Card-Carrying Grandmother

First, a little background. My Grandma Eve was my Grampa Mike’s second wife. His first wife, my dad’s beloved mother, passed away before any of us grandchildren got to meet her. So Grandma Eve was the grandmother we knew growing up. If I have the story straight, my grandfather engaged the services of a matchmaker, and that’s how he met and married Eve Kaufman. Eve was my only American-born grandparent. She came from Cleveland, and had been a secretary. When she married my grandfather, she moved into the house on Turk Street in San Francisco. Eve did not have children of her own, so she became stepmother to my dad and his siblings, and just plain grandmother to the six of us grandkids.

Eve was nothing like my other grandmother, to put it mildly. She had a sense of humor, liked to play cards, and kidded around with us kids. And this brings me to card games.

My parents would occasionally drop us off with our grandparents in San Francisco, so we had some special routines: watching wrestling on TV with my grandfather, and playing card games with Grandma Eve. When we were younger, my grandfather would take us to the Palace of Fine Arts to feed the water fowl some of the stale bread he always seemed to have boxes of in the trunk of his car.

My grandparents liked to take trips to Reno every so often, and sometimes they brought back souvenirs for us. Since Grandma Eve had taught us how to play Solitaire, my sister and I each received a deck of cards after one of those trips to Reno. I have a very clear memory of those cards.

I claimed the redheads, and my sister chose the blondes. They were, as the expression goes, “scantily clad,” in a cowgirl motif: tiny fringed vests that barely covered their breasts, short shorts, boots, and hats tilted at a rakish angle. I believe they were winking. They may have been brandishing pistols or wearing sheriff’s badges. Not 100% sure about that, but I do know I’m right about the outfits, what there was of them.

Were we shocked? Were we upset? No, our grandparents gave us pin-up girl decks of cards and we thought it was cool. We showed them off to our friends: Ha! Look what our GRANDMOTHER gave us! I don’t remember baking cookies (she liked poppy seed cakes from the bakery) or any of that other traditional stuff, but I’ll always remember sitting in front of the soap operas and slapping down cards with her. She taught us another game that she called “Oh, Hell!,” but I don’t remember the rules. I did look it up, but I think she must’ve taught us something else and just called it that.

And I didn’t remember how to play Solitaire either, which I discovered just recently on a family vacation. As a dutiful grandmother, I had brought along a couple of decks of cards in case we had a non-beach day or some evening time to kill. As I laid out the cards to demonstrate the game for my granddaughter, I realized I didn’t know how to proceed. So, I did what any savvy grannie would do: I Googled it. Then it all came back to me–just like riding a bike, which I do remember how to do.

Giving young granddaughters rather risqu̩ cards and teaching them a game that allowed them to swear may be non-typical behavior for a grandmother, but it was just her way of showing us she loved usРand she did it with a wink.

21724267-heart-with-game-card-symbols

 

Share : Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on PinterestShare on LinkedinShare on GooglePlus

A Few Words About a Neighbor

Fred Rogers, Mr. Rogers, has been in the news lately. The PBS News Hour shared writer Anthony Breznican’s touching memory of a difficult time in his life, when he meet Mr. Rogers in person. It was a sweet story, bringing back a memory of my own. Breznican’s story reminded me of when I was aContinue Reading

I Still Miss Someone

It wasn’t easy to find a good picture of those blue eyes. This one has two pairs of blue eyes, and lots of love. Susie left us two years ago today. Still have a hard time believing it. I just heard this song for the first time a few nights ago, sung by Rosanne Cash,Continue Reading

The Boys are Back in Town!

I had not assigned a gender to my teeth prior to this post. For all I know, they are girly teeth–but the point is I got my new long-term temporary obturator today, and it includes facsimiles of my dearly departed molars. I’m sure it’ll take some time getting used to having teeth up there afterContinue Reading

One Fine Day

I don’t want to forget that this happened, finally. One fine day this week, I woke up and didn’t feel different, didn’t hurt anywhere, didn’t think about the strange new arrangement inside my mouth. I just woke up, opened my eyes, and thought about what I wanted to get done that day. It was theContinue Reading

Living the Toddler Life: Another healing update

In many ways, I have accomplished the sorts of things we praise toddlers for: I’m eating solid foods! I’m using a fork! I’m getting new teeth (coming soon), and sleeping through the night! Oh, and I had to get one of those ear tubes, also known as” tympanostomy tubes or grommets,” due to a caseContinue Reading

On the occasion of my sister’s birthday

It’s April 9th, my sister’s birthday. Three years ago I was out of town and missed celebrating with her. So I put together something special to make up for being away. Today I spent the afternoon with some of her good friends, and I mentioned this post. In case you missed it, here it isContinue ReadingContinue Reading

Days of Our Lives

I wrote this last year. Today would’ve been my sister’s 68th birthday: She was born on 4/9/49–a fact that always made her birthday seem more special. She is missed terribly by all who knew her. There’s an empty place at the table on this occasion, and all others when her friends or the family–whichever partsContinue Reading

Numb and Number: Or, Healing is Not for Sissies

It’s now been five weeks since my surgery. Although I look almost normal, with some visible swelling on the right side of my face, I still feel as though I am wearing one of these: I can tell the numbness is going away by the sometimes tingly, sometimes sharp messages I’m getting from the nervesContinue Reading

Here’s a visual

  So, yes–right down the middle. Including teeth. It may look almost normal, but it sure doesn’t feel that way! Hurts to smile, or I would’ve tried. Upper cheek and nose are the worst in terms of numbness. Kinda feels like I’m touching someone else’s face when I check for sensitivity. Weird. It’s getting better,Continue Reading