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My Blog

Playing Cards

Good morning to everyone.  A little over cast here in the Chicago land area  this morning, but he sun seems to be trying to peak it's head out. 
This morning I decided that the topic of the day is going to be playing cards.
Growing up, playing cards was just a vey natural thing to do.  I remember that I was about 5 years old when my Grandfather Joe taught me to play poker.  Now, we didn't play for money, just so that I could learn the game. Later on we played for toothpicks.  I think it was because I was so interested in what the family was doing.  You see, when I was growing up, I lived with my Grandparents, so when there were dinners, family gatherings or a party, afterwards, everyone played cards and being the nosey person that I was , I wanted to understand it. 
So one morning after bringing a deck of cards to my grandfather, he sat me down and the kitchen table and taught me the game.  Now he taught me what beats what in a game.  How to play 5 card stud....but my favorites were called dime store and baseball.  Dime stores were popular back in the 50's, so in that game it meant that 5's and 10's were wild.  In baseball, their were 3 bases and 9  players.....so those numbers were wild.  The was also a seven card down no peak with a 7 knocking you out.  you would have 7 cards laying down in front of you, face down,  and the object was to lift a card one at a time.  The objective was to beat the other person's highest.  If you pulled a seven you lost. 
I remember when the family came over...when everyone was finished eating and the dishes had been washed, most gathered around the table afterwards to play cards. If you weren't in the card game, which were usually most of the women, they would go off and talk.  I thought that was okay, but I stuck around my Grandpa and watched his hand so I could learn first hand how to really play in an active card game. 
When Grandpa passed away, I earned his spot at the card table.  I remember how most of the family thought it was silly that a kid wanted to play, but when they saw that I knew how, they were amazed.  They had no idea that Grandpa had taught me how t play the game.  In fact, there were a number of times when they wished I didn't.  By now, I was a pretty decent card player and knew the rules.  We would play with our change...this was no big deal, nickels and dime sort of stuff.   I loved it because we talked and laughed.  It was just what a family did...or so I thought.  I was quite surprised when I met my husband and he didn't know how to play cards.  His friends all knew...in fact I remember the night before our wedding we had a poker game going after the dinner and all was done.  And it was ME at the table with the guys  I just loved the game. now how strange or unusual was that? 
Now there were other card games through the years that were played like WAR, and of course there was OLD MAID.  There was always SOLITAIRE when I was by myself.  I even remember the magic tricks that we did with cards...one in particular always kept the person wondering how we did it.  You would ask a person to pick a card and show it.  then I would call the Magic Wizard up on the phone.  Speak briefly to him and then hand the phone to the person that picked the card and the wizard would tell them the card they picked.  They were standing right there and knew that I had not told the wizard the card....so ho did it he or she know it?  Great trick to blow away everyone's mind. 
I know that when you would pack a suitcase to go anywhere....a deck of cards was always packed.  Whether you were going on vacation, going to a hospital or a picnic, cards would tag along.  We played countless games of 500 Rummy, Gin Rummy.  I taught the kids early on.  We built houses with cards. Such an amusement for so little of a price.  I even have a deck of cards in my car today for a "just in case" occasion.
I remember that I had a good friend who was a nun from my high school.  She would come over to the house often after I married for dinner and an evening of games and cards.  She was way too funny.  She would walk in the house...off went the veil, her favorite drink was a Golden Cadillac and she would pull out her little black bag of change for the card game.  It seems as though there was a card game for everyone. 
Seems like with the computers these days, there isn't such a need for cards.  You can play solitaire right there on the computer.  There are poker sites to play as well.  This is really becoming a solitary life for most people of all ages.  There seems to be less and less connection and communication with others in this world.
I know that some of the most successful and well loved events that I have with my red hat ladies are usually the game nights.  I have to share with you a very cute thing that happened one year when one of my Granddaughters was visiting and I had a Texas Holdum Party with my red hat ladies.  She was about 7 and of course we let her help us play.  She went between me and some of the ladies as we played and she got to lay down the cards.  She had a great time.  Well, when we took her back home to South Carolina, one night we were on the deck and she comes waltzing out the back door onto the deck with a deck of cards.  I wish you could have seen my son-in -laws face when she asked him if he would play Texas TOAST with him.  He just turned to me, with this very puzzled look on his face. Laughing away,  I then explained that it was Texas Holdum, not Texas Toast.  We all got a big laugh out of it.   
It makes me wonder how many card games a child might know today, if any. I often hear children say they are bored.  How can one be bored with a deck of cards around.  If they would tell me they are bored...I might just take a deck of cards and drop them on the ground and tell them to do a 52 card pick up, then once that was done...start a lesson.  We as adults need to become interactive with our kids.  This is not only a learning process, but also a social event.  You and they gain a line of communication.  I think the times are just right for it.  In fact, I think I read it in the cards!  

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