I’m back in Cleveland (go Cavs…yay) until Trav comes home. My cousins, sisters and I started “Tuesdays with Grandma” a few years back and I make sure to keep up with it whenever I’m in town.
This past visit I was going through old photos and came across this gem of an article written about 30 years ago…
My cousin and I got a huge laugh from the following statement “Eventually came mastery of the language for both of them.” Anyone who has ever met grandma knows the fallacy to this statement. She was “quoted” to say “I had never seen so many chickens before… and suddenly I had to take care of them all.” What grandma most likely said was “Too many chickens! I no-no what to do!”
I grew up understanding “Russhish” which is our family’s version of Spanglish. Such “words” became part of our vernacular. We knew what they meant but never really questioned them. We knew to go to the vysabaki (icebox) to get ice cream. Sweepaviet meant to sweep the floor. Etta was anything she was pointing to, and mylinki was anything small. I still have no clue what et-tet-tet means.
Anyway, reading this article brought to me a sense of great pride of who I am. All four of my grandparents came to this country with no more than a trunk-full of belongings and their children in their arms. I don’t know how they did it. What I do know is I feel very blessed for the roots they planted here so their future generations could have better lives.
So next time I catch myself complaining about the price of gas or my electric bill maybe I’ll just pull out some of those old photos to remind me of where I came from.