Hoof and Mouth?
“So, you are going to Hoof and Mouth today?”, my husband quizzes me. That goofy sense of humor always sends our daughters and me into giggles. Well, yesterday was “Hoof and Mouth” day, or more correctly, “Hand and Foot”. It’s actually a card game in the canasta family that I have recently come to learn with new and old friends.
Canasta evokes cherished memories of countless hours spent “playing cards”with my grandmother. Canasta transports me back to my childhood, to summers that seemed to last forever. Now they seem to whiz by in the blink of an eye. Sitting on the screened porch at the cottage, we perched in two captain’s chairs with the fabric slightly worn and sagging a bit for comfort, at a card table covered with some funny old, quilted plastic. That was the birthplace of all the card games I have come to enjoy. It seemed my grandmother knew every card game ever invented; I don’t think a game existed that she didn’t love. Canasta, samba, cribbage, gin, bridge… It is a treasured gift from her because it is a way to make connections with others. Anything from quiet to raucous conversations usually accompany card games, as we share daily or even life-changing moments.
Confidences from children that they may not otherwise have stopped long enough to tell. Quiet moments with a spouse by the light of a propane lantern after the children are tucked into their sleeping bags. A familiar game of cards with a parent who is in the thralls of Alzheimer’s, but still remembers that game. A once-a-month bridge group that keeps those friendships alive. Card games are not just games, but so much more. If you haven’t thought of cards in this light, now is the time to start a tradition of your own with grandchildren or other important people in your life.
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