Once upon a time, long, long ago, before there was television and video arcades and other electronic entertainments, people gathered together and played games. I grew up in a family of inveterate, competitive gamers. My dad's clan was from Texas, and their game of choice was dominoes. They played Forty-Two, which needed a lot of dominoes and evidently required slamming the tiles onto the table. (I've never found anyone today who knows how to play Forty-Two.) The sound of dominoes being shuffled takes me right back to my Aunt Esta and Uncle Minyard's house. Aunt Jimmy and Uncle Clyde were part of the poker-playing circuit. Mother and Daddy had two sets of poker friends and each group met at one anothers' house a couple of times a month. It irritated Steve no end that I can fall asleep anywhere, anytime, just by closing my eyes. It probably comes from being taken to all those card games as a kid, falling asleep on strange beds, listening to the shuffle of cards and the clack of chips. Most of the other couples were childless, but I loved to go to the Hatches where there were kids to play with...and they were allowed to bounce on their beds! Mother was competitive to the nth degree. She and I once played Tiddly-Winks all night long because she wasn't winning, and I was just a little girl! Mother and my first mother-in-law didn't speak for years...until they discovered they both played Pinochle, and then they came for monthly card games at our house. I learned to play cards as soon as I could hold a deck, and Mother was no quarter asked, no quarter given. No concessions were given for age. As I told Kathryn, my Kids learned nine-ten-jack-queen-king before they went to school. My sister had seven Kids, I had four, and Mother would take on all comers, playing Gin and Five-hundred Rummy. As she got older, she'd play with a Kid until they got good enough to beat her consistently, and then she'd quit that one and go on to a younger child. She just hated to lose.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. The cards will come out as soon as the clan arrives. I can't wait!