Saturday, March 11, 2006

Shuffling the cards of life

Shuffling the cards of life.
Dining room table has been cleared off and after dinner, Dad asks if I want to play a few rounds of gin rummy. 10 cards are dealt to each other. one, one;two, two; three,three;...ten, ten. The face card is finally turned over next to the virgin deck of cards.
Pensive looks cross each other as the cards are arrnaged by suit for the correct assortment of possible hands. The silence of the room is sliced by the ringing of the phone. 3 rings later, my mom answers the phone. It is my brother who calls to let us know the latest news of an editing job and news of how Abby is doing with her adventures.
The dishwasher whirs in the distance. Mom asks for help with the daily crostic for a clue to help unlock the clue to the quote. I know how hard it can be to find the right word to squeeze within those dashes. Many possible words but only the right one for the author of the puzzle. this life is a puzzle at times-finding the right words to say or deeds to do. But nonetheless satisfying when the pen can be put down. Oh, my mom is amazed I can do it in ink but a few scribbles is no problem for me. They can stay on the page-for life has made enough scratch marks on me. I am not afraid for others to see those.
Back to the game at hand, arranging and rearranging the cards for the perfect chance for gin. In my mind, I am looking for the right combination to spark a high hand at gin. My mom gets up from her puzzle for a few crackers and takes a glance my way and says "interesting cards" Not that I need immediate help. I just shuffle and arrange and see where some moves take me.
Oh, my turn. I just discarded the king of hearts and spades. Not that I want those high cards in my hand. Too many times giving a score of 60 away. NExt I draw the king of diamonds. yet, I struggle to fix the hand to a satisfaction that has all the cards lined up right.
a final score of 40 and just in time before all the other cards are used.
I shuffle 4 more times and Dad cuts the deck for another round of dealing the right 10 cards, I hope. Dealing those 10 cards and then awaiting the sound of silence and the sound of encouragement of how Bridgeport and Cartright Towers is doing.
Being present with each other dates back to the times at Newington Childrens Hospital during the 5th grade. a good activity for a father and son to spend in time and place from Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota and Arizona.
Thanks for that chance to do something so simple yet so profound -to await our fate with the conclusion of the hand. Scores are evenly matched at the end. the final score never matters. just numbers scored carefully on a folded shopping list in life. To be mingled with a silent but constant reassuring love of a father to his son. thanks for the hands.

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