She was eternally frustrated by the collective snubbing of her sauces. They were all perfectly fine – great, actually – but a plump, juicy Midwest ham doesn’t need any saucy embellishment. Game time was a different story. It was a time we all cherished, even though Rose took her agonizingly own sweet time, regardless of which game we played.
And we played plenty. Scrabble. Rack-o. Yahtzee. These were my favorites. She’d occasionally try to inject some sort of card game, but those generally drew the same response as her sauces so rarely passed muster with our hard-nosed group.
We didn’t realize it at the time, but game time was also family story time. Intertwined among the repeated “Hurry up, Rose” admonitions were snippets of family stories, little nuggets of past transgressions or neighborly gossip.
I was reminded of this when fellow blogger Dan Curtis tipped me off to Darren Yourk’s column in the Toronto Globe and Mail about his entertaining and educational Scrabble confrontations with his grandmother. Check out Darren’s story before the link goes dead, which could happen at any time.
I’ll bet there are plenty of young people today who have never played a board game with their elder relatives. Perhaps now would be a good time to start that tradition. The benefits of sharing quality time with a family member far outweigh the risks of being shunned as a nerd (or whatever they call it today) by one’s peers. Let it be one of your little family secrets.
Photo: Rose Hayes (left) plays Yahtzee with her daughter Linda (right) and LaVonne Sedlak.