My Grandma’s friend Delia



My grandma was Ukrainian.

She had a best friend I remember

her name was Delia or Adelia.

She was Italian. Or as my

Grandma said Eyetalun.

The people who lived

in their own part of

town, by their

own choice.

Big houses.



Delia, or Adelia, and her hubby Tony.

I remember her cookies. The snacks.

I remember going to water her

flowers when they went away

for part of the summer.

There were SO MANY.

Their yard full and

steep. And bright.

I remember

her smile.


In the valleys of BC they seemed very far.

Farm from the sunny hills of their homeland.

Their accents not so different, to me,

from my own Grandma’s sound.

They were brazen, Catholic, but

Grandma loved them anyway

her prejudices put aside for

her one dear friend.  It

was a different time.

When outside of

the culture or

church could

mean a NO

to being

a friend.


I remember them playing cards.  Drinking rum

and coke. Laughing in low voices at grown up jokes.

I’m sure some were quite dirty, but not SO

dirty as to be a sin. Just a little bit on the

side of naughty. By today’s standards

they would be quite tame, even PG.

But back then – WOW! And it was

a time when you dressed up

to go out. And did they

love to dress up.

And there was

music too!


Delia, or Adelia, and her husband Tony,  moved.

Once maybe, or twice, and the yard rivalry went wild.

Grandma and her had to out-do each other.

Blooms and greens, planters and white

plastic animals. Each yard louder.

Like a visual polka dancing

across town to a singular

floral beat, blending

both cultures,



For dVerse we travel to all things Italian. Which brought me to my Grandma. While serving treats to the card players tonight I remembered being her helper serving at her card parties as a child. I felt so grown up. So important. Keeping the plates full and hearing the laughter. The best thing was, of course, that they forgot to send me to bed!  I stayed up until I was too tired and made my own bedtime.  I hope you enjoyed this, and I hope you stop by and enjoy the other poets and their poetry.


  1. brian miller said,

    October 14, 2013 at 1:13 am

    ha. visual polka dancing…its pretty cool how life brings together friends even across cultural norms…she sounds like a fun lady…well i guess both of them…some cool memories shanyn

    • shanyns said,

      October 14, 2013 at 1:29 am

      Thanks Brian! They were cool ladies – in some ways so very different and yet when it came to cooking and planting flowers they were soul sisters before we even knew what that meant! 🙂

  2. Grace said,

    October 14, 2013 at 1:32 am

    Those are precious memories ~ Playing cards, hey ~ I remember my folks playing majhong in the afternoons ~ Have a lovely thanksgiving ~

    • shanyns said,

      October 14, 2013 at 1:53 am

      🙂 Love those memories. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  3. claudia said,

    October 14, 2013 at 3:48 am

    smiles…cool when the grown ups are so busy that they forget to send the kids to bed – i can imagine how much fun it must have been… cool as well on their friendship across social barriers and how they inspired each other as well

  4. Gabriella said,

    October 14, 2013 at 6:57 am

    I enjoyed reading the portraits you drew of your grandma and her friend, the music, games, drinks. “her prejudices put aside for / her one dear friend.” – a lovely line.

  5. Miriam E. said,

    October 14, 2013 at 9:30 am

    ha, quite a character you introduce to us here… love the imagery and the way you displayed it… cascades down the page, wonderful. love the ‘loud yards’!! beautiful.

  6. October 14, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Your imagery is so breath-taking and your words have a character to them that makes the reader have a full of imagination. 🙂

  7. October 14, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    What a heart warming story… smeill and taste Italian.. and that rivalry.. I can see those gardens.. amazing and fun read (and I love the lines about those dirty jokes.)

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