My grandparents were so different from each other. My maternal grandparents, German immigrants, blended right in. Though grandpa was more of a loner, grandma Helen had all kind of friends. She didn't just stick with the German community. She spoke Yiddish, Polish, German and English fluently. Though she and grandpa had the usual German accent (plauduich in their case) both were easy to understand.
My paternal grandparents, Lithuanian immigrants, stayed with their own. Grandma Anella never learned English because all her friends and all the stores she shopped in there in Williamsburg were Lithuanian speaking. It was almost impossible to communicate with her. She had no interest in blending in in any way. Grandpa Rukas spoke English because he worked all his life and had no choice but to learn English. I'm sure that community of Lithuanians are now long gone.
Another interesting thing just came to mind. Grandma Helen took to the American diet like ducklings take to water. She made what everyone else made. Grandma Anella only had Lithuanian food in her home. Food she knew in Vilnius.
Sadly for my grandfathers they worked in foundries there in Bklyn. Both developed lung disease that shortened their lives. Otherwise both had no health issues. No OSHA in those days.
Pneumonia killed Helen in her 60s. She was otherwise healthy. Anella died of heart failure in her 60s. She refused to change her diet and seldom would see her Dr. She didn't want to take medication. I assume she had arteriosclerosis and probably high blood pressure because of her lifelong salty fatty limited diet.
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