Mondays with Lily

Hi there.

As my first post I should probably talk about my Nana: Lily.  She’s 83, Korean, housebound, on supplemental oxygen, right wing conservative, and always kinda pissed off.  She’s also the most important person in my life and I kick it with her once a week.  As a jolly realist, I squeeze the shit out of all the time I have with her.  I believe I have a lot to learn from my ancestors and she’s the only grandparent I can fucking stand.

Nana sent me to the grocery store today to get a coconut.  It should be noted, she grew up in Hawaii and she is quite oriental; this is not the weirdest food item she could have asked for.  This is a woman who told me she hates avocados and pomegranates because she grew up on an orchard where they were “all over the damn place, I ate from the trees everyday.”  A couple weeks ago she sent me to an asian grocery store for what she described as “a pink tube on a wooden board,” called ‘fish cake’.

I asked her how to pick out a coconut.  ”Shake it and listen for the water inside,” she says.  Wait, how are you going to open the coconut nana, you who are so sick and enfeebled?  I’m imagining an ice pick and mallet or possibly boiling until it is soft.  I’m from Portland, Oregon, not Hawaii.  If I want coconut I buy it flaked, unsweetened, and organic.

“I just go outside, throw it against a rock, it splits in half, then you pick up the pieces.”

Here I thought my Nana was a normal person, but it turns out she’s an island survivalist.  And I’m a total pussy for not thinking of that. Hey, good first post.

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