga’


January 7, 2020

“How’s it up there in Mumford,” Maga said.

“Not too bad.”

“Oh, excuse me. Medford, not Mumford.”

“Well, Mumford lives in Medford, so it’s an understandable mistake.”

Maga chuckled. “I guess so. What else have you been doing?”

“I’m making granola.”

“You’re what?”

“Granola. You mix it with yogurt.”

“Like cereal?”

“Yes. Close enough.”

“How do you make it?”

“I’m following a recipe from a cookbook.”

“Oh. How nice. What’s the cookbook called.”

“The Dude Diet.”

“The what?”

“Dude. Diet.”

“With a G?”



“D. Like dude. Guy. Oh, a dude ranch.”

“Oh, okay. Dude. Do you like to cook?”

“No. Not exactly.”

“Do you have many people over?”

“No. Not exactly.”


“I’m making this because I’m not really a morning person and it’ll help me save time in the mornings.”

“You’re getting prepared now so you can move faster in the morning.”


“Do you have any upcoming trips planned?”

“New York in February and then visiting you in March.”

“Did you know my birthday is in March?”

“Did you know that’s why I’ll be visiting you?”

“I did not.”

“It is indeed.”

Silence crept over the conversation as I was busy maneuvering my granola in/out of the oven. “I don’t know what we have in common tonight,” Maga said.

“Umm, well, we…”

“I’ve run out of ideas,” Maga said in a forthright and yet backhanded way of admonishing me for not paying attention.

“I guess my brain is tired,” I said. “It’s been hectic at work with a new employee.”

“What’s she like?”

“She’s hardworking and nice. I think she’ll be a good fit.”

“There are people who are good fits and those who aren’t.”

“True. What about you and Jobo? Were you a good fit?”

“Yes, I think we were! Don’t you think?”

“Obviously yes.”

“We got along pretty well together. Better than the other way.”

What was going the other way was my granola. It had cooled the sufficient amount of time, but I’d used aluminum foil instead of parchment paper, and apparently, that was a bad substitution. The granola wasn’t “chunking up” like the recipe claimed and was instead raining down around me and onto the floor in teeny tiny individual pieces. Come to think of it, I used rolled oats instead of steel cut ones. Perhaps that was the bigger travesty?

Me and my kitchen are not, as Maga would say, a good fit. Or maybe she’d say me and my kitchen have nothing in common.


January 6, 2020

This text (which does in fact start with a string of potatoes, beets, and onions but which were cut off so [Sister J]’s transcription was fully visible) arrived today. A Monday. A rather Monday-ish Monday.

And with its arrival, it ignited a reverse chain of events where someone else was doing the transcribing of a relative’s thought process and all I had to do was sit back and let the sweetness wash over me.

For the record, dear sweet 4yo H, I like shredded coconut on cakes but don’t know if I like it raw. Never had it. Yes, I love apples! Especially when paired with peanut butter or cheddar cheese. Yes, donuts are good, though I’d actually prefer a bagel. And, yes, double triple YES I am so happy you know my birthday is soon!!!

(though I suspect she’s aware of it due to its crazy closeness to her mother’s birthday) (which I am totally fine with) (the birthday dates + it being the reason she knows my birthday)

(either way any way all the way I was so touched by this, it has me wondering if I should show Maga some of the times I’ve transcribed her words?) (probably a bad idea) (maybe not if I printed some out and mailed them to her?) (they’re short enough it wouldn’t be any more taxing on her brain than watching a tv commercial with closed captioning on)

I’m probably overthinking this. So. I’m just going to go back and enjoy the sweet simplicity of H’s train of thought and allow this Monday to close out all covered with its syrupy sweetness.


December 24, 2019

“Hi, who is it please?”

“Maga, it’s Abby.”


“Hi, Maga. It’s Abby,” I repeated a bit louder.

“Who is this?”

“It’s Abby!” I fairly shouted.

Muffled voices between Maga and her caregiver…Caregiver gets on the line, “I don’t think she can hear you.”

“Could you try putting it on speaker phone?” I asked.

“One minute. Let me see. Oh, yes.”

More muffled sounds as the phone went back to Maga.

“Hi, Maga. It’s Abby.”

“Oh, Abby dear. Hello.”

Her words were slurred more than usual, my heart rate increased.

“I was in bed,” she said.

“I’m sorry Oh my gosh I’m so sorry!” My words slurred together in haste not to wake her up too much.

“It’s okay.”

“We had a late dinner and then I was on dish detail which is why I’m calling so late.”

“It is later than usual.”

“I’m so sorry. I can let you go.”


“I just wanted to call since it’s our Tuesday and to say Merry Christmas Eve.”

“Merry Christmas to you too. Where are you?”

“I’m at my parents’ house.”

“Oh, could I talk to your mother?”

“Oh, sure of course. Let me go over to her.”

“Where is she?”

Fortunately my mother is easier to track than Santa Claus so I knew she was in the next room over and I delivered my phone to her.

“Here she is, Maga.”

“Who is your mother?” Maga asked.

“[C] is my mom.”

“Oh, of course.”

I sat beside my mom as she talked to her mom. The holidays are all about the generations after all, even if we’re not all in the same geographic location.


December 17, 2019

“Hi, Maga! It’s Abby.”

“Who is it, please?”

“It’s Abby.”

Caregiver’s voice: “Why don’t you put it on speaker?”

“Huh?” Maga said.

*rustling sounds as the caregiver helped Maga with the phone*

“Hi, Maga. Can you hear me now?”

“Oh, YES, can I hear you!”

*takes notes on whatever it is the caregiver just did to make Maga be able to hear the conversation without straining*

“What did you do today,” Maga asked.

“I went to work. I ran some errands. And then I shoveled.”

“Did it snow?”

“It snowed all day, but didn’t accumulate. It also sleeted and rained. A rather gloomy day.” (Despite the miracle of speaker phone, I repeated variations of this thrilling story so she could understand what I did.)

“Do your other neighbors shovel too?”

“Yes. But I was there and the shovel was nearby, so I thought, why not. I’ll be a good neighbor.”

“That’s a good way to behave.”

“Want to hear about something that didn’t behave?”


“A spider bit me!”

“Oh no! On your hand? Or arm?”

“On my forehead.”

“When did it start hurting you?”

“It doesn’t hurt. It’s super itchy though. It started this morning.”

“Do you think it happened in bed?”


My distress garnered a hearty chuckle out of her, so I thanked the spider for his duty, for Sister J who helped diagnose me, for coworker L who promised me spiders wouldn’t crawl out of my face, and for cortisone cream which helped reduce the itching.

And speaking about it brought on more itchiness at the same time that Maga’s night nurse came in with her meds, so we bid each other adieu and left to deal with our medications. Hers to help with being 98+. Mine to deal with…ewww, don’t make me think about it anymore!


December 10, 2019

“Hi, Maga. It’s Abby.”


“Hi, Maga!”

“Who is it, please?”

“It’s Abby,” I shouted into the phone with a sinking feeling it was going to be one of those conversations. I put on a kettle of water so I could soothe my throat post phone call and settled in. “How was your day?!” I continued at the same excessive volume.

“A cold, busy day.”

“For me too. Busy.”

“What did you do?”

“I went to work and it. was. hectic!!”

“And then what?”

“That was the majority of the day. Now I’m home relaxing.”

“You went where?”

“I’m at home.”

“What was the majority?”

“At work. Now I’m done with that. What are YOU doing?” I asked in an attempt to turn the tide of this conversation.

“I’m putting photos in an album.”

“Oh, what fun! Who’s in the photos?”


“What are your pictures of?” I said slowly and as clearly as possible.

“Where were they taken?” Maga asked.


“These are from Alaska. Uncle D and Aunt C just went there you know.”

“I didn’t know. Those must be beautiful photos! What else is in the album?”

“Things from this year. I like to keep up to date with my albums.”

“I bet you do. So, what else do you have?”

“Things from this year.”

“Any from Africa?”

“Oh sure. I see S and F here.”

(Reader, S and F were not in Africa. I decided to go with the flow instead.) “How lovely. They’re so nice to visit with you.”

“Oh dear.”

“What’s up?”

“I’m so confused.”

“By your photographs?”


“Do you need to concentrate on them?”


“Would you like me to hang up?”


And just like that, she turned off the faucet entirely. (The water metaphor. I’m sticking with it.)

Don’t ever confuse my grandmother with someone who doesn’t know what she wants. Seems that she’d rather spend time with photos of people than on the phone, but you know what, if it makes her happy, I’m going to let her be. She’s earned that much in 98 years and 8 months.