|Family games - mischief made legal|
On the ranch in the evenings, particularly the long, winter evenings, opportunities for entertainment were few.
If there wasn't anything on the one TV channel, you pretty much had to come up with your own.
Entertainment, I mean.
This meant music (the make-your-own variety), which we practiced with more or less success. Mostly less.
Reading. My own personal favourite.
Having a drink with the hired men in the bunkhouse. Probably the least recommended for us kids.
Or games and/or puzzles.
Usually we went with games and/or puzzles. One didn't get a lecture from one's parents when one played games and/or puzzles . . .
We had several favourites.
Scrabble. A word game which aimed for word construction creativity.
But only good for four of us six players.
Probe. Another word game. This one, disclosure being the goal.
Boggle. (Or if we were feeling daring, Big Boggle.) Another word game . . .
Huh. I just realized that we played a lot of word games. And three of us ended up being writers.
Go figure . . .
Bridge. A card game played by four players. Unless you're from Southern Alberta where it is played by forty tables of four players.
But that is another story . . .
Rook. A card game resembling bridge and also played extensively in Southern Alberta. (Also known as 'Apostate Rook' if you played 'One High' . . . according to my husband.)
Rummoli. Poker and sequence, all rolled into one happy package.
And finally, the apex of games, Monopoly.
The ultimate in Stringam family fun.
And won, inevitably, by Jerry.
Not that he tried. Or even appeared to try.
He hummed, sang, bounced his knee rhythmically, talked, told jokes and CLEANED OUR CLOCKS.
Almost every time.
Why did we keep on playing? Good question.
Inevitably, I would end Monopoly with a tiny little hoard of cash, very tiny, clutched in one hand as I stared with dismay at my little shoe, parked firmly on Park Place or Boardwalk.
Each with their large, expensive hotel. And each with Jerry's smiling face behind them.
I would hand over my little pile, along with the last of my properties, and quietly fade into the sunset.
Moving on . . .
Puzzles posed a bit less competition.
A more relaxing way to spend time together. Visiting was permitted. Even encouraged. But minutes could go by with soft music playing in the background and not one word said.
Our family's evenings now consist of visiting or playing cards.
Or watching movies.
Not too different from those I experienced growing up.
It's a good thing.
* * *On a different note:
Delores of The Feathered Nest gave me an award!
The Semper Fidelis award. (It means Always Faithful or Always Loyal.)
I am humbled and thrilled!
Now it's my turn to pass this magnificent award to five other bloggers whom I find especially entertaining or inspirational.
There are of course, rules to follow in accepting this award.
1. Add the Semper Fidelis Award logo to your blog.
2. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
3. Nominate five bloggers whose loyalty and friendship you value and who you consider being part of your 'wolf pack'.
4. Post something special for each one of your nominees and dedicate it to them such as a quote, picture, poem, saying etc....something you think pertains to that person.
5. Let your nominees know that they are nominated.
So here goes . . .
1. Middle-Aged Mormon Man. Or MMM for short. Enormously entertaining, insightful AND inspirational, all rolled into one fun package. Does it get any better?
2. One Sister's Rant. Bella takes the everyday and makes it extraordinary! With the added bonus of photographic imagery, it's a peaceful, wonderful, restful place.
3. Home on DeRanged. I've only recently discovered this little gem! Melissa takes the everyday of family raising and makes it fun, funny and entertaining. I seldom leave her blog without a smile.
4. Undiagnosed But Okay. Another recent discovery! Kerri takes us on a journey through daily life with two sweet little girls, one of whom has special struggles. Totally inspirational!
5. Coffee Row. My older brother's blog. More stories of growing up on a ranch in Southern Alberta in the 50s and 60s. I just had to mention this because he remembers things WAY better than I do. And makes them so much funnier . . .