Posted tagged ‘sweet summer smells’

“Trust everybody, but cut the cards.”

July 21, 2014

The sun never showed yesterday; in fact, it poured most of the afternoon. Gracie and I watched from the front door. The air smelled sweet, of grass and flowers and summer rain.

Today is yesterday’s twin with cloudy skies and a dampness which makes for a cool day. Gracie and I have a dump trip ahead of us and my laundry is nearly finished. Already I am more industrious than I have been the last few days.

Yesterday the red spawn was back. It was sitting in a feeder out of the rain eating my sunflower seeds. I could only see its tail hanging down outside the feeder so I knew he wasn’t looking so I got the hose and sprayed the opening of the feeder where the tail hung. That spawn set a new record getting out of the feeder onto the closest branch and jumping from branch to branch to get away. It, of course, tried again later so I sprayed it and it ran.

Growing up, I played all sorts of board and card games with my family. Every Christmas we’d get a new board game, sometimes new to us and sometimes to replace the one we’d worn out by playing it so much. The other night I dragged out my Go to the Head of the Class Game, and we played. The questions are divided by age, and many of the questions are tough or tricky. One of my friends stayed in kindergarten just about the whole game which was cause for a great deal of laughter and lots of harassment. Sorry is still a game we play every week. It is an I love it/I hate it game depending upon what happens. Even if you think you are in position to win, you could be very wrong and end up with a man starting all over again. That’s I hate it part which generally causes just a bit of foul language. We have decided it is the best game.

My parents taught us whist, and we played often. We played casino and fan tan, also card games. Many weekend nights we sat at the kitchen table playing game after game of hi lo jack, and that remains one of my strongest memories. I can still see the smoke-filled kitchen, the bar set up on the counter and the players sitting around the table. Usually my uncle, my mother’s brother, was there and sometimes my aunt, my father’s sister, was also there. My aunt was competitive, and my dad, also competitive though he didn’t admit it, always harassed her when he beat her. He was the master at driving her crazy, and the rest of us loved it. Once my dad fell off the bench onto the floor, but he never dropped a card. He held on to his hand even through the fall and from the floor offered his card for the turn he was playing. Come to find out he had wrenched his back somehow and a spasm had dropped him to the floor. That feat of holding on to his cards cane continuing to play even through the pain became part of family lore and has been passed down the generations.

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