Where I write

Where I write

November 19, 2013

My love affair with Scrabble...

I'm one of those people who read obituaries. My interest comes from being a writer, a journalist, from wanting to understand and learn more about people's lives. I thought it was just me until I met other people who read obituaries, non-writers even. All sorts of people like my auto mechanic's wife who just the other day when I was getting my brakes done surprised me by admitting she is an avid reader.

As a reporter, one of my jobs on the small town newspaper was to write obituaries. Sorta sad, but always fascinating to me the way people spend their lives between birth and death.

Recently in the local newspaper, I came across the above obituary for Caroline Bouher who died at 84. From the obit it sounds as she had a nice long life. Some may have thought the most interesting fact about her was that she was raised on one of the first homestead ranches here in Arizona, horses and wild west and all that stuff, but my attention was grabbed by this sentence: "Rarely could anyone beat her in a game of Scrabble." Wow! Way to go Caroline. Now that's impressive.

Notice my hands are clasped as if I am anxious to put down an amazing word, or maybe just clasped because I'm losing again.

I love to play Scrabble, though I rarely never win. I probably lost that game pictured above. For a long time I thought because I'm a writer I should be a better player, but I got over that. (Learning the two letter words in Scrabble goes a long way in helping one win which I'm finally learning, but I still sorta suck.) Maybe it's just a game that ladies of a certain age like to play, but it seems a lot of my friends like to play Scrabble, too! Hmmm going out to a nightclub or play Scrabble? I pick Scrabble now.

I don't just play Scrabble here in Phoenix, either, I pack up my Scrabble dictionary and even my Scrabble board, if needed,  and take it with me when I travel. Just writing that sentence makes me feel old. No dancing shoes in my suitcase. Instead it's Scrabble.

I was in Santa Fe this fall visiting Stella, shown above beating me at Scrabble. Somehow she won though she kept getting only consonants. Or maybe vowels. This photo was from our second Scrabble game of the day. She won the first one while making a delicious dinner which included preparing a blueberry Lavender pie. She can roll dough and play Scrabble at the same time. She said her mom and grandmother always used to play and they even kept a little journal listing their scores. Not there yet with the journal, but close. She's a great writer and pretty darn good at Scrabble, but one of these days....

These are the two Scrabble queens showing two younger gals how to play Scrabble. This was taken in California with my friend Debbie in the green on the left and her sister, Chrissy, is in the white in the middle. Debbie and Chrissy mean business when they play Scrabble, very competitive,and the two younger girls are probably wondering why they are sitting on a Saturday night in San Diego playing Scrabble. This is your future, girls, so enjoy the exciting nightlife now because one day nothing will seem more fun than a board game with girlfriends.

At a party at Debbie's house a few year's ago there was a Scrabble championship. Chrissy is on the left and Marie on the right. They are two of the best Scrabble players we know. Chrissy lives in Colorado and Marie in San Diego and they were pitted against one another. While the rest of us played in the swimming pool, they sat inside and challenged one another with their word savvy. I wouldn't even dream of being in a game with either of them. My score would have been 50 and there's 5,000. Anyway Chrissy won. Chrissy is the Scrabble champ. A non writer Scrabble champ. Sigh.

My friend Gloria is not at all competitive. She's a writer/editor and I thought for sure she'd beat me. When I was in Connecticut visiting her, we started a game that took two nights. I don't even know who won. I put the two little pilgrims in the upper left corner on our score board to guard our Scrabble game through the night. Gloria  spends her days writing and writing and editing and editing and she's relaxed about playing Scrabble. I like that, too. Sometimes it's fun just to play.

Oh did I mention the one consistent when I play scrabble is either hot tea or wine. I never win whether it is hot tea or wine I'm sipping. Oh and snack food is always nice.  I've played Scrabble in the desert, by the ocean, (in photo above) in people's kitchens or backyards, restaurants, hotel rooms and even on the airplane. I've lost at Scrabble in all sorts of lovely locations.

Okay so I'm not Scrabble whiz, but I can call myself a writer, anyway. Maybe someday my obituary will say, "she rarely won a Scrabble game. But she had a blast playing." Maybe in my next life I'll beat Sandy, and Chrissy, and Debbie and Stella, or maybe I'll just enjoy the Scrabble ride in this life and I will be a winner anyway.


SunsetCindi said...

We should have a WIG scrabble game, I'd love it!

Rita A. said...

Great post. I love Scrabble too but never seem to play since my long-time Scrabble buddy moved to Saudi Arabia.
I love that metal board. I assume the tiles are metallic.
And I love your obituary sentence. Fit's you perfectly. You are all about enjoying life.

Stella said...

Love the way you linked Scrabble to the obits! I'm sharing this with the girlfriends. My what a big mouth I have...

Stella said...

And you ARE a winner!

Anonymous said...

I loved Scrabble! My Grandma and I played all the time - even when I was just a kid. :-) I miss it.