Behold the Flight of the Bubbes: Local Jews Migrate South for Winter

November 24, 2014, 12:20 PM by  Danny Fenster

My "Bubbe Lil" at Metro Airport Sunday.

In the Jewish suburbs of Oakland County, the snowbirds are ready for flight.

Bubbes and Zaydes, as grandmothers and grandfathers are known in Yiddish, are migrating south for the winter.

My own grandmother, "Bubbe Lil," set out this Sunday, after my father and I took her to Detroit Metro Airport, delivering her for flight, like a bird.

She and others were caught off guard this year by the early chill. For some, it was the first snow they'd seen in decades. Normally, most are long gone by the time the white stuff falls.

Whatever the case, it's instinctive. Temperatures drop. Daylight shrinks. Bubbes and Zaydes begin the long journey southward, guided through migratory flyways by the sun and the stars and, well, Delta, to ancient wintering spots in Boca and South Beach and Ft. Lauderdale.

There, the herring and smoked salmon supplies surge.

It will be months before they are seen again in Michigan, the earliest in April, before they are heard again, in the delis of  Southfield and West Bloomfield, griping about the salt content of the soup.

Behold: The flight of the Bubbes.

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