“Life is more fun if you play games.”

When I woke up, it was cloudy. That was almost a couple of hours ago. Now, every now and then, the sun is breaking through the clouds. My weatherman, aka Hey, Google, said 50˚ and partly cloudy today. The optimist in me would have preferred partly sunny.

When I was a kid, my family played games together. My parents taught my brother and me to play whist. It was always the girls against the boys, and the girls almost always won which irritated my father. He blamed my brother and wanted to trade partners for me. I wasn’t having it. My father was a in-game yeller. We played dominoes. I was the only kid I knew who could play the game and not just use dominoes as building blocks. Sorry was our favorite game. Our killer instincts were in play, and a Sorry card was the weapon of sorts. We could send any opponent’s man back to start. When I was young, a scream was the reaction. Now curses, vile curses, have taken the place of screams.

I learned to play cribbage by watching my father play my brother. I wasn’t very good at first, and, to his delight, my father usually won. Fast forward: I became competitive and knew the game. When I visited my parents, my father always wanted to play cribbage. I did too. We sat at the kitchen table where we played at least a couple of games and more than that if my father hadn’t won. He always said I was lucky. He also said he was the better player. I always scoffed. My favorite games were when I skunked him. I’d cheer for myself and raise my arms in triumph. He’d immediately demand another game. My favorite times were when we traveled. My father and I played cribbage just about every night after dinner. We had bought our cribbage board in Ireland as we had forgotten to pack one, a mortal sin. The only board we could find tilted a bit. That board traveled everywhere with us. We played on planes, and boats, in parks and hotel bars.

In my memory drawers, I remember those cribbage games we played overseas as my favorite among the hundreds of cribbage games we played. It didn’t matter if I won, okay it mattered a bit, but what mattered the most was I was playing the game with my father. We made memories together. I remember in Germany my mother read while my father and I played . He’d have a drink, my mother always packed whiskey. We’d eat some crackers and cheese from packs with yellow cheese, Ritz crackers and a small wooden spreader. My mother packed those too. We usually played until bedtime when I’d say goodnight and go to my room. I always slept well even if I lost.

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

  1. hedley Says:

    My grandfather taught me how to play cribbage. Whenever we would visit him in Bognor Regis he would set some time aside to play. I know that i still have the board, pegs and cards but it has been many decades since I actually played. However, any mention of the game brings back nothing but happy memories of my Grandfather

    Heading to Texas on Sunday, and going to Galveston. We are meeting our son and his family so I have a week with our 11 month old Grand daughter. Perhaps enough years have passed by that I can reflect that i am now the Grand parent and not the grand child

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I don’t know what happen3ed to that cribbage board. I thin my mother put it away, but I looked and never found it. I loved the boards tilt.

      Hard to believe your granddaughter is already 11 months old. That went really fast. Have a wonderful trip! Enjoy!!

  2. Christer. Says:

    Sunny all day here and the wind had calmed down so it was quite pleasant for once. It’ll stay just below 50 all week but nights might get rather chilly they say.

    I’ve never played cribbage, only heard about it but I have of course played Sorry 🙂 The only game where I feel it’s ok to be brutal towards the loosing ones 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!


    • katry Says:

      It stayed chilly but the sun came out so I was happy.

      I so agree with you and Sorry. It is the perfect game to ruffle opponents. Brutality is perfectly acceptable, even encouraged.

      Enjoy your day!

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    My father tried to teach me to play cribbage. I could never get the counting thing. That whole 15/2 15/3 whatever confused me. But he and my middle brother played together a lot. I did used to play dominoes with him once in a while. Mostly my father played it with his friends. I think I gave the cribbage board to my brother years ago but the domino set is still upstairs in Scary Room 2. At camp we played whist sometimes but mostly we played Pokeno. Whenever I see a gibbous moon, I think it resembles a slightly bent pokeno chip. My mother liked to play hearts. I still have the hearts board my grandfather made for her. I have no idea how to play hearts. My game was canasta.

    I was going to say it’s sunny here until I looked out the window to check. It’s more brightly cloudy right now.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      Never a 15/3. I didn’t ever learn canasta. I played it only once. Whist was the game at college but it was kitty whist which my family never played. My father thought it a silly game if you had to count on a kitty.

      Dominoes is fun. I taught it to some friends who taught to other friends. I have a really old game of dominoes I’ve probably had for over 20 years. I play dominoes on line but find the games a little easier than real people.

      I remember Pokeno. We used to joke my parents played with us on Friday when we got our allowances so they could win the money back.

      We had partially sunny all afternoon.

      Have a great evening!

  4. J Says:

    Like others here, I learned cribbage from my father, an accountant. It was one of the few things we did with each other that lasted more than a half hour…Last year I began playing again with an old friend, spending time on his porch by the side of the Susquehanna river, which is about forty feet wide as it passes his yard.
    Anyway, since thisw is Kat talkin’ cribbage, I went looking for a song:
    Knowing nothing about the band, I found this :
    “Coventry Live | 18 OCT 2013 | coventrytelegraph.net
    Meet on the Ledge celebrate 21 years on the folk scene By Pete Willow
    Folk-rockers group “Meet on the Ledge” will celebrate 21 years in music next Friday, 25 October 2013. The Warwickshire group makes a return appearance at the Civic Hall in Stratford. The band first played there in 1995, and their annual concerts have sold out year after year.
    Taking its name from the famous Fairport Convention hit single, “Meet On The Ledge”, the band features original members Ron Holmes on vocals and guitar, Allen Maslen on lead guitar and Phil Dipple on bass. They are joined on drums by recent recruit Phil Vickers, who has appeared with Badfinger, Clifford T Ward, Steve Gibbons and Rick Wakeman.
    Ron and Al started as a duo on the Working Men’s Club circuit in 1992 before breaking into the folk scene. Despite various line-up changes, the distinctive sound and character of the band has proved a constant hit with Cropredy, Warwick and Godiva among their successful festival appearances.
    They will be playing songs from their five studio albums, including their latest and well-received release, Long Shadows.
    The show starts at 7.30pm and tickets are available from 01789 207100.
    [FYI: Coventry is oner the coventry Canal, SW of Birmingham England.]”

    • katry Says:

      I love this song. I tried to find a song about cribbage but didn’t. This is the perfect song

      I didn’t know it was called the nob for a long time. My father always called it the right jack so I did too.

      This is an amazing sound. Thanks for all the background on this group. I’m surprised they have been around so long, and I never found them. Thanks!!.

      I will hunt down some more of their music. I’m in awe of a group which sings so beautifully a song about cribbage

  5. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    My family weren’t game players at all. We didn’t play cards but my sister and I would play Monopoly for hours. Sometimes we followed the rules but usually we went off track and made things up. My father in his latter years would sit at his desk and play solitaire over and over while keeping score as to how many hands it took until he won.

    Today, is warmer with temperatures in the lower 80° range but with cloudy skies and a strong Southwest wind.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      I got a chuckle out of your playing Monopoly as it is my least favorite game because it takes so long to play. My friend loved Monopoly so his wife and I said we’d play for his birthday. We were losing so badly to him my friend would tuck money between the $200 bills. We still lost!!

      It was chilly today, but it did stay sunny.

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