Wednesday, April 7, 2010
GRANNY ALWAYS CHEATED!
One of my most favorite memories of being raised by my grandparents was the sometime more-than-weekly card game. It involved setting up the old green card table in the middle of the tiny living room, 4 chairs around, the jar of pennies in the center ready to be divided out as chips. The deck of cards was well worn but it had all its parts. Just the suggestion of "let's play cards" sent excitement through the house, because these games were unlike any others ever played, anywhere! It was usually gin rummy or maybe poker, the title didn't matter because the rules were always the same, THERE WEREN'T ANY. The goal of the night was to see who could "out cheat" the others. Yep...you read that right! And as I've grown I've learned that such a plan was never, never allowed, let alone "taught" in other households of pliable young impressionable minds. Granny was the master, my sister and I and our grandfather were her students. You see the purpose of the night was "hysterical laughter", not points, scores or piles of pennies. She would hide an ace under her arm, in her hair, in the pocket of her apron, in her shoe, or perhaps even stuck atop her left ear. With a "poker face" that would cause a Las Vegas dealer to shudder she would wear that card in her ear until one of us finally SAW it! And she could sit on a pair of queens until the breath was squeezed right out of them. Of course we would try our best to "top" each new antic, always getting caught, everyone breaking out into laughter that surely could be heard by the neighbors across the street. Yes, cheating was fun! Since that early childhood education, I find it impossible to play a game with adults without adding the FUN of seeing what I could get away with. This is NEVER appreciated by the competitive types and always determined as absolutely insane. I've cheated at trivia pursuit, checkers, scattergories, etc..you name it, I've found a way! I've also now promised my children that I will NOT cheat with the little grandchildren, and I don't...but they never believe me...even when I let those little boogers win. (As a disclaimer, let it be known: I never lie, steal, betray confidences, or keep money a clerk has given to me in change by mistake.)
Granny taught me to have fun, to not take anything real seriously, particularly myself. Life is just too short to get wound up about much of anything, don't you think? I have a heavenly Father who sifts everything through His loving hands before it gets to me. My anxieties, worries and fears are symptoms of a lack of trust in Him. He can and does bring good out of every heartache. Granny lived that philosophy because she'd experienced the gift of two little girls following the too-short life of her only daughter. Life is precious and meant to be enjoyed! Gin rummy, poker? In view of eternity isn't laughing with children more important that winning a silly game?