When I was a child, my children 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 impression of camping but nonetheless having a comfortable bed to sleep in at night. The only real drawback was an outhouse which was fifty per cent of a block from the cottage and not a fun trip at night. My mother solved this by developing a “honey pot” that people all used at night and one of us emptied in the morning (although I suspect my mother ended up with the job most often).
Later in the day, our light came from kerosene lamps and a large 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 tiny table in the middle F95zone. We played gin rummy, 500 rummy and schmier, a game that I recall like a little like bridge. (If anyone knows just how to play smear, please contact me because I desire 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 certain that has been better; the card games or the quiet evenings with family. However, I grew up treasuring both.
Sooner or later, we added Monopoly to the list but I had a love/hate relationship with that game. If you’re winning, it’s great. Your houses lined the board and the stack of money in front of you grew larger every time someone shook the dice and landed on your property F95zone. But if you missed purchasing the most effective properties, every shake of the dice put you further and further in debt – perhaps a bit like real life! I couldn’t handle the slide into poverty and was usually very relieved when I lost all my money and could quit the game.
Of course, Scrabble was always a popular but, whilst the youngest, I was only a little handicapped by my vocabulary. During the time, I didn’t find out about short words like Qi. Xu, Qua and Za that suit into small spaces and earned a lot of points F95zone. Today I play Scrabble each and every day online with friends and use these words regularly although I need to admit that I still do not know what they mean.
In college, I was introduced to Bridge. I watched friends playing; listening to their bids and studying their plays. When I met Barry, my husband-to-be, I’d only played several 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 kid; these couples were four or five years over the age of me and actually lived in houses, as opposed to dormitories. By the end of the evening, I was feeling more confident and felt my bridge playing have been pretty good. When we were in the automobile, 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 proper way.
For many years, we played party bridge with twelve friends have been, for the absolute most part, at exactly the same level as us. Each of us rotated around three tables and different partners. However, there is one man in the group who took the game very seriously. Being his partner meant opening yourself to 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 a military base in Japan during the time and a friend asked me to replacement for her in a once-a-week duplicate bridge game while she stopped to truly have a baby. By this time, my bridge game had vastly improved and I immediately said yes. But I soon discovered that game had hardly any 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.