I was sitting at my patio the other day and scanning our yard, plotting where these flowers would go, and those would go. Ferns, maybe? And so on. Noted the two giant plastic playscapes, one passed along from new friends, the other, held onto for us by dear friends while we were in the shelter. The kids love to make all sorts of creative obstacle courses with them. And I think to myself, beyond all the pretty flowers and birdie stuff…we’re missing…games. How could that be? I love games! Playing. Games. In a good way. Fun, fun.

So I got two tennis rackets for me; one wood, another, metal (we live practically right next to a tennis court and I finally found someone to play with.). A soccer net for the kiddo, who’s obsessed with the idea, lately.  A badminton set. And I’m on the search for the croquet set of my dreams. I love lawn games. Very proper, but tweaked with a touch of competition and a mite of bitchiness (well, back in the day. Remember, Pentyne?).

I grew up playing games. When my parents got our house, the big lawn, though, technically; shared, right in half, was the selling point. There were many soccer games. Baseball, of course. My father would come home from a hard day’s labor on his construction job in the summers, and hit fly balls out for us to shag. Or, we’d play my favorite game, called Pickle, which was a variation on base stealing, in which a runner ran a length of distance between to glovemen, and tries  to beat the tag. Didn’t matter if you were the runner or the gloveman…it was fun. And Roz, my mom, played with us too…mostly softball or badminton. My parents were the only parents on my street who did that. Played with with their kids.

This summer, we will, the rest of us, in our family, go to the Adirondacks, probably my favorite place on the planet, and go play. We’ll swim, and canoe and take Roz out on the water and hope she doesn’t capsize dramatically this time (I secretly think she likes it. Seriously. ).  The kiddo will go out with my sweet brother Will, who’s a dead ringer for my late  father,  and learn to fish. And at night, there will be card games (guys, you really should consider Hearts or Spades. For me. I’m just not a poker player.), and Scrabble (T. will win 90% of the time). And maybe, just maybe, a new generation of kiddos will learn the joyful snarkiness that is croquet. Just save a game for Pentyne and I, please.


4 Responses to “games”

  1. 1 bets March 30, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    we used to play pickle however we had a different name for it. Now it’s going to drive me nuts till I come up with it.

    A game worth the investment that is scrabble-esk is Banana Grams. Good game, great quality letter tiles, smooth and cool to the touch, comes neatly storred in a cool little banana bag.

    wish i could be a mouse in your pocket for your week in the adirondacks. i miss those mountains.

  2. 2 bets March 31, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    hot box. that’s what we called pickle.

  3. 3 petitmuse March 31, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    when WAS the last time you were in NY?

  4. 4 Bets April 1, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    1997. way too long.

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