Nana and I both held our perfectly aligned hand of cards in from of our faces, blocking our lips and nose. Our eyes found each other, and I could see hers crinkle. She was smiling.
“Gin!” Nana said.
“Darn it!” I really thought I had her.
Nana and I played gin rummy quite often, and she never let me win. I am the same way with my boys. There’s nothing wrong with a gentle, yet healthy, sense of competition.
We still play cards. This past weekend, Sammy, Max, Baylee, and I played nine-five pitch, and yesterday we played, also. We play rummy, Texas rummy, gin rummy, and pitch.
Are we alone in our love for cards? When Roger was alive, he, Tye, and I had a single-subject notebook we filled up with scores from pitch. We couldn’t wait to get home, sit outside at our green plastic table we purchased at Rose’s in Jacksonville, NC, and play cards. Back then, we smoked cigarettes, and we would play cards, smoke, and drink sweetened coffee all night long.
We played with Roger’s sister, too, and his dad, our beloved Poppie. He was ruthless in a quiet, adorable way, but gosh he was good at pitch.
Cards are smooth and colorful, and I love to shuffle them. It’s fun to keep score in an old-fashioned notebook with a favorite pen. I do love to write.
Also, playing cards is good for the mind, fun, and memorable. My fear is that it will go away from our society one day, with its replacements being the plug-in kind. Until then, I will continue to beat my kids at pitch. I have the notebook to prove it.