Tag Archives: grandmothers

Time to Cry Tuesday – Fig Newtons and a Cup of Tea

We called her Nana Julie but I don’t recall why; her name was Julia. My other grandmother was Nana Car… because she was the one that drove.


I will take no responsibility for the naming as I am sure my brother was responsible for these. He was brilliant.

This time of year I think of them both often. Perhaps because we are in the middle of the first Hannukah without kids home and the holiday seems so quiet. Or maybe it is because a blustery winter day like today reminded me of Nana Julie’s kitchen, with it’s Dentyne in the cabinet – both red and green, no one liked the green – and this cookie jar on the counter. The counter tops had this great 1950s boomerang formica and there was always a Pyrex glass coffee pot on the stove to boil water.

When she died I took very few things from her house, but this cookie jar was one of them. It was always filled with Fig Newtons, and they were ALWAYS just a little stale. It was not until I was grown that I knew that Fig Newtons were supposed to be soft. I still sort of miss the stale ones.

We kids loved that kitchen. My grandparents lived close by, and near the beach, so we spent many of our childhood weekends at their house. I cannot even imagine how many cases of Fig Newtons and Dentyne we must have polished off through the years. And now that I think of it I am not sure if she ever had any other cookies or candy in the house. I AM sure we did not care one bit.

As a young adult I was fortunate to still have the Nana’s in my life. They were close; they called each other ‘sister’. I feel so very fortunate to have had them for so long.

Nana Julie’s solution to any problem was to make a cup of tea and then sit down and talk about it.

This afternoon it was chilly, I was losing my motivation and I had this undying craving for Fig Newtons and a cup of tea. There was something so very comforting about that snack. As if she were right there in the room with me.

I suppose she was. Perhaps they both were.


Filed under family, food, grandmothers, relationships, Time to Cry Tuesdays

The Grim Reaper at the Nail Salon…

…in the body of a grandma.

Sometimes when i am out in public (and not in the basement) i am amazed at how crazy people are. 

there i was, getting a manicure (as I still do not believe that chipped nails are either fashionable or acceptable) and next to me sits a very cute little girl getting a manicure and pedicure for camp (another rustic camp experience is born). Her mom and grandma are waiting for her and they are reading magazines. I swear to you I am not making up this dialogue. You can ask my friend Cindy, she was there.

Grandma: Uh, what a horrible story.

Daughter: What?

Grandma: Oy, don’t read this, it is too depressing. Two people murdered in a place you would least expect.

Kid: Where grandma?

Grandma: No sweetie, don’t read this. Don’t worry about such things. Too horrible to talk about. Killed in broad daylight with no chance to survive. In Oklahoma of all places. You are safe nowhere.

Daughter: That is awful.

Grandma: No, please let’s not talk of such things. Did you see Tim Russert’s son on TV. So sad, to die so suddenly like that. Let’s not talk of such sadness. Did I tell about when I had my son, the baby nurse was still there and my friend’s husband dropped dead at his mother’s bedside. Just like that!

Kid: Who died grandma?

Grandma: Don’t worry yourself about such things, sweetie. You don’t know them, it was 49 years ago. Oy, he just up and dropped dead at his mother’s bedside, like Tim Russert. So sad. You should not think about such things. 

For G-d’s sake, this friggin old yenta was lining up the corpses right there at the nail dryers and there was not a thing we could do about it! Seriously, can you imagine a holiday at this woman’s house?

Thanksgiving: “Did you read about the mother of 5 that choked on a turkey bone?”

Christmas: “Did you hear about the family that died in a fire from faulty christmas lights?”

Fourth of July: “Did you hear about the kid that blew his arm off with illegal fireworks?”

Of course, all followed by her signature:

“Let’s not talk about this, too much sadness.”

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