Week 38: Fun and Games

The first game I remember my family playing is horseshoes (which probably originated with Roman soldiers throwing rings around a stake in the ground). I think only the men played and when it got too dark or was too cold they gathered around the table and played poker. Generally it was “penny ante” poker, never large amounts of money (Grandma Quist made sure of that) , but possibly large amounts of beer. When playing games with Grandma Quist we had to check on what her “house rules” were because she ruled the house and we played the game her way!

Granny Quist!

If the women weren’t too busy cooking or caring for babies they might join in the poker or it might change to canasta and the kids might escape the adults and have a good game of flashlight tag.

The next phase of game playing was croquet and badminton. Everyone could play these games, teams were formed and competition was hot. Family, friends and teenagers enjoyed these games as well as ping pong. Trivia, Monopoly and Life were popular along with Parcheesi and Chinese Checkers.

In our Irvine house we had some memorable Treasure Hunts and Hide and Seek Games with kids and adults quietly hiding in end tables and pantries for hours. Of course, the summer beach party was always a wonderful event. Some family members had to hit the beach at 6 A.M. to secure a firepit. This was a daylong affair ending with s’mores around the campfire.

The most memorable game is probably Robber Bingo, played on Thanksgiving or Christmas. Everyone contributed a gag gift or “white elephant” that was wrapped and placed in the center of the table/floor. Bingo cards were distributed and the game was on. The first “bingo” picked a gift. After that every bingo person could pick from the pile or “rob” someone of their gift. Two games live on in memory! The pink envelope that everyone wanted because surely it had a check or gift card in it! NOPE. It contained a tongue scraper (like the dentist might give you)! What the heck! The tongue scraper turned up at odd times through the years, mailed from a far away city or hidden away to be a surprise discovery. Where on earth is the tongue scraper today? The other memorable game was the gift wrapped so mysteriously that everyone wanted it. Turned out to be Chapstick. The person who got that was sooo disappointed and had to put up with getting Chapstick as a gag gift for years after.

Jim shows off his Frisbee expertise

Today the favorite outdoor game is Corn Hole…again throwing something at a target. Sixteen ounce bags of corn, like bean bags, are thrown at a hole in a board that is about 40 feet away. Some of the old games are still popular but at this time (2021) Cards Against Humanity seems pretty popular but not if you play with your Grandma!

These are some of my memories of fun and games. What are yours?

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