Vol. 12


Rivka’s Daily Journey

1950s; the Bronx, New York, New York, USA"Rivkas Daily Journey" illustration: A woman stands looking up at a long flight of stairs, a shopping bag on the floor on either side of her

Anytime you would walk into my great-great-grandmother Rivka Buls’s house, the soup would be cooking on her stove, smelling as lovely as a field of roses, ready for its long journey the next day.

Rivka Buls, whom I am named after,1 was only 4 foot 11, but she was a strong woman. Every day she would go to the Beth Abraham nursing home in the Bronx — no matter what the weather. Rivka would start her journey every day packing up heavy glass jars of soup and chicken, and stuffing them into her cloth shopping bags. Then she would trudge all the way to the el train. The el train was a train that ran on tracks elevated above the ground. Since the train was above ground, Rivka had to climb up all the steps to the train with her bags of all the food. Since she was a small woman, she would have to stop every few steps to catch her breath.

Then Rivka would take the train. She would get off the train and have to walk down all the steps. When she got to the bottom of the steps, she started walking again. As she kept on walking, she had to stop every few blocks.

She would get to the nursing home and see the familiar faces waiting to be fed. She would feed the people, no matter how they looked or what had happened to them, because some of the people had injuries that made it hard for them to eat. The nurses didn’t have enough time to deal with all of them. After all the food had been eaten, Rivka was ready to begin her journey back home.

My great-great-grandmother was always trying to do good. She got an award for her work at the Beth Abraham nursing home. She was a great woman and left an impact on everyone who knew her through all of her good deeds.

Keira Kahn; New York, USA

Illustrator: Camille Elise O’Dwyer; Missouri, USA


1. In addition to her English name (Keira Grace), the author has a Hebrew name: Yakira Chana Rivka.



This copyrighted story may be copied and/or printed for limited classroom or personal use. To reprint this story in an article about The Grannie Annie, please contact The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration for permission.


Return to Vol. 12 Stories page



Built by Hen's Teeth Network