Friday, July 17, 2009

Vacation Update III

Part I: Rook

Rook is a Parker Brothers game that uses a weird deck of numbered cards (usually 5-14). Rook is like spades with a few twists. I remember going to my grandma's house and watching mom and dad play the game with my grandparents and their friends.

My grandfather played Rook on his death bed. He lingered in the hospital for three weeks after his heart attack in 1976. He had a few intravenous drips going, for which they taped some sort of board over his wrist and palm--I guess so he could not pull the IVs out.

He tried to shuffle and cut the IV board. He would mock my grandmother's bid now and then, as he had done many times. "90, by gawd!" He would discuss his luck at the cards and talk about what was going wrong and going right in the game.

I wrote a poem about the experience. It was special to me, but is probably confusing doggerel to the rest of the world.

I watched the U. S. Bicentennial celebration from the hospital chapel. I met a girl that I really liked, named Deanne Davis, from Raceland, Louisiana. My previously planned summer camp started and my parents insisted that I go. My grandfather died while I was there.

I was not going to tell a story about Wiley Edwards's quietly cantankerous son. This was about the vacation. But you need all that to understand why I had such a great time playing Rook with my 17 year old, my wife, and her aunt.

The first night, my son and I beat them badly. The next night, they began to beat us, but then we pulled nearly even before they won by a few points. It was great fun.

Part Two: Togetherness

My 17 and 19 year old boys had planned on us dropping them off to spend a week with their friends while we visited with relatives during our vacation. But the 17 year old decided he would rather stay with us.

The 19 year old was going to stay with a friend who would be moving out of his parents' home and into an apartment. But the friend was not out of his parents' home, and his parents were not amenable to putting up my son for a week.

So all three boys stayed with us. They were often bored. We always needed two hotel rooms. Eyi. Expensive.

Though everyone was dismayed at what might have been, I don't know how the vacation would have felt if we had not been together.

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