Another Family Tradition

 Here we go Friday!

For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, we are going to a card night tonight. In fact, we are even hosting it. 

I must say I am excited. Card night has always been one of my favorite things. For those of you who are unfamiliar a cards night is just a time when friends get together, play some games (card or board it doesn't matter), have some snacks, and just visit. It's been so long since the last one that I had to look up the rules to one of my favorite games and watch a YouTube tutorial. 

Since it's the first one in a while, and we are currently experiencing yet another spring snowstorm, I am not actually sure how many people will show up. But I know that I will be there, as will my husband and daughter. And that is a good start. 

Sometimes returning to the simple things and just meeting your friends and loved ones across a game table fixes more than you think. It's just a time to enjoy each other, talk about what's going on in your life, and maybe rib your competitors. It's really easy to become disconnected from your community, and a few hands of cards is a great way to get back into the swing of things. 

I have a lot of memories of being a kid at a card night. The older people talking about times gone by, and if you listen closely you might hear a story that you've never heard before. Or get a detail that was always missed when you heard it. In my family, people tended to be less guarded around the table. The laughs came more easily, as did the stories and jokes. I was always a good listener, so they used to try to one-up each other by telling the funniest story. And sometimes, the family ghost stories would pop up. 

I would be remiss to not mention the snacks. There would always be hot hors d' oeuvres, meatballs, wings, deep-fried mushrooms, a veggie tray and if I was lucky one of my aunt Lil's Oreo puddings. But by far my most loved treat is what we called Newfie hors d'oeuvres. It involves a bit of Vienna sausage, a bit of gherkin, and a piece of cheddar all together on a toothpick. Sometimes we would be really fancy and have a pearl onion on the end. 

The night would always be longer than intended, and everyone would leave tired, in a good way. And usually, the next night would be scheduled before the last card hit the table. 

Most of the card games I know I learned either at the side of my great-grandmother, great aunts, and great uncles, or my dad. Somewhere there is a newspaper picture of me sitting in my great-grandmother Stella's lap. I am not sure why the newspaperman was there, but I do know that we were playing scat. One thing about my great-grandmother was that she had whatever the opposite of a poker face is. You knew she was in a good spot when she would tap you with the back of her hand. You also knew if you beat her, the names she would call you could make any sailor blush.

As the older generations age and pass, I worry that this part of our culture will pass with them. All we can do I guess is involve our kids and hope that they love it, too. And maybe they will pass it on. It's a lot to pin on what is supposed to be a fun night, but what family tradition doesn't come with some pressure?




Music Corner

Since I got myself talking about Newfoundland (even though I have had more card nights where I live now), let's keep it rolling and pick some Newfie music. My husband was born here and raised in Dubai. One of the things he has fallen in love with from my side of things is the music. Before he met me he loved other Canadian Celtic style music, but really fell into it with me. 

One of our favorites is a band called The Navigators. And our number one song by them is called Dance and Sing. It's a silly song, but it's meaningful to us. 

Shopping Corner

Rummikub









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