Cathartic Ink

putting my own spin on things

Cribbage; or Finding Joy Under the Stresses

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cribbage board

I learned how to play cribbage when I was fairly young. My parents were friends with a couple who had two boys about my age; they would bring the boys over, we’d have dinner and then the grownups would drink beer and play cribbage while the kids watched a movie or played together. The real treat during these cribbage nights was that sometimes we were allowed to sit with the grownups and help count points. For those not familiar with the game, you get points for combining the cards in your hand or crib in different ways. It’s a great learning tool for kids–counting, addition, pattern recognition–all wrapped up in the fun of a game.

In college I spent many hours with one young man, forging a friendship initially based on little more than a shared love of the game. The board pictured above was a gift from him to me and it’s one of my prized possessions. I’ve taught my husband how to play now. Tonight, reminding him of the somewhat complex rules I was filled with happy memories. It’s easy to let the good things take a backseat to daily stress and frustrations and after a month particularly full of them, I’m working hard to embrace the little joys. And maybe I’ll be playing a lot more cribbage than normal.

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