Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Triple Word Score

Yesterday, as you all know, the kids had the day off from school. And my mom was off work as well, so we headed down the interstate to visit. We went to lunch with my mom and one of her friends and then went to see my grandmother. I feel so guilty that I haven't spent much time with either one of my grandmothers lately. I am so blessed to have both my maternal grandparents and my paternal grandmother. That's pretty rare, I think, for a woman in her thirties to have three grandparents still living. Since we have moved up here and David has become so busy with sports, it has become increasingly difficult to get down there to visit. And it is hard to visit both in the same day without wearing the kids and myself out. So yesterday, we visited just one - my dad's mom.

She is a rare woman. Truly one of a kind. And if she weren't my grandmother, I probably wouldn't like her at all. She is headstrong, stubborn, over-the-top dramatic, emotionally high-maintenance, and just plain difficult. But those are qualities you might not recognize in her if you hadn't known her all your life. She was a writer. The books she wrote were mainly cheesy, light romance. I forget how many she had published, but she still talks about her writing with such pride. And she still has aspirations of being remembered for her work. She has passed down her old computer hard drive to me full of countless numbers of manuscripts and stories she is secretly hoping I will have published for her. Since growing older, she has stopped writing altogether. Her admitted reason is that she can't remember from one page to the next what she has written about. That must be a frustrating feeling just not being able to hold onto things. I know how I feel when I can't retrieve a word, but I know it will be much worse than that when I am nearing the ninety mark.

One of my fondest memories of my grandmother is playing Scrabble. She taught all of her grandchildren to play whether they wanted to learn or not. And I loved it. Nearly any occasion I was at her house, the game board was pulled out. And I was serious about, too, many times referring to the dictionary to challenge a word or its spelling. Such a nerd, I know. Anywho - she was talking yesterday about a group of students that came to her retirement complex to play games with them. There was a small group that played Scrabble together, and they had seen the stack of score sheets she keeps in her game box. I started looking through them, some of them dating back to 1988. And I mentioned I wanted to teach David to play because I feel like he is my only hope for a good partner in my house. He quickly became interested and wanted to learn. So we pulled it all out and started a game. Of course I had to help, and I got so excited with the little letters and words I thought my brain would bubble over. I helped David learn the ins and outs - the value of the tiles, how to create words off another, double letter score, triple word score. I kid you not when I say that Scrabble could possibly be the most fun I could possibly have. Better than watching Grey's. Better than drinking beer.

As I looked through the old scores, I was humored to see that every time I won, I would circle my score and write at the top some obnoxious thing like, "Tamara wins again!" or "I am the winner!!" I am a little dramatic myself, I suppose. So I assisted David with his first Scrabble victory. Of course, now he thinks he could take anyone on and score 272 points. Little does he know he had the master on his side. And needless to say, I am buying us a Scrabble board today at Walmart. I think they make a junior edition, and I need to get him skilled so we can start playing some hardcore, dictionary thumping, nail biting Scrabble.

Life has reached an all time low when the things that excite you in life are cleaning your carpets and teaching your kid to play Scrabble. What will I do when I am eighty?


Erika said...

I don't think that is an all-time low, I think it is just a shift in priorities. :) I played board games with my grandmother, like Trouble and card games, like Canasta (spelling?). Those are good memories. I feel bad because Peyton always wants to play, and I rarely do.

carrie said...

At 80, you will play Bingo :). Todd loves to play games, too. It is one thing I can tolerate playing. I do not care to play Batman or Spiderman, but Chutes and Ladders I can do.

Rebecca said...

I think at 80 you will still play and you will tell everyone you know about how you taught your son to play. I never got into scrabble. I guess it was too much thinking involved :)

Keri said...

Wow your description of your grandmother sounds alot like you!