Like all parents, Papa and Mama were Droozy’s first teachers. Most of the time they were right, and of course they were good and wanted the best for their children.

Droozy’s parents taught her to pray at an early age. She would say her morning prayer: “Mode Ani” every morning, and the “Schema,” the evening prayer, every night. It made her feel good and safe. She felt secure that God was watching over her. She was taught not to steal or lie, another good lesson. She learned the ten commandments. She had memorized them all, although she did not know what some of them meant. She learned to stay away from mean people, but if she had to deal with them, to bribe them, to give them something that would keep them from their evil ways. Mama would tell her, “You must give the mean dog two bones to keep him from biting.” The child was also taught to not beg, and when offered something she learned to say “no, thank you” three times before she could accept it. That was very hard, especially when someone offered her cookies. It also didn’t work very often since some people would only offer something once and when Droozy refused they would not offer it again.

Droozy was taught to work hard, that it is a “Nevere”, a sin, to be lazy and to earn money and not to depend on other people to give you things or to do your job for you. Mama had a proverb that she recited: “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today,” and “tomorrow, tomorrow, please not today, say all the lazy people,” and “long threads, lazy girls,” meaning that if you use a very long thread to sew something, it is because you are too lazy to thread the needle often. Mama also taught that it is a good deed to give without being asked; to hand a sick person a drink of water; to give to those who cannot give anything back to you and not to expect things from others, but to be pleasantly surprised when you do get something.

Papa taught Droozy to be peaceful, that “sholom,” keeping the peace, is very important. He taught about “loshon horah,” not to speak evil about people, especially not if they are not present and cannot defend themselves; to give charity to those in need and to always be helpful. He taught the lesson of believing in God and to be religious.

There was one lesson Droozy ignored when she grew up. Papa had told her that she should not go to college, but rather to go to work to earn money because: “Refugee children have no business on college,” they should earn as much money as possible and not waste time sitting in school benches. Papa meant well, he did not understand the American way, that through attending schools a person gains knowledge and will get better jobs.

There were many more lessons that Droozy learned: To be kind to others, to treat the poor and others the same, to be helpful and to give to those in need.

   Just like Mr. Cartwright, the British social worker who had saved her family’s life so many years ago, Droozy became a social worker when she grew up. Like her mother before her, she got married and had three beautiful children of her own.

Pork Dumplings
Please Don't Eat the Goldfish
Pretty Shoes
Blueberry Cake
The Garden
The Red Rabbit
The Lost Bathing Tickets
What Shall I Do?  The Double Message
Pieces of Gold
Aromas of the Sabbath
The Birth of a Brother
Green Apples
Herr Kübler
The Broken Leg
Boarding School
The American Calendar
Suse Puppe
Shirley Temple Eyes
Kristallnacht Nov. 9, 10, 11
Aunt (Tante) Mathilde
Ice Skates
The Cologne Cathedral
The Escape
A Belgian Holiday
Gas Balloons and the S. S. Washington
The Statue
A Bad Dream
A Pencil Thief
The West Virginia Hills
Ice Cream, Grieben and Baked Spaghetti
The Gypsy’s Song
Venetian Blinds
The Deaf One
Dimmed Lights
Norma Mae
The Spelling Bee
Run, Thief, Run!
The Candy Store
The Birthday Party
Deep, Shallow Waters
Red Riding Hood
Small Mama
Droozy In Love
Eskimo Pies
Apple Picking Time
Working Days
Easter Baskets
Blind Joe
Lessons Learned From Parents
About the Author