Back in late August, I wrote a blog entitled D’Elia Family Sunday Traditions (https://rnewadventures.com/2020/08/27/delia-family-sunday-traditions/). Since then, we have added a new tradition, but unlike those that I mentioned in that August post, this tradition takes place 7 days a week. Let’s call it Game Hour.
At 4 PM, every afternoon (or close to 4PM), we stop what we are doing, and head to our two assigned seats at the dining room table, where we start playing whatever that week’s game is. We usually play for 45 minutes to an hour, and doing it 7 days a week, we think it’s probably a good thing to do to stimulate our brain waves, as we continue to spend most of every day in the house. It also gives our days an anchor, and is a bridge from the afternoon to the evening. It’s something we’ve continued to enjoy doing since we started back in the early fall.
We first started with an easy two handed game we’ve played since son Kenny taught it to us a number of years ago, called 5000. 5000 is a rummy style card game, where the object of the game is to be the first player to get to a score of, yes, you guessed it… 5,000. Its a relatively simple game to play in limited space, using one deck of cards, and because of that we’ve played it in hotels all across the United States, on airplanes, and even on the Amtrak Southwest Chief as we traveled across the country in a sleeper compartment several years ago on the way to Kenny and Chris’ wedding in Lake Tahoe. If you’d like to know how to play 5000, here’s a link to some online rules. https://gamerules.com/rules/5000-rummy/
For Christmas, I got Susie Hoyle’s Encyclopedia of Card Games, and we have broadened our two-handed card game repertoire. While we really can’t play popular games like Uno, which we played for years and years with the kids, we can play the game that Uno was derived from, Crazy Eights! Unlike Uno, Crazy Eights has much of the standard play of Uno, but without the Skip or Reverse cards, which are really hard to do with only 2 players!
Another blast from the past for us, that we had to learn again, but are enjoying is Cribbage. As I said, we’d played this game years ago, but over time, less and less, to the point we had to start from zero knowledge, and relearn how the game play goes. One thing that we did remember, and still had in the closest, was the Cribbage Score Board. This is the only one of the various card games we play that Susie doesn’t have to keep an official score on her pad. One oddity is that as we were putting the game away recently, one of the blue scoring pegs decided to jump off the table….we’ve yet to find it, so I fear I’m going to have to transition from blue to green for scoring! (an update since I wrote the last sentence…Susie found the missing blue peg on the edge of the inside of the clothes dryer door! Go figure)
The one game that we’ve played during recent Game Hours that is not a card game, is a game that has been a part of our life since there first was a Susie and Frank, and that game is Yahtzee! According to Wikipedia, “The present-day commercial Yahtzee began when toy and game entrepreneur Edwin S. Lowe filed Yahtzee as a trademark with the U.S. Patent Office on April 19, 1956.” I guess you could say that like us, Yahtzee is a Baby Boomer, and has been around for most of our lifetimes! My earliest memory of playing with Susie, was back on a car trip we took in October of 1980 and of sitting at a bar table at the Club House of Mountain Manor Golf Resort in Marshall’s Creek, Pennsylvania, playing and drinking beer! Over the years we have had travel versions, electronic versions, and we even remember playing a Yahtzee Slot Machine, where the dice had faces and little legs, and ran back into the cup after each roll! We’ve bought pad upon pad of score cards, and even went so far as to make our own a number of years ago (please keep our secret). I imagine Yahtzee will be with us for all time!
Our horizons will broaden as we delve further into Susie’s card encyclopedia, but for now, it’s those 4 games that we are rotating on a weekly basis!
One constant during our daily game hour, is a cup of something hot, to go along with our play (you can see our cups in the picture above). With the help of our Keurig, it could be anything from low calorie Hot Chocolate, to regular tea, or to any one of several different flavored tea K-cups we have on hand! Susie even bought a sugar free Hot Spiced Apple Cider mix!
We’ve also recently bought these No Sugar/Zero Calorie Syrups with a wide variety of flavor profiles! We can have hot chocolate with raspberry flavor (tastes like one of those chocolate candies from an expensive box), or a Chai tea with caramel flavor enhancement! So good, and no calories??? A really win/win!
So that’s our 4 PM Game Hour….