The games we played

I remember being very young, perhaps three or four. The light from my Grandma's small corner lamps bounced off the dark paneled walls. The folding card table was placed squarely in the room. Surrounding it were my Grandma, my mom, and various uncles and aunts. Their hands overflowing with cards, the table lined with rows of cards. They played games such as Pinochle and Canasta. Games with too many cards for my little hands to hold.

When it was my turn to play, we would play Go Fish and War. War was always my favorite because I was so good at winning!


As I grew older, cards continued to follow me through my life. Many nights I played Cribbage with my parents. I can almost hear my dad shuffling the cards. I can almost feel the soft, smooth wood of the board against my fingers. But the rules of the game have since slipped my mind.


When I was seven, I found my best friend. As we began to hang out more, I learned that her family loved to play cards as well. Her family could often be seen around their dining room table playing a game of Pinochle. It brought me back to the days of watching my own family play.

We could never quite figure out how to play the games the adults played, but her and I became quite good at playing 500 Rummy.


I will never forget a family vacation to a cabin in the woods when I was a young teenager. My best friend was allowed to join us and we were both so excited. The cabin was anything but small. The ceiling in the main room spanned 2 floors and the walls were lined with glass. My parents slept in the first floor bedroom with my younger brother, while her and I had free reign of the remaining four on the second floor. If we closed the door, we could talk and laugh into the wee hours of the night.

We would spend our time talking about friends and boys. While we talked, we always played a card game. We would play the fast-paced game of Spit, or the guessing game of Golf, and we always ended with 500 rummy.


One of those night in the cabin, that game of 500 turned into 1000, 1500, and on and on. We played until our eyes couldn't stay open for another second. We had heard noises in the woods. A loud bang, and a scream. Oh my goodness, what do we do? Waking my parents meant walking down the dark, narrow steps and through the tall open room. If there was a killer on the loose, surely he would see us through all of those windows. Quietly playing cards would surely make everything alright. And that's what we did. We finally fell asleep shortly before the sun woke up for the day.

To this day, my best friend and I get together as often as we can to play cards. We still play the same games. We still talk about friends and boys. We still laugh too loud.

I could tell you about playing Trouble as a child until we broke the popper. I could share a story about the time I agreed to play to long version of Monopoly with my dad, and it lasted a week.

I love games and I have played many in my life, but cards will always be what I turn to. They seem to bring out the best in the people who gather around them.







10 comments:

Elisa said...

I love your last line in this post. It is true that it isn't just about the game but the people who you play with. I played gin rummy with my grandmother, war and go fish with my sister and SPIT with my friends at summer camp. Now my kids want to play these games with me and memories will continue to be made.

Great post. Visiting from TDRC...

May said...

Dying to know if you discovered what the noises in the woods were!

Adelle Gabrielson said...

We always play cards when we go up to my parents cabin, too. Your memoir reminds me that it's about time to start teaching my 8 year old how to play! Well written, thanks!

mamatrack.com said...

This is such a lovely overview of your childhood. I love how you covered so much of it. What a fun way to pay tribute to the people in your life!

julie moore said...

Loved all the memories from your childhood. So good to have such good things to remember isn't it. Thanks for sharing. visiting from trdc.

Erin said...

The best thing about cards is you can take them anywhere. I always loved staying up all night with a friend. Every little noise was a ghost or an intruder.

From TRDC

KLZ said...

I used to walk around with a deck of cards in my purse so we could play when impromptu waits happened. With a toddler, that seems like an exercise in futility right now...but that day will come again.

Shell said...

I've always been a horrible card player. Never quite getting the rules.

Except for phase 10. I love that game. :)

Boobies said...

Awww! I love that you guys still hang out!

I'm not very good at cards..but it's not for my lack of trying..I can rock some Uno though. ;)

criticalcrass said...

when we'd travel to utah to visit with my mom's family, her mother and brothers would get together and play booray. to this day, i don't know how to play that game. they'd wait until we were in bed before playing it. and i remember lying there, listening to their laughter and enjoying the sounds of their camaraderie, and you are so right. cards are much better than board games. they're more relaxed, more social and less competitive, i think. not that i'm not eager to win when i play them, but it's so much more than that ...

good post, missy. :]

i'm doing a giveaway this week that you might like ...