Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Family Evenings

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 practised 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'. At least according to my husband.)
Rummoli.
Poker and sequence, all rolled into one happy package.
And finally, Monopoly.
The apex of games.
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.
And immediately challenge him to a rematch.
To which he happily complied.
Okay, I get it now.
It's just another example of the 'I'll get him next time!' mentality.
I never did.
Get him, I mean.
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.
Yep.
Relaxing.

Our family's evenings now consist of visiting or playing cards.
Or watching movies.
Not too different from those I experienced growing up.
Family time.
It's a good thing.


4 comments:

  1. There was always a card table set up in the living room with a puzzle underway. All hours of the day there would be someone, just passing by, who would put a piece in place. Gram always had her crochet/knitting/embroidery/tatting etc etc. Mom just always seemed to be busy doing something. Some nights the TV was never turned on. We had parcheesi, snakes and ladders, checkers, books, art supplies. Dad played the harmonica. Wonderful family times. thanks for reminding me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree... family time IS a good thing. It sounds like some pretty fun FHE's at your house. My dad always liked RISK so we went through a phase where we played that every week. After a few months we got pretty good and could beat him once in a while. If you could beat dad, you knew you were considered an expert! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Monopoly ... the source of all fights with my brother when I was a kid (and, actually, even some of them when we were older) ... he was CRAZY competitive with the game.

    It's so much nicer playing Monopoly Junior with my monkies :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh how I wish we could wipe out technology sometimes! As much as I appreciate the convenience of the computer and the mind numbing of a television program sometimes, I also so much love the moments of silence from these things.

    Our family has enjoyed so many great evenings playing games, sitting around a fire, getting out and walking or riding, etc.

    Parcheesi is a favorite of mine. Much to my chagrin our son loves Monopoly and Chess! Two games I dislike greatly!

    I am new to the NOBH crew. Loving your rustic fence backdrop here on your blog! Thanks for linking up with NOBH!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting! Drop by again!

All of My Friends

Daughter of Ishmael

Daughter of Ishmael
Now available at Amazon.com and .ca and Chapters.ca and other fine bookstores.

Follow by Email

Hugs, Delivered.

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?

Google+ Followers

Networked Blogs

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!
New Tween Novel!

Gnome for Christmas

Gnome for Christmas
The newest in my Christmas Series

SnowMan

SnowMan
A heart warming story of love and sacrifice.

Translate

My novel, Carving Angels

My novel, Carving Angels
Read it! You know you want to!

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic
What could be better than a second Christmas story?!

About the Mom

My photo

Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

Join me on Maven

Connect with me on Maven

Essence

Essence
A scientist and his son struggle to keep their earth-shattering discovery out of the wrong hands.

Essence: A Second Dose

Essence: A Second Dose
Captured and imprisoned, a scientist and his son use their amazing discovery to foil evil plans.

Looking for a Great Read?

E-Books by Diane Stringam Tolley
Available from Smashwords.com

The Babysitter

The Babysitter
A baby-kidnapping ring has its eye on J'Aime and her tiny niece.

Melissa

Melissa
Haunted by her past, Melissa must carve a future. Without Cain.

Devon

Devon
Following tragedy, Devon retreats to the solitude of the prairie. Until a girl is dropped in his lap.

Pearl, Why You Little...

Pearl, Why You Little...
Everyone should spend a little time with Pearl!

The Marketing Mentress

The Marketing Mentress
Building solid relationships with podcast and LinkedIn marketing

Coffee Row

Coffee Row
My Big Brother's Stories

Better Blogger Network

Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis
I've been given an award!!!

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award
My good friend and Amazing Blogger, Marcia of Menopausal Mother awarded me . . .

Irresistibly Sweet Award

Irresistibly Sweet Award
Delores, my good friend from The Feathered Nest, has nominated me!

Sunshine Award!!!

Sunshine Award!!!
My good friend Red from Oz has nominated me!!!

My very own Humorous Blogger Award From Delores at The Feathered Nest!

Be Courageous!


Grab and Add!

Search This Blog

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?