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This was written for The Red Dress Club‘s memoir writing project, Remembe(red). Concrit is always welcome, and thanks for taking the time!

This week, we want you to recall the games you played when you were young.
Did you love Monopoly, Yahtzee, or Uno? Or did you prefer backgammon, Trouble, or Scrabble?
Word limit: 600 My count:
I wanted to do good.

I wasn't hoping to win, but I wanted to make Mommy and Grammy proud. I'd spent so many visits planted nearby, entertained by Barbies or Laura Ingalls while they played and drank tea, hot or iced, depending on the season.

I'd finally been invited to join them, since I was getting older. I was double-digits now, ten years old.

“Elizabeth, honey, would you like to play Scrabble with us?” The first rite of passage I remember into growing up. My mom and grandma always played a game of Scrabble per visit, sometimes several games.

Grammy's board was huge. It sat on a homemade-by-Grampy lazy Susan, so it spun to face the current player. It didn't fold, but had a raised plastic grid to hold tiles in place. If I was lucky, I got to help flick the tiles out of their little squares in between games.

My mom's board was more run of the mill, but just as special to me. Folding the board to funnel the tiles into one of the first (or so she says) things my mom ever sewed, a red and white print bag that is as ingrained in my memories as my own name.

And now here I sat, arranging my seven tiles carefully on the rack, looking for a word to leap out at me.

And then it did.

I spelled it very carefully to myself, to make sure I wasn't mistaken. I was right! I had a word! Thrilled, I tried to play nonchalant, watching our standard poodle, Annabelle, running her circuit around the backyard, barking as cars drove by.

It was my turn now, my very first turn in my very first game with Mommy and Grammy.

Carefully now, I picked up my tiles one at a time, not wanting to get things out of order.


I proudly added up the tiny numbers on each tile. “Seven! I get seven points!”

My mom and grandma just looked at each other and laughed.

Fifty seven. You get a bonus for the bingo! You used all your tiles in one word! I think you're a natural.”

I'd done good.

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  1. I started playing Scrabble with my kids lately and we have so much fun with it. They like to spell out words like "fart" and "vomit." It has now become a challenge for them to get at least one funny word into each match that I have to look at for the entire game. I also love it because it teaches them about words, counting points, fitting the tiles in the right places, etc. I hope you continue to pass the game along to future generations. It is truly a classic.

    Thanks for sharing. Visiting from TDRC…

  2. oh how I love Scrabble. Like LOVE scrabble.
    there is not one memory of my mom in my mind that doesn't involve that game and the tiny tiles, the X and Z seeming to mock us.

    I love how for you it was a "right of passage" , it was like that for me. I loved words, still do and that game celebrates them..rewards them.

    I loved this piece!

  3. You were a natural! Loved this! My family used to play the card game Rook, and I remember the first time I was invited to play…oh, the excitement I felt. It'll be a memory that never fades. Great response to the prompt. Visiting from TRDC.

  4. I love Scrabble, too. I must say, I'm super jealous of Grammy's sweet Scrabble set-up. Caught this from TRDC.

  5. Love! Love that you caught your voice, how proud you were, how much you wanted to please.

    In my book? You so did good! 🙂

  6. Great, fun post. I love Scrabble and used to play with my mom. She beat me most the time. Now I play with my daughter, the English teacher, but I can hold my own with her.

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