Quotes to quibble over:

People that don't know me think I'm shy. People that do know me wish I was...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Who are the People in Your Neighborhood?

For those who don't know the daily ins and outs of our life, we are back in TN though the CA story continues...you can read all about it on Ariel's blog and more on David's blog. (David and Ari - get busy! Ha! As if you're not already busy...)

Speaking of blogs, I've added four new ones to my list there on the right but for your clicking convenience here they are: Cheres' blog chronicling the experiences of taking care of her mother with Alzheimer's; Mitch's blog, a love story between a father and his daughter with Downs Syndrome; Suzie's blog, entitled "Break a Leg!" which she has recently done and plans to use this time to "Get better at at least one thing!"; and Hosanna Dickserson's blog, promising a shared experience of all that God has for her...

I've been considering a little mini series for this blog of mine, hence the title of this post.  To tell you about the people I meet each day could potentially keep this blog buzzing for many years to come and I like the thought of that.  I can't promise that I won't interrupt this theme from time to time with other thoughts...in fact, I can promise you that I will! That's my BADD - blogging attention deficit disorder....(I liked that little joke there - did you get it? - that's my bad...no groaning now.  Be nice.)

For today, for my first in this series,  I bring you something to smile about.  It involves a four-year-old named Ellie.  Young children are the very essence of Life itself (Christ said that unless you become like one you can't enter Heaven) and having them around definitely keeps you young and lively.  If your young 'uns have gotten older, borrow one (or more) of your friend's.  They usually enjoy the break and you renew your youth from the bona fide source itself! (Win-win.)

So back to Ellie.

Ellie talked me into playing a game of cards. She emphatically reassured me that she was very good at cards and would teach me how to play.  

My first lesson: you have to straighten the cards. As we were playing with Hello Kitty cards that meant all the kitties go the same direction. Ellie confidently collected all the cards spread out on the counter and stacked them professionally in her hand, tapping and lining them up, kitties all facing the same direction.

Lesson number two: you pass them out. She proceeded to deal the cards-starting with herself-and laid them carefully down on the table, turning each of my cards so the kitty was right-side up toward me. This required a little extra finagling when dealing my cards and I found this extra effort very thoughtful on her part.  (And I confess to being very impressed with this attention to detail from a four-year-old!)

After (what seemed to me) a random number of cards were dealt - but remember, I don't really know how to play - she set the remaining stack in the middle and continued to give me direction, "Now we match up the cards."

Playing ensued with each of us setting matching sets of two cards on the table face-up. As we each had several pairs in our own hands there was apparently no need to discard nor draw from the pile in the middle. As Ellie left those cards alone, so did I.  For the moment.

Then at one point as I laid down a matching pair of Queens, the intricate nuances of this fascinating game began. When Ellie spied the queens she immediately announced for my benefit,  "Oh, those are bad guys!"

"Those are bad guys?" I enquired with great surprise.

"Mumm-hmmm. Give them to me. I'll take the bad guys. I'll take aalll the bad guys for you!"   

(See how selfless she is?! Amazing!  But then, I confess, doubt entered in...)

"Why thank you!" I replied.  "Um, will I get any cards?"

"Yeah!" was the immediate, reassuring reply.  "You can have the good guys!" This pronouncement was accompanied by a very winsome, dimpled smile.

It soon became apparent that the good guys were the numbered cards and the bad guys had letters on them.  As an English teacher I was a little nervous of this developing stereotype until I realized that to her, the ABCs were more human - even if they were bad guys - than those faceless Numbers so I figured it would "balance out" in the end...

Anyways, it was about this time we came to a turning point in the game that eventually led to a victory for Ellie. You see it turns out that  aaalll the BLACK ones were also bad guys and she needed to collect those as well. She very cheerfully gave me the red ones as she collected all the bad guys - black cards AND face cards.

Following her lead, we then began to draw randomly from the middle pile and as the starting practice of laying down sets of two was over, we just sorted the cards - red ones for me, black ones and lettered ones for Ellie.

As we neared the end of the game I figured the person with the most cards would win.  I should have known better in this sophisticatedly ever-progressive game.  At the end there was one remaining card  in the middle pile. Ellie graciously allowed me to turn it over but, alas, it was a black card.  A bad guy.  Ellie won. It turns out the color of the last card is the determining factor in the outcome of this extremely fast-paced and ever evolving game!

Sigh. I hope I can lay MY life down next time.  I hope I get to keep the bad guys. And I hope the last card is a black one. I'll definitely have to go for best 2 out of 3 with Ellie as she's such a proficient! And as this was a rather short game I'm sure there are plenty of other, er, rules my mentor didn't have a chance to enlighten me with. I look forward to learning all of those.

Remember to keep your Hello Kitty cards all facing the same way, watch out for bad guys, and enjoy yourselves should you decide to play - I should have asked Ellie what the name of this game was!  Any suggestions?

Well, I'll keep ya posted! (No pun intended...well, yes it was - did you realize that was a pun?  Never mind.)