My maternal grandparents moved from Montreal to Milwaukee when I was just a wee lass.
They were basically my entire world. My babysitters, my biggest fans, my built-in playmates. And kind of my very own Rosetta Stone, since I fancy myself pretty well versed in their German-English-Yiddish hybrid. I have even passed it down a generation to my children, as Emily is apt to throw an exasperated “OY GEVALT!” right out there while studying for exams. Bubbie and Zaydie would be proud. I just know.
These two were really just the most fascinating couple to watch. Different in every single way possible, of course. As my Bubbie got older and stopped cooking a mean chicken soup (and occasionally making my house smell of chopped liver as she’s stand in the kitchen with that old, stinky meat grinder and her best apron), she started relaxing a little more and took to spending a lot of time in the big chair in the living room. It was kind of tucked away in the corner but faced the whole room. She could be slightly hidden, yet observe all the comings and goings of our busy home. She sat with her gossip rags (oh how she loved those National Enquirers and US Weeklys), with our dog at her feet, and a wide grin on her face.
She’d listen to my complaints, and whines, and cries. She’d even offer hidden chocolate and some advice, although it was mostly about how to dress for the weather.
She was a weather genius. All because of her knees, she’d explain.
She could feel the rain coming. “Take an umbrella, Leesheenu, it’s going to rain. Guarantee.” She could predict drops in temperature and impending storms and lovely days like a wizard. Her old knees just told her.
As a young girl I honestly couldn’t believe how she was able to do this. And how she was always right. My Bubbie was a magician. She could also get every single dollar amount right on The Price is Right right down to the penny, but I figured that was more of a learned skill.
But now I know.
I can predict the weather.
IN MY HAIR.
Oh yes. I can tell you when the lovely summer is turning into fall, by the way my hair starts to curl on its own in strange places. I can tell you when the fall is getting crisper and colder and the winter is coming but the amount of static cling I have to tame. I can predict rain by the way my hair parts itself. And snow by how my bangs lay. And don’t get me started on summer and my hair’s, uh, girth.
Just last week.
I felt something.
In my knees.
It could have been a coincidence.
But I believe it’s something else entirely. Something that got passed down from my Bubbie.
Winter is coming.
And I might be a witch.