Growing Up With Cards and Games

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

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At night, our light originated in kerosene lamps and a big brick fireplace. After my dad, mother, brother and I came in from evening fishing (or on a wet day), we played card games in front of the fireplace; kerosene lamps hanging overhead to light the small table in the middle F95zone. We played gin rummy, 500 rummy and schmier, a casino game that I remember to be a little like bridge. (If anyone knows how to play smear, please contact me because I require a tutorial!) I especially loved gin rummy and won significantly 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 had a love/hate relationship with this game. If you’re winning, it’s great F95zone. Your houses lined the board and the stack of money in front of you grew larger each time someone shook the dice and landed on your own property. But when you missed purchasing the most effective properties, every shake of the dice put you further and further in debt – perhaps slightly like actual life! I couldn’t handle the slide into poverty and was usually very relieved when I lost all my money and surely could quit the game.

Of course, Scrabble was always a popular but, because the youngest, I was a little handicapped by my vocabulary. At the time, I didn’t find out about short words like Qi. Xu, Qua and Za that fit into small spaces and earned a lot 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 had only played several times. After we were engaged, he and I were invited to dinner and a link game at one of is own married friend’s houses. I was nervous and felt like a kid; these couples were four to five years over the age of me and actually lived in houses, rather than dormitories. By the conclusion of the evening, I was feeling well informed and felt my bridge playing had been pretty good. The moment we were in the vehicle, Barry turned in my experience and said, “Never, never bid a three card suit!” He married me anyway and even taught me how to bid the right way.

For many years, we played party bridge with twelve friends have been, for the most part, at the same level as us. Each 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 at the time but this older and wiser version of myself wouldn’t have kept her mouth shut!

Once (and only once) I played duplicate bridge. We were living on a military base in Japan at the time and a buddy asked me to replacement for her in a once-a-week duplicate bridge game while she stopped to really have a baby. By this time around, my bridge game had vastly improved and I immediately said yes. But I soon found out this game had almost no in common 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 another player.

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