The games I learned to play

An image of four playing cards with the words 'It's just a game', as this post is about games.

I don’t think any of us can say that they have never played games. As children we all played the same kind if games, which seems to repeat itself generation after generation. Sometimes we just made up our own games, and as we got older, some of those games might even have turned a bit naughty.

With being busy with our family tree, so many memories are coming back. Memories of interactions with cousins in my childhood years, but also of happy times with my parents.

With the prompt ‘the games we play’, more memories surfaced.

Poker and puzzles

I wanna hold ’em like they do in Texas, please
Fold ’em, let ’em hit me, raise it, baby, stay with me (I love it)
Love game intuition, play the cards with spades to start
And after he’s been hooked, I’ll play the one that’s on his heart
Lyrics from Poker Face by Lady Gaga

I remember times in Windhoek, Namibia where my parents would pull out a 1000-piece puzzle and the four of us would start separating the pieces from each other. A pile for the border, and other piles for the different main colors of the picture. We started with the border, and then the rest, and for weeks the puzzle would be on the table. In the evenings it was covered with a table cloth for dinner, but for the rest when we walked by the table, we added a couple of pieces. We were not the only family doing this, as Master T tells similar stories about his youth.

However, that same table was also used for our poker ‘lessons’. My parents saved 1- and 2-cent pieces in a big jar. On those rainy (and sometimes not so rainy) days, the jar with coins came out and was equally divided between the four of us. Yes, my parents taught us to poker. I have no idea what variant we were taught, and it’s been year since I played, but those were some lovely family afternoons.

In later years, our parents taught both of us to play darts too.

Injured knee

I was about nine or ten and in primary school, when I took up korfball. I  can’tremember exactly what team I played for, but one day we played a match between a neighboring school. The ball was thrown towards me and the girl of the other team standing in front if me wanted to catch it too. How it exactly happened I don’t know, but she turned and jumped, I jumped, we both went for the ball and our knees collided. God, that hurt. So bad. I couldn’t continue, but she could. I never returned to korfball because I never wanted to experience that pain again, but mainly because I am not really one for team sport.

Beach cricket

I remember one holiday when we went to Swakopmund, and family joined us. It was the same year of the flash flood, and once we had settled in on that second camping site, we had two weeks of holiday ahead of us. A cricket game was arranged on the beach, and us children were allowed to play along (anything to keep the kids occupied, right?!).

My mom was always in for a challenge, and she found herself standing in front of the wickets, waiting for the ball to be tossed so she could hit it. However, that ball never hit the bat, but landed squarely on her knee! Needless to say, her knee was blue for weeks!

My secret place

Also in Windhoek, we lived at the edge of the suburbs. Only about 100 meters from our house you walked right into the fields with high grass and trees. Many times a friend and I walked into the field, but more frequently I returned alone, as between three threes I cleared a triangle in the grass, brought some of mom’s wool with me and bound it around the trees to mark ‘my spot’. That was my quiet place. So many times I returned there to be alone, to just listen to nature around me, or to escape… whatever.

That is the same place where I started fantasizing about boys, as by that time I was about fourteen, and very interested in having a boyfriend. I can’t tell you any of the fantasies I had, as I simply don’t remember them, but I am sure they were not all innocent anymore!

Naughty games

Of course, I wasn’t all innocent back then. I remember those nights I sneaked out with my friend to throw stones on the roofs of houses in the street behind us, or let the air out of car tires.

Some games also started getting a sexy edge, like when I flashed the neighbor, or sneaked out at night to go to the drive-in, and allowing boys to slip their hands in my pants. Not just any boy of course, but those I was interested in.

The older we get, the naughtier our ‘games’ get, even though we don’t see it as games anymore, but just as part of who we are. The ‘innocence’ and inexperience of our younger years are gone, and in some ways that’s good, but in others it also means part of the ‘thrill’ is gone. Sometimes, but only sometimes, I wish I can feel the thrill of doing something ‘naughty’ again…

So many adventures given up today
So many songs we forgot to play
So many dreams swinging out of the blue
Oh let it come true

Forever young
I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever
Forever, and ever?
Lyrics from Forever Young by Alphaville

© Rebel’s Notes
Image from Pixabay


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Reminiscences: Musings in Memoir

4 thoughts on “The games I learned to play

    1. I still remember how MAGIC it felt to be there in ‘my’ spot, all by myself and where no one could see or find me 🙂 xox

    1. I think it’s kinda cool too. Writing for the prompt made me remember some of our happier family afternoons 🙂

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