the hyphens that define my life

Card Sharks November 18, 2013

Filed under: Gardening — multihyphenatedme @ 7:39 am
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Playing card games is one of my favorite games to play.  A deck of cards is always packed in my bag when I travel.  When our daughter and I travelled to Spokane a year ago January, we played card games on the plane, in the airport, on the plane, in restaurants and in our hotel.

Now that night befalls at 4 PM, we have incorporated Family Game Night on Wednesday and Saturday nights to bring the family together and have fun too.  We typically play Uno Attack because our youngest is obsessed with this game.  Uno Attack is a normal Uno game with an electronic card random dispenser and additional cards such as swap hands, all press the dispenser (you may or may not receive cards) and press ??? which requires the next player to press the dispenser until cards are received.   These games remind me of the summers of my youth spent with my paternal grandparents playing “Screw Your Neighbor,” a card game similar to Uno played with two regular decks of cards, jokers wild.

Our oldest son, a tween to soon turn 13, tolerates game night as long as he’s required, typically an hour, before bailing our scene.  Teenagers.  Our middle son tolerates Uno Attack but he is our true card shark.  After Saturday night’s game night, he and I played two to three games of Speed.

On Sunday, I taught him (re-taught him) how to play Rummy 500.  This is my extended family’s game of choice.  Rummy 500 is what our daughter and I played last January, the game my sister, mom and I played in October while in Seattle for the bone marrow transplant and this is how I spent my Sunday.  The weather cooperated, cold and rainy makes for a good card playing day.

The way we play Rummy 500 is each player gets seven cards.  One card is turned over for the discard pile.  With each turn you draw from the pile, or from the discards, and you must discard.  The object of the game is to get rid of all your cards by laying down and accruing points with 3 or 4 of a kind and minimum three card straights.  Number cards are 5 points, the 10 card is 10 points, face cards are 10 points and aces, if used as 3 or 4 of a kind or an ace, king, queen straight are 15 points, 5 points if used in an ace, two, three straight.

I coached our son through the first couple of hands.  Once the game came back to him, let the cards fall where they may, I play to win.  He won his fair share in the five games I played with him, somewhere between five and ten hands per game, that’s a lot of card playing.  My son sings while he plays cards, which is awesome.

He old me he wants to sing (along with cooking, horseback riding and blacksmithing).  I asked if choir is available at school.  “Yes,” he said, “but I lip sync if I sing in a group.”  He gets embarrassed singing in front of people.  Apparently not embarrassed singing and dancing in front of me.  Maybe the cards gave him confidence.

Thankfully my card shark is going to school on Monday so I can get some things accomplished.  Though I wouldn’t trade in the card games played with our son this weekend.  I only hope he remembers these games as fondly as I remember the card games around my grandparents table.


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