“Life is more fun if you play games.”

Last night was cold, and today is chilly though the sun is warm. I envy Fern who is sprawled on the mat by the front door in the sun. Her fur is hot to the touch. Cats know how to live.

My tulips have bloomed. Their bright red is eye-catching. The hyacinths are pink and white and purple and are in the front garden where everyone can see them. My neighbor called and thanked me. She said she looks out her front window often to see how beautiful the colors in the garden are.

I only remember pansies from when I was a kid. They were the only flowers my father planted in the small garden near the front door. I loved their faces. To me they had eyes and mouths and different expressions and they all looked like they were wearing bonnets. I expected them to break out in song. Their voices I figured would be high like the voices in the old cartoons. They’d sing and bob their heads in unison.

When we were really little, my dad would lie on the floor and raise his legs just a bit. We’d get on his feet, stomach first. He’d then raise his legs all the way and up we’d go as high as his legs would take us. He’d hold our hands and spin us using his feet.  We’d laugh the whole time. The worse part was we had to take turns. Even this ride had a line.

I loved it when the whole family would jump into the car for a Sunday ride. My dad would pick back roads, and we’d see farms and cows and sometimes horses. My brother and I each had a window. On warm days I’d open the window, and stick out my hand so the wind could blow it.

When I was growing up, my parents did all sorts of stuff with us. I doubt they knew how important all of it would become, how it would become part of who we are now. They gave us a love for museums, the fun of taking a ride with no destination, and the best of all, playing games together at the kitchen table. Tonight my friends and I will play Phase 10 and Sorry, a game I’ve been playing since I was six.

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14 Comments on ““Life is more fun if you play games.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    Frosty cold night followed by a sunny and warm day, we reached 60F 🙂 The warmest day here so far this spring.

    Growing up in a family that had several members working as gardeners I did see many different flowers and remember many of them too 🙂 But my grandparents always bought pansies and petunias every year and my garndfather loved his tulips. He worked as a military during days and was a gardener in the evenings at our big amusement park in Gothenburg.

    If we went anywhere we wnt to a destination, but since my mother usually gets lost where ever she drives we saw plenty anyway 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • Kat Says:

      Christer,
      We were supposed to have a frost also, but I slept late, and it would have been gone by the time I woke up.

      I don’t remember gardens of flowers when I was a kid. There were flowers but not like now where yards are filled with them.

      My mother too often got lost. She and my sister would go places and wander around totally unaware of where they were and how to get where they were going.

  2. Bob Says:

    My dad played the same leg games with us. I never played them with my kids, but I am not a game player. I don’t enjoy card or board games. When I was a kid I could always beat my sister by cheating until she got older and figured out what I did and refused to play with me. I wonder if kids today even know what the Monpoly pieces represent. Does anyone iron anymore?

    • Kat Says:

      Bob,
      Playing games was a wonderful part of our family. We’d play at the kitchen table, and every Christmas we’d get one or two new games.

      No one ever cheated at games. That would have been considered the worst sin of them all.

      No more iron. It was retired and a cat took its place.

      • Bob Says:

        I guess wash and wear spelled the end for the iron. I assume the domestic house cat will never become obsolete 😉

        Today I see lots of kids playing games on hand held devices like iPads and iPhones. My wife likes to play games but she got bored beating me and now plays on line games with her friends on her iPad.

      • Kat Says:

        Bob,
        It is just more fun for me to play against real people, not a machine or people on a machine. My friend and I play every Sunday night, have appetizers while we play then watch The Amazing Race together. It’s a fun night.

  3. im6 Says:

    I never really appreciated all the games my dad played with me until I was much, MUCH older and it was too late and he was — poof — gone. Tossing footballs and baseballs in the yard. Casting our rods and reels in the yard and then later in ponds and rivers. Supervising all sorts of play as he coached my farm team baseball teams and enjoyed his role as scoutmaster for Troop 75. Where did he get such energy and enthusiasm? And how could I not appropriately appreciate such involvement in my youth? But let’s get real… if your dad’s the scoutmaster, you DO feel like you can’t get away with as much hanky panky as many of my fellow scouts did! He even chaperoned the troops’ train trip to the National Boy Scout Jamboree (Look! It’s President Eisenhower! Look! It’s Herb Shriner!) How I wish I could thank him for all those hours and hours of play we enjoyed together. Have you got any sevens? Go fish.

    • Kat Says:

      im6,
      I think he knew. When you caught the ball, cast the rod with him and enjoyed scouting, he knew.

      When I was older, an adult, my dad and I played too many games of cribbage to remember. If I want it was the luck of the cards. If he won, it was skill. I liked nothing more to skunk him. I remember winning 3 or 4 in a row and he wouldn’t get up from the tabs. “Another game, ” he’d say. He wanted to win at least one game!

  4. Birgit Says:

    Pansies have a funny name over here, it’s translated Little Stepmothers, I don’t know why.
    No sun today. The magnolia tree is in full blossom now, a great sight every year. I’m glad the buds survived the long winter.
    Help! Aliens are invading! (Just watching War of the Worlds-1953 on TV).

    • Kat Says:

      Birgit,
      I like that name.

      The sun didn’t come out here until late afternoon, but it was still chilly. I saw lots of forsythia in bloom when I went to the dump then for a short ride. They are so bright and pretty.

      I love that movie!!

  5. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    My father used to take us on drives as well. There was always a point to the drive even if there was no destination. Drive to western Mass or northern New Hampshire to look at fall leaves. Drive around our town and neighboring towns to look at Christmas lights. Drive to the Kancamagus so he could tell us he how he built it and show us where he was lost for three days on Mt Chocorua. 🙂
    I learned the art of the aimless drive and getting creatively lost from my father. I don’t get upset when I get lost. Sooner or later I will come to someplace I know.
    The popular games in our house, apart from Go Fish and Old Maid, were Cribbage, Dominoes, Canasta, Pokeno, Monopoly and Yahtzee. I still love Yahtzee but have forgotten the rest though a gibbous moon always reminds me of a slightly bent Pokeno chip. 🙂
    Rocky and I went to the lake today. Stuff is starting to leaf out along the Floral Way. It’s a lovely sight when it’s all in flower.
    Yellow pansies; gotta love ’em. 🙂
    Enjoy the day.

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      We did the Christmas lights every year but sometimes we just went for a ride, no destination in mind.

      My mother was the one who got lost. I could find my way almost instinctively as could my dad. My sister Sheila too would get lost. I take rides to paces I’ve never been for the fun of it. I never seem to get lost.

      We played cribbage, dominoes, Kismet, high-lo Jack, whist and a few board games. When we were little, we played the same games kids play now like Chutes and Ladders.

      I noticed buds on a few trees and the bright yellow forsythia when Gracie and I went to the dump and one other errand.

  6. Minicapt Says:

    Have you stood downwind of the hyacinths and taken a few deep breaths?
    … lilacs and petunias next month …

    Cheers


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