Sunday, February 26, 2012

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Gathering up the ragged edges of winter we sallied forth yesterday morning.   There was a chilly wind, but the sun shone with some determination, and we stopped at the Senior's Centre for a cup of coffee and a look-see as to the condition of the Saturday morning bridge tables.  Did they need a spare?  Were there people hanging around looking for two more out of practice bridge players to make up a table???

There was only one vacant chair, and whoever was dummy was hopping around from table to table, filling in.  We had a cup of coffee.  Charles got into deep conversation with other drop-ins, so I went to take the place of the rotating dummy, feeling a little nervous as it has been many years since bridge was a steady and pleasurable part of our lives, and I did feel a little like a dummy, nervous and hoping that the others at the table were kind bridge players, - not the snippy types who make no bones about it and look down their nose when you bid inadequately, of trump your partner's Ace!  Oh, I have never done that......but it happened to Charles once.  Iris trumped his Ace, and he was such a sweet gentleman about it, - never blinked an eye..but it has gone down in history as one of our bridge stories!

All went well, and I enjoyed the game, but when we came home and were having a little conversation about who did what and why, etc. I began to think of the many Saturday nights we spent with friends, visiting, playing bridge and cementing the bonds of friendship.

A small dish of bridge mix in opposite corners of the table, a drink by your elbow, perhaps an ashtray close by, it being part of the time before smoking became such a dreadfully dirty habit and was instead a few moments of relaxation.

No stress.   Unhurried games, interspersed with friendly discussions, a few laughs, a few taut moments when it came to the opening bid, - they were wonderful times and we played bridge whenever we could, - Saturday nights, Sunday afternoons, impromptu get togethers - a few hands here, a few hands there - marvelous cheap entertainment.  Pickles and crab sandwiches waiting in the fridge for when we reluctantly put the cards away, but still replayed the most memorable hands of the evening and sat around talking, sometimes until the small hours of the morning.  And probably there was further pillow talk if the cut of the cards happened to present one with their spouse for a partner!!!

You know I'm livid, - you went to bed with an Ace

Eventually, as the children grew older and we grew busier, our entertainment grew more sophisticated and the bridge games happened less frequently, but at least once a month there was an invitation to "come to dinner, - I'll make a lemon pie for Charles and we'll play some bridge later".

Time passed, as it is so wont to do, and now we have lost many of those friends we played bridge with, to death or dementia, - we would be hard pressed to put together a foursome of old and dear friends for bridge now.

So we will go back to the Senior's Centre and play bridge with old acquaintances, and strangers, who will in the course of time become friends,  and life in town will continue to present all sorts of lovely surprises.

There is blue sky and sunshine this morning, - after a cup of coffee I think I will go out and pick some pussy willow branches and poke about to see if anybody planted daffodils in this lovely mini garden, and reminisce a little about days gone by and friends who live only in our memories.


Morning's Minion said...

I've never played bridge and I doubt I would have had the concentration for it. I do recall the sort of relaxed Saturday evenings when friends gathered, maybe several were playing Rook or Monopoly, others shared opinion about a book recently making the rounds or clustered near the piano to sing. Fruit salad and popcorn, youngsters getting sleepy--and yes, so many of those friends moved away or have passed away.
I've just brought in daffodils from one of the naturalized patches down the road and clipped some twigs from the goat willow in the front yard.

Barb said...

Dear HIldred, I love when you write a post tying the present with the past. I get immersed in the story and think of some of my own that are similar (though I never played bridge myself). I can tell that you and Charles will go back and play bridge again until the weather cooperates and you can play outside in the garden. By the way, Bob's favorite pie is a lemon merengue (made by our good friend, Barb S). She always makes him one for his b-day.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Ah Hildred - time passes - friends go on to live in other places, or pass away, or sink into dementia - it is just the same here. We who are still relatively well have to go on, find new things to do, enjoy life and be thankful for what we have. I have not played bridge for years - don't think I would be as brave as you were.

Nan said...

I so envy you those evenings playing cards. My folks used to play cribbage, and my mother and I played canasta. But as an adult, I've never had those sorts of times. I'm so happy you've found new people to play bridge with. Now that's a game I've never played. It's like chess to me - an entirely different language. :<)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Lovely memories and great that you found the senior center (to play more bridge and make more memories!). My 104 year old Aunt told me the other day (on the phone) that she's had to give up two of her five bridge clubs -- because, she said, "everybody else died." (She used to tell me that she could only call me on Saturday afternoon because she was too busy on the other days!)