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Clueless Bubby?

I often find myself sitting amongst people at a wedding, class, bar mitzvah or any random event. The conversation that I involuntarily overhear goes something like this:

“So what camp are you registering your kid in?”

“I’m putting him in a backyard day camp – where there are 10 kids, and it goes till 12 pm, which works well…”

“Really? Who is in charge there? Does she take kids who are not toilet trained yet?”

“I’m not sure – you’d have to ask her, but she’s really great with the kids…”

As I’m writing the above dialogue, I’m thinking that some young uns out there will read it and think several things: First, why in the world is a grandmother placed at the same table as younger folks?  Good point. Don’t know the answer to that right now. Second, they will note that I got some of my facts wrong. Another good point. But honestly I only hear bits and pieces of the chatter. It’s a good chance that I am misquoting a typical convo.

I’ve been there and done that. I have moved on. And to tell you all the truth, I’m embarrassed to admit: I am somewhat clueless about all of that. Continue reading

Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh

As the summer is under way,  my mind turns to letter writing. Letters that we send – to friends, family and acquaintances. Thank you cards, post-cards, congratulations messages, sympathy notes, and newsy letters to loved ones expressing caring and what is going on. The summer is that time – when we tend to write more letters. Kids are in camp, families go on vacation and the desire to keep up in writing is prevalent.

Letters these days are written (actually typed) and sent off as a computer email. Letters in the “old days” (read: my days) were written by hand with care, using a pen or pencil. They were  placed in an envelope, sealed and sent off with  a stamp. The receiver of the letter had the opportunity to read and re-read the letter, thus relishing the connection and the relationship between reader and writer.

Both of my grandmothers were avid letter writers. And during the summer they tended to write – or type (on their IBM Selectric typewriters!) more letters than usual.

One of my aunts has gathered all of my maternal grandmother’s letters – skillfully handwritten or typed with her typewriter — into a large binder for all the grandchildren. Many of those letters were written specifically during the summer period of the “Nine Days” (which is happening now) before the fast day of “Tisha B’av.” Continue reading

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