Saturday, August 2, 2008


This afternoon, we began a new tradition:

5pm Shabbos afternoon is Mah Jongg time!

I had learned how to play mah jongg at the age of about 10 while spending some time with my grandma. Which got me thinking about the weeks that my sister Rebecca and I would spend every summer at the Grandmas. We'd split up, one of us to each Grandma, and swap in the middle of the week.

With Grandma Elfriede, we'd take the bus from her apartment across from the Museum of Science and Industry to her office in downtown Chicago and go to the Art Institute. We'd go to the Museum of Science and Industry of course, and shop a little.

With Grandma Rose, we'd shop. A lot.

Anyone who knows me and Rebecca from our childhood can figure out that obviously, Rebecca had a better time with Grandma Elfriede, and me, of course-it was a no brainer-bring on the SHOPPING!

How does Mah Jongg remind me of my grandmas? Anyone with a Jewish Grandmother surely has memories of sitting with their grandmas while they played mah jongg with "the girls". Ialso remember poker for pennies and canasta.

I am no exception. i'd sit with my grandmas while they played. One summer I expressed an interest in Mah Jongg-Grandma Rose got so excited that she signed me up for the National Mah Jongg Association-I got mailings and that little rule card for years!

But I also got reminiscing about my grandmas-going to Grandma Rose's pool-with the bags and bags of fruit and snacks she would pack, and then not allow us into the pool for an hour after eating to make sure we didn't get sick, of going with Grandma Elfriede to the beauty parlor for her weekly wash, set, and SPRAY with Aqua Net, of the cookies (Aunt Friede, chocolate chip, and brownies-which turned out to be Dunkin Heinz!), the lebkuchen, waffles, gush, mushroom rolls, chopped liver, and on and on and on. I remember feeding the ducks. Reading old Time Magazines. Going up to the roof garden at Grandma Elfriede's.

I really don't know the point of this whole ramble. I guess I'm feeling a little melancholy and missing the grammies.

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