Thursday, January 12, 2006

¡Feliz Cumpleaños Tía Yaya!

Tia Yaya

Today is my Tía Yaya's birthday. She is 85 years old. My brother once said that we are very lucky to have 3 grandmothers. He is so right. Our Tia Yaya is like our third grandmother. We rarely see her since she lives in Panama. When we do see her though it is as if time has never passed since the last time we were together. Her arms are open wide for us and she gushes over us as if we were the most important people in the whole world. Whenever we talk on the phone, she always asks when we are coming to see her, how the family is, and then of course asks about Sabi - "¿y cómo está la reina de la casa?" :-)

Tia Yaya

So many family events take place at Tía Yaya's house. She has a very small home in Panama Viejo which is in Panama City. We have a VERY LARGE family. Some live in Panama Viejo, others in Tocumen, Torrijos-Carter, and other places in the city. Others live farther away in Chitre an Monagrillo. Whenever there is a party though - everyone flocks to Yaya's house. As the families arrive, the cousins find each other and play.


The women gather in the extremely small kitchen and work on the food prep and the men - well - I don't really know what they do - I am always in the kitchen! At least I try to be. They rarely let me lift a finger when I come. When the food is ready, the men and kids get to eat first. I usually get to join in at this time since I am the visitor. A great time is always had by all.

I can remember many great parties at my Tia's house. The most recent party that I attended there was for Sabina. We went in March of 2004. The family threw a birthday party for Sabina. Sabi's birthday is in August. My Tía Yaya wanted the party for Sabina then though because she said that they had never had the opportunity to celebrate with her.

It was probably one of the best parties ever. She got to see ALL of the family, have a SUPER time with her cousins and best of all, she got to sit down with her Tía Yaya and read her 2 new books in Spanish to her.

Favorite Memories of Tía Yaya:
- Cleaning Rice - Tía Yaya can't help out around the house anymore since she is getting older. She still insists on cleaning the rice though before her daughter, my Prima Edi cooks it.

Tia Edy

She takes out the bandeja, pours all the rice on it and then sorts out the bad grains from the good ones. What makes this interesting? She does all of this while she leans her chair up against a wall on only 2 legs. I am always afraid that my poor Tia's chair will slip and she will get hurt - not a chance!

- Shopping For Tia Yaya - One time Tia Yaya sent me shopping for her. Now, shopping in Panama is a WHOLE different experience than shopping here. Well, it is for my family at least. They shop for the meal - not in bulk. I was sent on a simple mission. I was told that I needed so much butter and so much of a carrot. (I was give finger measurements!) Well, I was too embarrassed to ask the store clerks at the corner store for just a bit of butter and carrot. I thought that it would be perfectly fine to buy a whole carrot and a whole stick of butter. I came home and gave the items to my Tia Yaya. She sent me right on back to the store to return the part of the carrot that she didn't need as well as the part of the butter that she didn't need. I sure learned my lesson!

- Chats - Probably the best thing of all is just sitting down with Tia Yaya. Sometimes we talk and other times we just sit and stare at the people walking by or going into the Pananderia/laundromat across the street.

Yaya and the Giants!

This weekend my dad is throwing a party in honor of my Tia. I am unfortunately unable to go. Hopefully I will be able to get to see my Tía Yaya sometime this year. We will see...

¡Feliz Cumpleaños Tía Yaya! Te quiero mucho.


Teragram said...

Happy birthday, Tia Yaya! She sounds like a wonderful woman, what a lovely story. Thanks for brightening the day, Kelly.

paz said...

¡Feliz Cumpleaños Tía Yaya! What a nice sounding Tía, you have. A nice family! I trust that everyone had a fun time at the party!