We recently found someone to spend time during the day with Grandma to help her around the house. Grandma was worried that they wouldn’t have anything to do or talk about, so I bought a chess set for them and Grandma is teaching her new friend to play.
Grandma was a middle school math teacher for many years in New York City, and was a brilliant chess player. When I was 10 I came for a visit and we would play. In one match we had this exchange after one of my moves:
Grandma: Darling, you don’t want to move there.
Me: Why not? You can’t take my piece if I move it there.
Grandma: That’s right, I can’t take that piece now. But if you move there, I’ll take your Queen five moves from now…
Not that I’m such a great player, but I’ve never even come close to beating her. We played a few weeks ago and Grandma beat me soundly, humming the whole time. The only way I knew I made one good move is that she stopped humming momentarily after my move, considered the board, and then made her next move and started humming again.
So I mentioned at friday night services to a couple of people that Grandma had been playing chess again. The President came over to Grandma to talk about chess.
President: Fay, I hear you’re playing chess. If it’s ok, I’d love to come over and play sometime.
Grandma: Oh, I haven’t played in forever…
Me: Grandma! You’ve been playing the whole week! Are you hustling right now?!
Grandma (with a slight smirk and a shrug): Well…
This Russian grandma killed a wolf with an axe. Yes, you read that right.
Grandma’s thoughts on the current state of politics.
After power came back to Grandma’s neighborhood, Dad and I packed up the bags and took Grandma on the trek back to the city. Since it’s a long walk, we took a car service from my apartment to the subway at Borough Hall in downtown Brooklyn. On the subway, a young dude gave up his seat for Grandma, and my Dad gave the guy a fist-bump to say thank you. The dude returned a ‘chin’ to my Dad in recognition.
When the train arrived to Union Square, Grandma got off the train and stopped in place. She put her hands out in welcome, blew kisses, and said, “Hello New York! Mwah mwah mwah mwah mwah!”
Grandma lost power in her apartment in the city, so she and Dad came to my apartment in Brooklyn and stocked the freezer. Cherry Garcia for Grandma and Dad, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough for me.
I had called Grandma a few times yesterday, but couldn’t leave a message as the machine kept saying it was full. Grandma finally called me back last night.
Grandma: “Darling, it’s good to hear from you.”
Me: “You too, Grandma. Listen, you have to erase the messages on the machine. It’s full and I couldn’t leave you a message today.”
Grandma: “What do you mean? I listened to them.”
Me: “That’s fine, but you have to erase them after you listen to them.”
Grandma: “I did!”
Me: “Are you sure?”
Grandma: “Look, you’re not the only one who calls me. I can’t help it if I’m popular.”
This is awesome, especially #16.
My cousin Jennifer: Grandma, I can’t believe I’m turning 30 soon.
Jennifer: Yes!! That means you’ve been taking care of me for 30 years!
Grandma: No!! That would mean I’m old.