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Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Off the rails
We noticed a "Ticket to Ride" game in the room of one of the residents in one of the Beehive Homes we visit on a weekly basis.
The lady who lives in the room is fun and lively so we offered to come play a game with her when we had a free night.
Yesterday we dropped in on her.
"We're here to play you a game!" we announced cheerfully.
(I think she was a little taken aback. This meant she had to take a deep breath, get the game down out of the closet and turn down an invitation to a movie with her daughter.)
But she was game.
We were soon seated at the dining room table in the commons area and getting out all the little plastic train pieces which were strangely heavy.
"My sister glued magnets to all of the trains," she explained. "And we added some tracks where there weren't enough lines."
We examined the board more closely.
In her game, sure enough, there were magnets glued solidly to the board everywhere the tracks were supposed to be.
Some were painted with nail polish and others marked with an "X."
Some were carefully cut in two so the board could still be folded up and put away.
There were way more options than we were used to having.
There was obviously a lot of work that had gone into making the board a one-of-a-kind version.
But, other than the magnets covered up a couple of the city names, it was fine.
We began to play.
Our friend took a locomotive and a train car card.
Neither Marc nor I had the heart to tell her you can't do both.
She put out her trains, counted her points and drew again.
"No," Marc said gently. "You can do one or the other. Not both."
She shot him a look.
Next a fellow in the TV area noticed us sitting at the table.
"Is it time for supper?" he asked, climbing out of his chair and shuffling over. "What are we having?"
We told him dinner was a while ago. We weren't eating just now.
He was clearly disappointed but headed back to his seat.
Next, the door opened and people came in. The commotion put us back another 20 minutes.
Then "we" needed water and "we" needed to check on another resident.
The TV was on full blast. Residents came in and out needing help with this and that.
We carried merrily on.
After two hours, we were down to four trains and the end. We'd had a good time, provided some diversion for some lonely souls and I won. That's the important thing.
Not bad when you're playing a 90-year-old lady in a retirement home, right?