They were aligned in a random grid there on the wool oval rug, those cards, each of us adding another in turn, hoping to place it for the highest score possible. One boy, who had assigned us each with an alias for the game, was score-keeping for everyone, he said. With tally marks. Um. For a game where the scores would most definately go into the hundreds? That's a lot of tally-marking. The nuttiness of such an idea was discussed at length between the boy and his younger brother. The younger brother soundly won out and made the tally-marking boy switch to Arabic numerals.
We understood fully, now, why someone came up with those.
On we played (learned? yes, learned).
When the last card was placed, Mama came out with the win (or actually, Mo-Mo, as I was known then).
Lest we all forget this experience of this game on this day, a full report of it was written by the tally-marking-turned-Arabic-numeral boy. Included were the average points per player per play, the Player Performance star-ratings which were voted on by all, imaginary prizes won (I, Mo-Mo, won a platter of bacon! Sadly, the fourth-place boy, McFluttermuffin, only won a pencil, which incensed him, so it was switched to a mint, which was a leetle bit better), and a full article, newspaper-style, which described in detail how the game had gone down.
This, I will save, as well as the memory of that fall afternoon, and those two rows of knitting finished while waiting my turn, and how we were all getting hungry, but we couldn't stop playing, and the way brothers are, and how it was just a simple game, yet it was so very much more.
* * *
And do you see, up there, People, how, when a card game isn't in full swing, a bit more of the exterior painting gets done, an hour or two here and there, with the help of a friend? Yes! Every stroke counts.