• Last modified 390 days ago (June 20, 2018)


Another Day in the Country

Learning lessons
in the game of life

© Another Day in the Country

We’re big game players at our house. Luckily we have cousins in the area who like to play games, too. Jokers and Pegs is our current favorite, and pretty fierce competition goes on between the four of us.

By fierce, I also mean friendly — including tough, long-standing, close, intense, and hilarious.

Jokers and Pegs has just the right balance of chance, skill, and strategy to keep the games competitive and fun. And we don’t leave the memory of who won and who lost which game to chance. There’s a “book of remembrance,” and we write down the scores to review every once in awhile.

For his birthday this year, my grandson asked for a Jokers and Pegs game. I was so pleased. We ordered it online immediately.

This child, like most 11-year-olds, usually is fascinated by electronic games, not the good old-fashioned kind where you sit across the table, make eye contact and a lot of noise while having fun as a family.

Being a gamer has been a long tradition in our family, so, of course, guests who come visit have this kind of gaming as part of their Ramona experience. A recent week was no exception.

Our friend, Des, came through with her daughter on their way back to California from Nebraska, where Natalie goes to college. It’s summer break for her and a chance for us to play games around the kitchen table. And play we did.

I was hoping for a good game of Jokers and Pegs, which Des had gotten for her family after visiting us several years ago. But she had other games in mind.

“How about 3-13, for starters?” she asked at the breakfast table on her first morning here.

We were happy to oblige.

Then, we taught her a game that we recently learned called Golf. Later, she requested playing Hand and Foot.

“You know, there are lots of life lessons that you learn playing games,” Des said to her daughter, after a crushing loss. “For one, don’t give up. The game’s not over.”

Daughter eyed mother with that “oh, really, Mom,” look, but Des was just warming to the subject.

“Oh, here is another one: Things aren’t always as they first appear,” she chirped as she unexpectedly “went out,” winning the hand.

“I guess that’s another lesson,” we all laughed, “In real life you don’t always win.”

The gaming lessons were coming loud and strong, now, and you can bet I started writing them down.

For sure, you learn while playing games that you don’t always get what you want.

“And be sure and write down, learn from your mistakes,” Natalie joked.

“Here’s another one,” Jess said, “Life isn’t all about your skill level. Sometimes your neighbor is just dealt better cards.”

“Quitting never works,” someone else added; I can’t remember who because I was scribbling furiously. “Need another score sheet to write on?”

We all laughed.

It’s the laughter that I love most to hear around the table, anytime we are lucky enough to have friends here to play games. Funny stuff just happens when we’re all together, and we repeat the funniest parts later as we tell stories about our gaming exploits in other conversations.

“Sometimes the only way out of a jam is to take a calculated risk,” was a lesson added to the list as well as, “Even if you do your best, you still may lose,” and “Good luck, as well as skill, is a deciding factor.”

“Playing games around the table sounds like so much fun, and rather idyllic,” one of my city friends said to me recently. “It’s such a luxury.”

It is wonderful! And, in my way of thinking, it’s one of the easiest ways to teach your kids and grandkids some really important things about life, on another day in the country.

Last modified June 20, 2018