Got Game?

When we figured out that the perpetrator was Colonel Mustard who went after Mrs. Peacock with a Candlestick in the Conservatory we knew we were playing games hooked. Until then we had no “Clue.” After several games we got that putting hotels on the Boardwalk Square in Monopoly was going to cost anyone who landed on it a couple of the orange and yellow monopoly money. Ah! The days of sitting on the floor with our friends and playing Jacks, scraped hands aside, were so much a part of our “Wonder Years.” The days when getting up from the floor could be done with a quick sprint in the absence of a knee jerk and holding onto something to level ourselves. You with me?
So many of the old adages are now living at our front door. Cliches that we never got, couldn’t internalize or just weren’t ready for have now come into play with regularity. Fortuitously, they serve as the bettor at our Mah-jongg table and the leathered decorated card turner at our Canasta games. More forgiving and grateful with less of a focus on verbalizing differences seems to be our new posture. We sit down and the magic occurs. First game out we adjust our seat, call on our strategy and throw the dice or deal the cards. We leave so much more to chance. No more rebuffing what is, just fact and acceptance feel like the right paths to take. We flinch at the first interference in our game of Life–and in turn almost welcome it. A phone call from a friend’s daughter sharing the joy over their daughter’s ballet recital, is typical. An interruption because the dentist needed to move our appointment up a half an hour, or the bell ringing when the handyman comes to fix the window that is stuck, is how it goes. We pool our woes and share our joys. We take home the name of a good dermatologist and flatter one another when we admire a new pair of very cool boots. We are the lucky ones who have turned happenstance into “sheer” delight.

My parents had an activity with their weekly Canasta group called “Coffee and…” I am now getting that the “and” was so much more than chocolate bridge mix or babka. Yes mama, I’m counting sevens and aces, remembering to take the Talon and looking three cards back not to throw the deck.

I love our “and.” When I was younger and had pieces of chicken, I would eat the wings last. I savored the best for then. I now sit down to our chicken lunch and go for the wings first. I rush thru my broccoli and cheddar omelette just to get the cards in my hands. I know that the real reason I enjoy our games so, is because they recapitulate my parents activity of continuity. Well here’s to so many more days of Mah-Jongg, Canasta “And.”

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