Growing Up With Cards and Games

When I was a child, my family had a cottage on a small lake in Northern Minnesota. It lacked both electricity and plumbing that has been fine with me; I liked the impression of camping but nevertheless having a cushty bed to sleep in at night. The sole drawback was an outhouse that was half of a block from the cottage and not really a fun trip at night. My mother solved this by creating a “honey pot” that people all used through the night and certainly one of us emptied each day (although I suspect my mother were left with the task most often).

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In the evening, our light came from kerosene lamps and a sizable brick fireplace. After my father, mother, brother and I came in from evening fishing (or on a rainy day), we played card games before the fireplace; kerosene lamps hanging overhead to light the little table in the middle. We played gin rummy, 500 rummy and schmier, a game that I remember as being a little like bridge F95zone. (If anyone knows just how to play smear, please contact me because I desire a tutorial!) I especially loved gin rummy and won more than my share of games but I usually couldn’t beat my father. Looking back, I’m not sure that has been better; the card games or the quiet evenings with family. However, I spent my youth treasuring both.

Sooner or later, we added Monopoly to the list but I always had a love/hate relationship with this game F95zone. If you’re winning, it’s great. Your houses lined the board and the stack of money before you grew larger every time someone shook the dice and landed in your property. But if you missed purchasing the best properties, every shake of the dice put you further and further in debt – perhaps a bit like actual life! I couldn’t handle the slide into poverty and was usually very relieved when I lost all my money and was able to quit the game.

Obviously, Scrabble was always a well liked but, since the youngest, I was a little handicapped by my vocabulary. During the time, I didn’t learn about short words like Qi. Xu, Qua and Za that fit into small spaces and earned lots of points F95zone. Today I play Scrabble everyday online with friends and use these words regularly although I have to admit that I still have no idea what they mean.

In college, I was introduced to Bridge. I watched friends playing; listening with their bids and studying their plays. When I met Barry, my husband-to-be, I’d only played a couple of times. Directly after we were engaged, he and I were invited to dinner and a bridge game at one of his married friend’s houses. I was nervous and felt like a young child; these couples were four to five years more than me and actually lived in houses, as opposed to dormitories. By the end of the evening, I was feeling well informed and felt my bridge playing have been pretty good. As soon as we were in the car, Barry turned in my experience and said, “Never, never bid a three card suit!” He married me anyway and even taught me just how to bid the best way.

For many years, we played party bridge with twelve friends who have been, for the absolute most part, at exactly the same level as us. Each one of us rotated around three tables and different partners. However, there clearly was one man in the group who took the game very seriously. Being his partner meant opening you to ultimately four hands of verbal abuse. I didn’t say anything during the time but this older and wiser version of myself would not have kept her mouth shut!

Once (and only once) I played duplicate bridge. We were living on an army base in Japan during the time and a buddy asked me to substitute for her in a once-a-week duplicate bridge game while she stopped to have a baby. By this time, my bridge game had vastly improved and I immediately said yes. But I soon discovered that this game had hardly any in accordance with party bridge. The area was deadly quiet, interrupted only with the sounds of quiet bidding at each table. The emphasis was on each hand and the score cards were kept meticulously. Also, the hands were carefully replaced for the following player.

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