Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Five: Games!

Jan, at RevGalBlogPals, writes:
"In less than three weeks, my family, including children and their partners, will be gathering in Seattle, WA for 12 days. After various days in Seattle sightseeing and in Bellingham seeing family, we will travel to the coast of Washington State to spend three nights in a large rented house. With nine adults (from almost 20 years old and up), I am thinking that we need to have some activities pre-planned--like GAMES! (Any ideas will be appreciated.)

So this Friday Five is about games, so play on ahead. . . ."

1. Childhood games?
Indoors, we played Go Fish and War with cards, and later on Monopoly; I also remember playing Careers and The Game of Life at other kids' houses.
Outdoor games? Hide and seek (we said "Ally ally in free" if I recall), dodgeball, Red Rover are some of the more formal games I remember. But what I remember best are the numerous "forts" we had when I was 8 and 9. There were some vacant spaces still in the Hainerberg housing area in Wiesbaden, Germany. In spring we made clod forts (and threw clods); in summer, grass forts with cut grass (not sure what the missile was there); in fall leaf forts and in winter snow forts. I don't think it was all war games, the building of the forts was great fun.
2. Favorite and/or most hated board games?
I like Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, CatchPhrase, and two terrific but not as well-known games, Compatibility and Twenty-Five Words or Less. The former is fun whether you play it with someone you know well or the reverse; the latter is good for teams as well as smaller partnerships. I also like a game called Encore but I can hardly ever get anyone to play it with me. Maybe because it involves me singing?
3. Card games?
I am, very slowly, learning bridge now. Hitherto, cribbage, gin rummy, hearts and Oh Hell! have been much played. Oh, and 21 -- I think that's the non-gamblers' version of blackjack.
4. Travel/car games?
Counting cows -- person on each side of car counts cows they see, but if you pass a cemetery all your cows are dead and you have to start over. Also not exactly a game, but license plate watching is fun, and probably more challenging now that many states have multiple charity license plates. In Maine, watching for vanity plates is fun too -- they are a little cheaper here than some places so lots of folks have them. I saw one once that read "XEGSIS", always wondered whose it was!
5. Adult pastimes that are not video games?
Charades, of course. Some of my extended family are great at coming up with obscure and difficult titles to act out. Also Botticelli or Twenty Questions are fun.
Bonus: Any ideas for family vacations or gatherings?
Putting on my genealogist's hat for a moment (and what would that look like?), spend some time collecting family/childhood stories on tape or video or, if it's an off-the-grid type holiday, write them down. Take pictures -- candids and posed. Take along some pedigree or family group sheets (there are numerous places to download and print blank ones for free on the Interwebs) and get them filled out -- don't neglect the in-laws and outlaws, and get some of their family stories too. And, of course, introvert me says: leave some time for solo walks on the beach, reading, running, or whatever people like to do alone. Unless you have a whole family full of extroverts -- eek!


altar ego said...

We loved playing in the snow and building forts in winter. I miss that part of being a kid (as well as missing that much snow since I live in TN!). We also went to the local school on weekends and used the swings, sang songs while we sang, and played some sort of hide and seek in a dried creek that wove through trees and shrubs. Great hiding! How nice to have that memory evoked, thank you!

RevDrKate said...

Loved that list of games! Brought back a whole bunch that I had forgotten.

angela said...

Very thoughtful post. I like your descriptions of base housing. I was at Rhein-Main--same sort of thing but with elaborate plastic play boxes, things I only see at fast food temptation spots now.

Jan said...

Thanks for the various ideas. My husband and I are introverts, and our kids vary in their social tendencies but have married extroverts. So that's why I'm wondering about activities! I've never seen a lot of vanity plates, so that sounds like fun up there in Maine.

Muthah+ said...

Auntie, I am glad to hear that you had forts and clod fights too. I just thought us Texans unusually bellicose

Choralgirl said...

XEGSIS--wish I'd thought of that! :-)

Reminds me of a time, after a particularly challenging theology class, all the Sacred Music students were gathered around the lunch table, commiserating...and one of our guys sputtered, "I don't get this stuff--help! For the first 3 months I was at the seminary, I thought "exegesis" meant that Jesus had gone somewhere!"

Purple said...

Lots of great ideas.

mompriest said...

Make believe games outside, with the use of forts, was one of our favorite ways to play. But other than that you have a large list of games I have never heard of...(which says a lot about me, I suppose)....

Vicki Lane said...

Fun list of games!

A car game my boys and I used to play back in the carpool, soccer practice, orthodontist appointment days was Beager -- invented, I believe, by a friend of mine. It involved spotting VW beetles -- the first to spot one and yell Beager, got a point. See a red one and yell Eager Beager and you got five points, yellow -- yell Bumble Beager for three points.

If you called out and you were wrong, you lost that number of points. I can't remember what we did for ties -- I think there was another thing you said.

This simple game kept us enthralled for years -- now, as there are fewer VW beetles on the road, some other vehicles might have to be substituted.

Diane said...

I loved your ideas and memories. especially what you said about being an amateur genealogist. great idea.

I had forgotten all about War. And your memories helped me remember one called "I Doubt it."

Mary Foye said...

There's somebody I've seen parked on School St. with the license plate "IMGODOT" -- that has to be one of the coolest I've ever seen.

Barbara B. said...

GREAT bonus idea!

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