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Posts Tagged ‘Cribbage’

This picture is “Waiting for Grandad.”  Left to right we have, EMT, JCountry and Gaffer.  Pardon my over-crowded house.

Four men in the house and anytime that we can get all four in one room, a game happens.  The latest “greatest” game is 1942, Axis and Allies.  The challenge is getting them all in one room.

The first thing that happened was EMT disappeared.  Literally, disappeared.  He left, on Friday night, to go help with Bingo at the fire department and never returned.  He told me he might just sleep at the department, but would be home in the morning. 

EMT has a bad habit of not letting us know what he is doing.  He is twenty, so it is hard to complain; however, I have repeatedly explained to him that it is a matter of courtesy to let the people you live with know when to expect you back.  Heck, it is even a matter of your own safety, as we have a relative who died when his car flipped over and he wasn’t found for three days.  The first two days he lived. 

So, the first day EMT was missing, I grumbled about him all day.  I left the outside light on until 3am and then swore and went to sleep.  The second day, I began to worry a bit.  Late that day we called his friends.  Why is it no one is ever home when you call them for something really important?  Late that day we drove around.  No one was at the fire department.  No one was at his friend’s house. 

At seventy-two hours, we went to the police and filed a report on him, missing, in our car.   He has had a problem with a couple of guys and we were concerned they had cornered him and beaten him to a pulp and left him in the woods.  We drove around staring between trees for our red van.   Our County is wooded.

Two hours later, when we arrived home from the police station and driving around, for the second time, Gaffer decided to make a library run for books, movies and high speed.  Twenty minutes later, Gaffer calls and lets us know that he is parked next to our Red Van at the library, and will call if his brother is in the library.

YUP!  That’s where we found EMT, after seventy-two hours.  During the time he was missing, he had gone camping, torn apart a car with a friend, and made money scrapping the parts, done Christmas shopping, and gone to the library.  He really does not understand why we were so upset.  In the meantime, my hair is grey!!!

EMT, anticipating leaving for the Army in January, where he will be the problem of the U.S. Government and they can figure out where he is, brought home the Harry Potter Clue game.  He gave it to the family for Christmas and wanted to get a lot of gaming in before he left.  He also figured it was maybe a game I would play.  He was right.

Playing games is akin to having a kidney infection, for me.  I am more a knit and giggle with daughter, while games are going on, preferably with a glass of Bailey’s in hand, kind of gal.  There are now three games I will willingly play: Cribbage, Dominoes and Harry Potter Clue. 

I should be cleaning my piles of projects out of the front room and baking pies or cookies for our Thanksgiving dinner, instead I am blogging and listening to Gaffer speak with a Russian accent as he rolls his dice to defend Russia from Germany.  The are figuratively spitting at each other, I am told.  JCountry is Germany.  Gaffer is Russia.  Granddad is back in from his disappearance to my studio and all is well with our world.

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They say that people who are social live longer.  I cannot help it.  I am a loner and I have always been a loner.  My brother was six years older than me and my sister, 10 years older, grew up in the next state.  We lived on a half acre with empty lots on both sides and farmland in back.  Mom was very protective and there were not many other kids on our road either.  I am used to being alone.

I am sitting here watching the males of the house playing cards.  Since Gaffer came home, the table has been clean awaiting the nightly game marathon. It starts by 4:00pm.  EMT gets home from work by 6 and joins the game, no matter what it is.  Risk, Monopoly, Clue are favorite board games.  Pinochle is being taught to JCountry right now. 

I have no desire to join their game.  Anytime I have been forced to play, usually because they are short a person, I have spent my time, in my head, wishing I was doing something else; something that seems productive to me. 

Personally, laying in the grass watching patterns in clouds is more productive.  Usually, it becomes more productive because I run back inside and grab my camera and do a series of sky photos. 

My last series of photos, involved looking up into trees.  I think I have five good shots now to paint from.  The series before that, involved shadows.  So far, I believe I have only one shadow painting to do.  It needs more work.

I do enjoy an evening, or day, laughing and socializing with good people.  We had a wonderful evening, sitting around the fire in the back yard of my oldest daughter’s neighbor’s yard, not long ago.  I think most of my “good evenings” involve a campfire.

Maybe if they played cards outside, I would enjoy it more.  I have wonderful memories of playing chess and cribbage, by the fire, with my brother. 

Or, perhaps it is just that social people, who are playing games, feel as if they have lived longer.  I usually am saying, “will this never end?”

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I am the outcast in a family of game players.

 

Every Christmas, we travel to Masters Daughter’s house and the male members of the family spend five straight days playing games.  The younger ones extend the days into night by gaming with Play Stations and X Boxes, while the older ones keep it to a loud daytime activity of board games and card games.

 

Why is it that people have to rehash each and every hand after they play a game of cards?  These are the same children who cannot be bothered to do homework because, after all, they have passed the test and they have listened in class, so why go over it one more time? They would rather lower their grade, than turn in their homework.  But, they think nothing of spending fifteen minutes talking about who had which card, endlessly, all the while dealing out the next hand.

 

This year it was decided that the Clue game isn’t large enough so Gaffer is on a mission to extend the game to make it larger.  I’m with XUP,Patience Is My Middle Name « XUP and I’m sorry (well, not really) to link to her so often, but geez, how can you resist a line like this:

 

 

 

“Or wanting to pull your own internal organs through your own throat rather than play a board game.”

 

 

 

Confession time:  I do concede to play Dominoes and Cribbage.   My brother, David and I played Cribbage and Chess by the campfire and it is all good memories to me.  I’m so rusty on Chess that I would need a new teacher but I whomped Gaffer at Cribbage the other day and Army Boy and I are trying to figure out how to play Cribbage between Indiana and Kuwait. 

 

As far as dominoes:  It is a quick game.  Nobody rehashes what numbers they had for fifteen minutes and the dominoes themselves are very tactile.

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My dad and David during WW II

It is raining in central Indiana. Since I grew up in northwestern Indiana, this does not surprise me. It is the reason that all I want to do is stay in, drink hot oolong/Jasmine tea and curl up under a blanket with a good book.

 

Actually, I love the rain. One of my favorite memories is camping with my family in the rain. Sitting in my living room, I can smell the wet canvas and hear the sound of the tent zipper. My brother and I would play Cribbage by the fire, after the rain cleared, or while sitting at the picnic table, under a tarp. He also taught me to play chess. He loved games. I don’t.  I have a compulsion to create and, the whole time I am playing a game, I feel I am wasting time when I should be painting.  But, I do make an exception for Cribbage and chess and would give a lot to have one more game by the fire.

 

My brother, David, was under two when our dad went off to war. He, mom and our sister lived with our grandmother during this time.  David loved our Uncle Donald.  He followed him around like a puppy dog until Uncle Donald DeWitt shipped out. One day, he woke up from his nap screaming. Grandma and mom went running in to comfort him. He told them that Uncle Donald was hurt, and they put him in a jeep, and they drove him into the forest, and he was never coming back. David was inconsolable. My grandmother said, she knew right then that her son was dead. David’s dream was a warning for her.

 

It was true. Uncle Donald was fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. There was a company in the U.S. that ran out of gunpowder so they decided to try TNT (excuse me if I have the names of the powders wrong). Uncle Donald’s weapon exploded.  An ambulance was not available, so they put him on the back of a jeep to take him to the field hospital; through the woods. He was DOA.  When they received the death notice, the day of his death was the same day as my brother’s nightmare.

 

My brother was born six years before I was. I understand he liked to spoil me when we were little. I don’t remember much of that but I do remember that he was always there to listen, when the world seemed to be crushing me. I also remember him reading or listening to music. He would come to dinner with his nose in a book. In fact, one day he came out of his bedroom when mom had company, and the company asked her who the boy was, who was visiting. They had been to our home several times but he was always in his bedroom reading and they had no idea she had a son.

 

David went off to the Air Force and became a phlebotomist. Mr. Nasty Nice would draw blood, take bodily fluids, and test them. In those days, I believe they just put their thumb over the end of the test tube and shook it up.  However, you would incur his wrath if you took a drink out of his water glass.

 

 

When he signed up for military service, he got the deal to pick where he would be stationed after basic training. As any sane person would do, he chose Hawaii. He actually spent the last years of his service at Ernest Harmon Air Force Base in Newfoundland. The Air Force has quite a sense of irony, doesn’t it?

 

After he left the Air Force, my brother worked at a hospital lab in Illinois. His co-worker invited him to dinner one night and introduced him to her daughter, Terri. They married and had four wonderful kids. He was head of the lab at St. Margaret’s Hospital in Hammond, Indiana, until he got involved with computers.  It was a passion for him and when he became ill, he was able to work from home as he became more ill.

 

Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma took his life.  He fought it for two years.  As the disease progressed and the treatments took their tole, he developed a cough. One of the few things he could enjoy was eating lunch with friends in the hospital cafeteria. One day he was coughing in line and another hospital employee told him, “If you are that sick, you shouldn’t be here.” I kind of understand, but he wasn’t infectious and for the rest of the time he had left on earth, he ate lunch alone in his office.  Which was not right either.

 

People tend to panic on their fiftieth birthday. My brother didn’t.  He panicked when he turned forty. This was before they diagnosed his cancer. I joked that he should wait and get upset when he turned fifty. Something in him seemed to know he would never make it to fifty, and he didn’t.  He passed away in 1990. I miss him every single day; especially the rainy ones.

 

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