Slice of Life March Challenge #13: keeping score and making memories with Scrabble

        The March Slice of Life Challenge is hosted by Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers

Tucked away in odd corners of our house –  under the sofas, in books, in between take out menus – are score sheets for our favorite game:

Over the years, we have spent hours on Scrabble.  This is how we’ve spent long winter evenings by the fire, or rainy afternoons sprawled around the family room and  the kitchen table, or on the porch whenever the weather is nice.  With one eye on the game and the score, our kids have shared stories and worries and dreams. We’ve strategized over college choices, boy friend and girl friend issues, travel plans and friendship woes even as we figured out how to land that X on the triple letter score.  
A Scrabble game was usually  in progress as we’ve cooked dinners and brunches, baked cookies and cakes, sipped on cider and hot chocolate, champagne and wine.  Scrabble tiles can be found deep in the crevices of every sofa, and stuck under book cases – when we finally pack up the house and prepare to move on, I am convinced that we will find enough Scrabble tiles here and there to make a set or two.  
When Elizabeth, our first to leave the nest, went off to college, we played Scrabble the night before she left…and then I glued the tiles to the board so that she could take it along.  The score was 300 – Elizabeth, 150 -Mom.  Somewhere in all the stuff she’s stored in our basement now that she’s off in studying in London is that Scrabble board.  There hasn’t been a visit home when we have not found the time to play again,  to trade news and gossip, and for me to try, one more time, avenge that humiliating loss.
I was thinking about all of this tonight as I discovered, while packing up books to donate to our library, those score sheets pictures above.  So many games played, so many stories shared ….so many memories to treasure… 
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15 thoughts on “Slice of Life March Challenge #13: keeping score and making memories with Scrabble

  1. Isn't it funny how those score sheets never make it to the trash but end up in the game box. Scrabble is one of my favorite games to play. I loved all the scenes you set with the common thread of this game.

  2. "With one eye on the game and the score, our kids have shared stories and worries and dreams. We've strategized over college choices, boy friend and girl friend issues, travel plans and friendship woes even as we figured out how to land that X on the triple letter score." Lovely images to bring out the heart of your story. Landing on the specific score of the night before your daughter left for college was a lovely way to craft your piece. I can't wait to play Scrabble with my own kids… 🙂 -marika

  3. We love playing speed scrabble, and now I enjoy playing Words with Friends on my phone. What a wonderful gift you made of that game board. So many happy family memories permeate this slice!

  4. Tara your post touched me in so many places. We love Scrabble and when we took family vacations every member could choose one game and I would choose Scrabble. The thought of you gluing those pieces – WOW! My husband and I just played two nights ago because our home was just too empty with both kids away. Thanks for a beautiful post!

  5. What a great way to keep your family together! All of the listening and sharing during the games and all the memories continue to be made. Thanks for sharing not only your love of the game, but especially of your family.

  6. How great that Scrabble is tied to all those family gatherings. I think your kids will keep the tradition going to the next generation. My sister and I played many board games growing up but for some reason we didn't really play Scrabble. Our favorites were Chinese checkers, Clue and a game called Careers. Our original Careers game was thrown away so I bought one on Ebay. The Ebay game still had score sheets from the original owners.

  7. That is such a lovely post. It is amazing how something so simple can be so strong and wonderful.And on a side note, I just go The Forgiveness Garden from the library. I quickly read through it and am going to make time to read it with my class. Thank you for writing about it!

  8. You can't glue the tiles to a Words With Friends board, can you?I am a devoted Scrabble fan. I appreciate this slice more than words can even describe. (Kind of a funny sentiment since Scrabble is about words!)

  9. I love memories like these that you can revisit once in a while. For my daughter and I, it has been Jeopardy! Too bad I can't beat her in it any longer (I lose all my points in the pop-culture questions).

  10. I love hearing about your Scrabble game tradition, Tara. For me & my grandson lately, it's Monopoly. When he comes to visit, we begin a game, return to it as we have time. What special memories are wrapped up for you all in seeing just one tile!

  11. Oh my gosh…this short sweet slice was beautifully written and brought tears to my eyes. You have such a loving family. I wish I had memories like this from my childhood. I'd love to start making memories like this when I have my own family. I love that you glued the scrabble tiles down, preserving a memory forever.

  12. Hi, Tara. What a beautiful glimpse into your family life. You have the raw materials for a poem in this post — Scrabble tiles would make a good metaphor for how our lives shift and reshift when children leave home.

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