So began the Thanksgiving weekend in our house, with seven young people between the ages 15 and 21, their long-suffering mothers, and one very large boxer dog. Now I am famous for posting rather extensive lists of possible activities on the bathroom mirrors when I have guests. This time it included a craft project (no one even asked about it); free time at the gym ( 2 cousins immediately planned a lift-off); sunset at Kolob (no takers); ice skating (1 enthusiast could get only his mother to go—-not what he had in mind); and yard work for $10 an hour (a few coerced half hours on this one). Movies were big—- we saw 3—-but the favorite choice by far was playing games.
I should have known. We are a game-playing tribe and this year it was the event most looked forward to, even to the point of some urging quicker eating so we could clear the dining room table for our first game of Eat It. The special thing about this game, besides the tricky questions themselves—-What is added to a Voortman Almonette cookie to make it even sweeter?—-is that Grandpa will play. Even when he isn’t in the mood to man a board piece, he will read the questions, often giving subtle hints with vocal emphasis or body language. The game takes forever and we rarely actually finish it, usually setting a time at which the current leader is declared the winner.
Then it’s on to the next game, which this year was Scrabble. This is my game, and while I don’t win every time, I am the one to beat. It became clear this year that the ubiquitous smart phone is a real leveler of the playing field. His phone allowed a 16-year old, not normally known for his spelling prowess (see the gym offering above) to beat me by 2 points. Who knew that “nodus” means a problem, difficulty, or complication?
The weekend included a marathon game of Monopoly which included much yelling and table banging, a few hot rounds of Scattergories, and the completion of 4 puzzles, one of 500 pieces done after 10:00 at night. Not by me, let it be said. I had long since gone to bed.
I have had to face the sad fact that going to Grandma’s is no longer the activity of choice for teen-agers as it was for grade schoolers. But as long as the game closet is well stocked, they’ll show up occasionally, I choose to hope.