Game Night

April 15 – I have always enjoyed good music, ever since I was a little kid with my mother playing the old, old piano, with such fervor and joy that we all sang along with her. But, guess what? She had never had a lesson in her entire life, but if we sang a line or two, she could play that piece of music just as if she had. Her dad was a musician in Germany and must have passed on the talent to his kids, as most of them could play with the music book in front of them, and others, like Mom, with no music at all. All of our family was familiar with the great composers and their works, and it’s still a real joy to listen to that music.


[ Dominoes, anyone?

And board games – we loved board and table games. From the time I could recognize numbers and letters, I played with the whole family. Dominoes were a real favorite, and even before we started school, we could figure out the score, starting first with double sixes and then quickly moving on to nines, and later even twelves!

Both Mom and Pop joined in the fun, and had enough patience to bear with us until we could really play a good game. Sometimes we played with partners; other times we were on our own.

We soon found out that we could play another kind of game with those dominoes, one we had made up ourselves! “Shoot ’em down dominoes,” was the name one of my brothers gave to it. Each of us set up a row of ten dominoes standing on end in front of us. Then we each took three dominoes, and making sure they were behind the line on the carrom board, we put our “shooter” down in front of us, then held the other two dominoes tightly against the shooter, and aimed it the other dominoes in the rows of our opponents. Whiz! If we had a good aim and a good speed, we could watch at least one of the opponent’s dominoes fall flat.

Usually four of us played together, choosing partners before we began. (I was a little bit sad when one of my brothers quickly chose another brother as his partner, leaving only a third brother and me. What did he say? Something like, “Well, I guess I’ll have to play with “anybody” so I’ll HAVE to choose Sis.” Maybe you can guess why I tried and tried to become the best “partner” so I wouldn’t hear that sad remark any longer.


[ Games, games, and more games ]

As we grew up, we played Scrabble, Chinese Checkers (which I did NOT enjoy), Password, Sorry, Pit, Millionaire, UNO, Twister, Mind Trap, and more. (I just made a quick trip to the game closet to see what I had forgotten). In those early days, there weren’t many Bible games, but we did have Bible Trivia and really enjoyed it. Today, Dale and I play Rummikub just about every night before we go off to bed. Most of the other games are more fun if there are more players. Sometimes if we find that some of the rules make our play much too easy, we make up our own, and enjoy going beyond what is expected of the usual players.


[ Our 75-year-old carom board ]

I mentioned our carrom board earlier when I was writing about playing dominoes. Now carroms really appealed to my brothers (and I later found out that it is one of Dale’s favorites). At first we had no “stick” to use, but put our finger and thumb together behind our “shooter” and let the carrom go zinging on its way, hopefully to put one of those wooden rings into the pocket (four of them, one on each corner). Sometimes, if the carrom were close enough to our boundary line, we could put our shooter just behind it, and, coming down with three fingers, might be fortunate enough to bag a carrom or two.


[ Don’t miss your cue ]

Then came the time of the cue stick, when everyone had one of those long pieces of wood to put behind the shooter and send it off, hopefully once again to put some carroms into the pocket. I never did very well at that game, but sometimes, maybe one out of fifty chances, I would win! Me! Win! I don’t think my brothers—or Dale later on—could ever believe such a thing. Pretty cool now to think back on those rare wins.

Well, back to the beginning. I am glad that we have so many jobs to take care of, so many visits to make, so many e-mails to write, and so much to learn (with the problem of forgetting, as well, thanks to our age!) that we won’t need to sit and sigh and wish for the good old days. Those days are with us every day as we are able to pop out of bed in the morning and keep going till bedtime and beyond! What rich blessings we are given from day to day! – CHRIS

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