Monday, June 12, 2006

Getting Together with the Folks

How was everyone’s weekend? Mine was busy. I had to come into the office Saturday to work. There are two good things I can say about that: one, I had the whole, blissfully quiet place to myself and, two, it was raining anyway. That’s all it ever does around here is rain — I swear Boston is the new Seattle. The weather has since cleared up, but they’re predicting more rain for Wednesday and Thursday. Here’s the funny thing: you know the authorities will say, after this deluge, that the state reservoir levels are too low and we’ll have to conserve water. They always say that. Massachusetts could get whacked by a tsunami and we’ll still hear it.

Yesterday (Sunday) was nice and I got to ride my bicycle without a rain poncho, snorkel and flippers. I pedaled out to my brother’s house where I met with him, my sister and my father to play a card game called Rook. Have you heard of it? I read somewhere that Rook, in the first part of the last century, was the most popular family game in the U.S. It took Monopoly to finally shake it from its perch during the Depression. Rook is sort of a combination of Pitch and Bridge and is incredibly addictive. My brother set up a table in his backyard and we played Rook for four and a half solid hours. That is my idea of a good time.

My father, by the way, is 86 years old. He still walks very erect, drives himself everywhere, and his mind is more than sharp enough to be a good card player. He and I are always a team and yesterday we combined to destroy my brother and sister. I mean we annihilated them. The final score was something like 315 to minus 120. It took all day to do it and each team suffered great reverses, but Dad and I prevailed. The question always niggles at the back of my mind how many more card games we’ll have with the venerable paternal unit, but I find it’s best to act like he’ll always be around. It feels as if he will be. Hell, at 100 he’ll probably still be producing the fatal trump card at the crucial moment, making my brother and sister groan. Yep, dear old Dad. He just keeps on ticking.


Blogger Claire said...

I didn't realize your family ALL lived in town. Mine are about 4 hours away and while considerably younger, I have the same thoughts about my dad. Unfortunately, there's nothing like Rook that we all do together that I can sit back and enjoy like that.

5:19 AM  
Blogger Flood said...

Is Rook like Euchre?

My Dad plays Euchre with us and slams the trump on the table with a "POW! EAT THAT!"

I wish it was endearing but it just makes me want to kick him.

5:43 AM  
Blogger LL said...

I've heard of Rook most of my life, but never learned to play it. Your day was well spent though, that is for certain...

6:39 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

I've never heard of Rook. Would you like to explain it to those of us who are ignorant of such things? In detail, so I can play it. ;-)

9:44 AM  
Blogger trinamick said...

Never played Rook myself, but it sounds like a game my family would play that might lead to bloodshed.

Loving the image of the poncho, snorkel, and flippers. I imagine it might be difficult to ride in that getup.

9:44 AM  
Blogger magnetbabe said...

Awwwww... Grandpa Schprock sounds awesome!

9:57 AM  
Blogger tiff said...

kathleen asked my question for me.

10:08 AM  
Blogger John said...

You couldn't work this into a four panel comic strip?

10:25 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

My weekend was super as we finished the raised beds in front. Three weekends, backbreaking crap ... done! Well, okay, there's still the walkways, the trellis, the bench to build, but hey, the beds are done.

I also lost a friend that wasn't a friend at all so is that really a loss? LOL I did however gain a friend who also lost this person long ago and when we swapped stories, I confirmed the woman to be a totally nutball.

Scary thing about nutballs. If they're good at it, you have NO IDEA you're dealing with a nutball.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

That sounds like a great game to play. It must be some comfort to have his genes, huh? You might outlive me!

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember playing Rook! Of course now, I don't know if I could remember how to play.

You brought back fond memories of card games (my family played Rummy with a vengeance) -- it was one of the few things my mom was able to do with us up to the end. I'll always remember that.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Flash said...

My grandmother is like your father. Past retirement, but will not stop working, and always has the upperhand in games. Every once in a while, we'll whip out the ol Monopoly game board at a holiday functions, and somehow, she becomes the greatest property owner in history. And a sneaky one at that!

No favors there. One buck and you land on boardwalk, some how I end up cleaning the gutters...

8:38 PM  
Blogger Ben O. said...

Dude, I actually think I've heard of that game. That's a long time to be playing anything, though.

Ben O.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Farrago said...

My weekend sucked. We came thisclose to offing the dog, but she is so full of life that I couldn't do it. It was a mere three hours before the vet was supposed to arrive at the house. We're investigating a new drug approach for her, but her days are still numbered. I spent a good bit of the weekend in tears.

And now I'm in Maui.

11:40 PM  

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