It’s winter here in our corner of Canada.
This means cold.
Fortunately, I like snow.
Though cold and I regard each other with suspicion bordering on outright dislike.
And now, I’m thinking about summer.
Because that’s how I roll . . .
When I was growing up in the Deep South . . . of Alberta, the kids of our neighbourhood played together.
There were running games.
Games of skill.
Games of brute force.
Games of pretend and make-belief.
And not one of them electronic.
In fact, the only thing that interrupted our play was the setting sun.
Or our parents calling us in to supper.
One of our neighbourhood favourites was a game we affectionately called, ‘Anti-I-Over’.
Okay, I don’t know where that name came from.
And maybe you played a similar game but by a different name.
But we loved it.
I will describe . . .
The game consisted of at least two players.
And a ball. Preferably a softball or something softball-sized.
Each player took up a position on either side of the house.
You heard right.
We were standing on either side of the house.
Where visibility was . . . limited.
Then the person with the ball would shout, “Anti-I –Over!” and throw the ball.
In an arc.
OVER the house.
The person on the other side would brace themselves, waiting for their first glimpse of the incoming ball.
Then run and try to catch it.
It took speed.
And lightning reflexes.
And a good arm.
Because it took a bit of oomph to get said ball over the house.
Oddly enough, no windows were ever broken in the playing of this game.
Although no few balls ended up in the rain gutter and had to be fished out by someone with authority.
And ladder skills.
This summer, I introduced my grandkids to this game.
We started simply.
One on either side of the pirate ship. (The one in our back yard. And yes, we have a pirate ship in our back yard. Don’t ask…)
One would yell, “Anti-I-Over!” and the other would brace for the retrieval.
They loved it instantly.
And played it for hours.
Happy sigh. My work here is done.