Saturday, February 9, 2013

Hand and Foot

I love to play games...not the kind of games people play nowadays in relationships with other.  The kind of games I like to play involve cards, dice, letter tiles, giving clues and COMPETITION!  In my family, playing games is a long-standing tradition.  My Pe-Paw Stinson started it all, I guess.  He loved to play dominoes and cards.  Me-Maw & Pe-Paw were my daycare providers way back in 1953 when my mother went back to full-time teaching.  I can clearly remember sitting in the front room (that's what my grandmother called the living room) in his green chair by the window and playing dominoes for hours.  When he had a broken leg, we filled his cast with Tic-Tac-Toe games.  During the summers in Cedar Mountain, Pe-Paw loved to play a card game called Rook.  We still have the deck of Rook cards at the cabin.  My dad inherited this love of games in a big way.  When we would make our 14 hour car trip from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Cedar Mountain, North Carolina, every summer, Dad would always keep us entertained with games.  We used to "Count Cows" for hours at a time.  The teams were usually me & Dad against Mother & Bert.  We would count any cows that we saw on our side of the road.  We usually would set a limit for the for 2 hours or until we reached Pineville, Kentucky.  Each time you saw another pasture of cows, you would add them to your previous total.  However, if you passed a church or a cemetery, you had to "bury" all you cows and start over at zero.  I loved having Dad on my team because he was always driving the car and knew where all the churches & cemeteries were located.  He was known to have taken a slight detour in order to avoid a cemetery!  Dad also loved to play card games.  He had a very sharp mind and could always remember which cards had been played and the highest card that was left to be played.  The cabin was not equipped with a television, so at night, we would play games for entertainment.  That's where a great tradition was started.  To this day, when the family is gathered at the Three Bears' House, we clear the table after supper, call all the relatives who like to play, gather the family around the large table on the back porch and play games until midnight.  There is no one in my family who is shy and retiring.  We all get rather boisterous during the games and competition is intense!  No one is left out of the game playing.  Ages range from 4 to 101.

Game night at the cabin.  Peyton is the youngest at age 9 and Nonnie is the oldest at age 101.  
Even the pets are included in the games.  Puddin loves to sit in my lap and watch the action.

So when I was asked last night by a friend to substitute for a missing player at their game night, I was thrilled.  Aileen McNair, Beth Sheahan, Patti Suggs and Fran Ambrocelli usually play games on Friday nights.  Patti was out of town, so I was invited.  Each person brings one course of the meal, they play a little while, break for supper, then play some more.  The evening is finished with a wonderful dessert.  Last night, we met at Fran's house.  She is the owner of the Barber-Tucker-Crawford House, a historic Bed and Breakfast in Southwest Moultrie.  We gathered around the kitchen table and played Hand and Foot.  It is a wonderful card game that is kind of like Canasta.  You play with a deck of cards for each player, plus one more deck, so an electric card shuffler is almost a necessity.  I had never played before, but since card games are among my favorites, I easily picked it up.  There was lots of laughter and the competition was keen.  For supper we had Spinach Salad, Chicken Tetrazinni, and homemade bread.  After 2 games, we finished the evening with toasted Pound Cake and Pistachio ice cream.  It was a wonderful night...playing games, eating good food, meeting new people and remembering my family tradition of playing games.

Kailey, Todd, Angie, Melody and Pam playing games when we gathered at the cabin for Nonnie's funeral. What a fitting way to remember her!


  1. I LOVE the games we play at the cabin. Many of my favorite memories include those game nights! Glad you had fun last night Mom!

  2. Last night was a lot of fun. Let's do it again!