September 27, 2005

On the table


My family has always played cards.

Up at camp, we play pitch, a card game that my Dad has played since he was a kid. Because it's a card game that both adults and children can play, a team will often feature three generations. On retreat with my students, I usually play spoons, a card game which unfortunately brings out my competitive side. Every hand of that game ends with people grabbing desperately to get a spoon, sometimes knocking people out of the way in their haste. Nice people have no chance with a game like that. (I am quite good at it.) On Friday nights at home, my kids have been having friends over for poker, long games that last sometimes until morning.

Even when I am not playing, I like the social aspect of cards: people gathered around a table, talking, laughing, eating. Often I'll sit on the couch with my journal and just listen to the teenagers as they play, smiling to myself at the banter. At camp, it's fun to listen to the interaction between grandparents and grandchildren, or between cousins who like to tease each other. This photo is from camping this summer: my son With-a-Why at the picnic table, contemplating his next move.

14 comments:

Yankee T said...

Hearts is my family's game. I love to play cards. And what a great photo of with-a-why

jo(e) said...

I'd forgotten about the game Hearts. My mother's family played Hearts. I can remember playing with my grandmother and aunt as a kid.

listmaker said...

I remember playing pitch on the front porch with the neighborhood kids. But, I have absolutely no recollection of how to play it.

SuzanH said...

I love playing cards. And I agree that the social aspect is important. Fewer things drive me more insane than playing cards with people who only talk about the card game.

Grrrr.

Mona Buonanotte said...

Sergei and I taught the Boy-child how to play Texas Hold-Em, and I swear,I've never had so much fun in my life!

liz said...

Spoons sounds a lot like Nerts, lots of scars on the back of my hand from playing Nerts.

Jane Dark said...

I know spoons, and have also played the same game with pens. Do you know the card game Apples to Apples? It can't be played with traditional cards, of course, but my classmates and I are fond of it -- though we were just talking about needing a good spoons night.

Running2Ks said...

A lot of card games are a lost art, but we enjoy:

Euchre
War
Slap Jack
Poker
Steal the Old Man's Bundle
Canasta
Crazy 8s

It goes on and on :)

ccw said...

I love to play cards. Unfortunately we don't do it enough, so I have sadly forgotten how to play many of the games I used to love.

AAYOR said...

"Spoons" was banned at my Grandmother's house because it always turned ugly. Especially the time that we ran out and played "Forks." [Not joking....]

*statgirl* said...

I've been playing cards on a regular basis (about every 2 weeks) for the last 2 years with friends--we cook a dinner, open a great bottle of wine and then play pinochle or sometimes hearts. It's great fun and so relaxing.

Marie said...

We love to play cards at my house, and most any other game. And may I just say that I'm a newcomer and so engrossed by your wonderful writing that I've read every post on the page and may start working my way through the archives. (Instead of grading papers.)

Rana said...

I love playing cards too, especially the games where you get to crow at other players when you fox them. (I don't like poker though, unless played with fake money. Even penny poker makes me stingy and cross and un-fun to play with.)

Unfortunately, I am _lousy_ at remembering how to play the games, unless someone else is able to remind me. The only exceptions are solitaire, Old Maid, and Crazy Eights. Still, a worn, well-loved deck of cards (the box now bound in electrical tape) has been a good companion on trips and while camping over the years.

jo(e) said...

Hey, Marie, I'm always happy to help another blogger procrastinate. I've still got a stack of papers to grade myself.

And I am laughing over the picture of AAYOR's family playing Forks instead of Spoons. Around here, that would lead to some bad puns and some dangerous maneuvers.