Abuelitas in the time of COVID-19

How do we make sure the grannies are OK?

My grandmother, canning something. She would actually be completely unfazed by all of this. She grew and preserved her own food and had her own well. There were some store-bought things in the house – salt, flour, coffee, but other than that, she and my grandfather were quite self sufficient.

Mr. T and I have been putting our unemployment to good use. One of the things I have been doing is calling people who are homebound. Yes, I know we are all homebound, but some are more homebound than others. I got a list from a local group that helps (in regular times) keep senior citizens in their homes and started calling and even though I hate talking on the phone, it has been fun.

The purpose of the calls is to make sure the people have enough meds and enough groceries and to just chat with them for a bit in case they are lonely.

What I am discovering is Milwaukee senior citizens are On It, thank you very much.

Here is how my conversation went (in Spanish) with señora Isabel:

Me: How is it that your Spanish is so good?

Señora Isabel: Because I am from Puerto Rico!

Me: I want to go there! I want to eat the food!

Señora Isabel: You come to my house. I make you arroz con gandules.



Me: Do you have your meds?

Señora Isabel: Yes, my daughter order for me from the Walmart and she is picking it up. She lives cercita.

Me: How many days of groceries do you have?

Señora Isabel: Pfffff. Enough. My daughter lives cercita. She shops for me.

Me: What are you doing to keep busy?

Señora Isabel: Oh you know. I talk to my friends on the zoom. My priest he does the Mass from his living room on Facebook live.

Me: (I am so clearly not needed here.)

Then I called Ms J.

Me: How are you keeping busy being stuck at home?

Ms J: ……..Oh, I have a lot of paperwork to do.

Me: Are you doing anything fun?

Ms J: ……….No……………. Just paperwork.

Me: Not even reading some good books? Watching some good TV shows?

Ms J: ………Well……………. I do have my soap opera………..That I am watching right now.

Me: I will call you later!

Then I called Ms M, who was also quite settled, and, as the other recipients had been, a bit confused about why anyone would call her to ask her such personal questions, as she KNOWS HOW TO RUN HER OWN LIFE.

So I told her about inadvertently interrupting Ms J’s soap.

Ms M: Oh! Was it General Hospital?

Me: I don’t think so. This was at about 1:15.

Ms M: Right! Isn’t General Hospital at 2:00?

Me: Or 3:00, even? I thought I watched it when I came home from school that summer. We didn’t have a TV but my friend did. We took a summer school class together and would watch it after.

Ms M: What’s on at 1:00? Days of Our Lives? All My Children?

Me: I think Days. I think that’s what my grandmother watched.

Ms M: General Hospital. I watched that.

Me: I still can’t believe that Luke raped Laura – who was underage! – and then they got married and that was supposed to be romantic!

Ms M: That was a different time for sure. The actress was underage. Was the character?

Me: I don’t know.

Ms M: I guess we’ll never know.

Me: Speak for yourself. I know what I will be spending my afternoon doing.








2 thoughts on “Abuelitas in the time of COVID-19

  1. Guilty pleasure alert! It’s definitely “Days”. Been watching on and off since college. (How else were we supposed to spend our “lunch hour”? It’s been the best part of retirement … an appointment daily in Salem. Glad you respected Mrs. J’s appointment! Stay home, stay safe!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s