The 530 -square foot house, built during the Depression, is currently assessed at $9,873 and may need a lot of work, but Grandma is an optimist, Soon, she said, a shower to replace the old bathtub will be installed. "And look," she promised in Spanish. "I'm having new pipes for the plumbing put in."
Oven Heat Preferred
Grandma has this peculiar idea about heating. She'll turn on the oven and lower the oven door,
"It works fine and I'm comfortable," she says.
"But it's dangerous," I remind her. "Something could happen."
Concerned grandchildren, fearful that the dreaded would occur, purchased an electric blanket. But during last winter's rains, I noticed that the oven door was still open.
"Oh," she said, "I'm just drying clothes." She then draped clothes over the oven door.
"But there would be a fire," I said.
Then she changed the subject: "Want something to eat?"
Grandma's daily routine varies little. There is the music from the Spanish-language radio station KWKW, the morning chat outside with the neighbor ("Can I borrow some eggs?") and the puttering in her garden.
At midmorning, she will collect clothes for a wash. In the old days, the washing machine was in the bathroom, making it difficult to use the bathroom for most other purposes. Now the washer is in the bedroom. People on Record don't rely much on dryers. Clotheslines are still in vogue.
Cooking seems to be Grandma's favorite pastime. Flour tortillas are made from scratch and beans and rice are the backbone of any meal -- beef, eggs, hamburgers or quesadillas. If you're not ready to eat right away, everything is left warming until you are finally hungry. All meals are accompanied by milk.
By noon it's time for the soaps.
I've never understood how a person with such limited English ability can give a running commentary in Spanish of "Days of Our Lives." But she does.
"Mira, hay 'sta el viejito (describing one of the main thugs). Si, el es papa de Jessica, pero ella no lo quiere. (Why doesn't Jessica like her father, Grandma?) Oh porque el es muy malo con la mama de ella y los pareintes de ella lo saben (And how did Jessica's relatives find out about this cruelty?) El abuelito trabaja en un hospital y la esposa supo todos los problemas que Jessica tenia con su padre."