Jan says at RevGals: 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. . . .
Jan, how wonderful! I hope you have a grand time together. What a gift.
1. Childhood games? We had (I still have) a card deck called "Who Stole the Diamonds?" where you matched "witness" and "suspect" cards to make funny statements like, "The OLD SAILING CAPTAIN stepped out shortly after 11 pm. He wanted" ... "To get some aspirin from THE NURSE." Eventually one of the "Suspect" cards comes up, "TO STEAL THE DIAMONDS!" Mostly I liked to read, as you see from the fact that my favorite remembered game was about making stories...
2. Favorite and/or most hated board games? We kids played a lot of Monopoly and Life. I don't mind playing board games but I am not competitive and it really spoils the game for me to play with someone who is. As a family we played a trememdous amount of Aggravation: my grandfather made the boards, not in the traditional star shape but as two wooden cross pieces that fit together. It was a Milton Bradley board game from the 60's but I've never seen one of those; I grew up with the idea that Bigdaddy invented that game; and Memamma was the fiercest and most competitive player of it. Agh.
3. Card games? I have a mental glitch when it comes to card games: I can't remember them. I can't remember how they are played. From poker to Go Fish to Hearts, I have played them all but if you asked me to play any of them, I would need to get you to teach me the game first. (I also cannot remember jokes.)
4. Travel/car games? The usual: license plate games, etc. My dad was not a congenial driver and we weren't allowed to make very much noise on the long drives to and from Florida each year. My mom would have a "prize box" under her seat and every 100 miles we would get a small prize from it. But they had to be quiet prizes! (Of course this was before every child had an individual video player for the car, pah!)
5. Adult pastimes that are not video games? My group plays a lot of poker; also in the past have played Spoons and Push (both card games).
But my favorite memories are evenings spent passing around a worn copy of Helen's Babies, pub. 1876, by John Habberton (download the book from Project Gutenberg here, or read a 1922 review here), taking turns reading and laughing hysterically. It was a family tradition. (Again with the reading...)
Bonus: Any ideas for family vacations or gatherings? I have greatly enjoyed family vacations where we do "high low" at the dinner table. (This is really a form of Ignatian examen!) Everyone takes a turn telling their high point and low point of the day. It can get pretty silly with little children, but I have some great memories of that also.