When we are home, my husband, Lin, and I start most days off with Cribbage games over breakfast. The winner for the day is the best of three games or two if someone gets skunked because a skunk is worth two games. I kept track of our games last year like a tournament, and Lin won the year. For Christmas, I made him a 2018 Cribbage Champion t-shirt as a prank gift.
It’s such a fun, peaceful way to start the day. We laugh and carry on as the games progress. We whine about our cards, our luck and losing. We laugh about the strange combination of cards we get. Lin often says the S word first (Skunk) as we watch the movement of the pegs around the board. We talk about our current plans and future plans and the dreams we have. We connect!
Lin has played and loved this game since the 70’s. He taught me how to play when we got married seven years ago, and I have gotten better each year. For a couple of years, we stayed in Pagosa Springs, Colorado for the month of July with a couple and moved around town to different coffee shops and cafes, playing Double Cribbage. People would stop, stare and ask what we were playing. Many responded, “My grandparents play that game.”
I was still teaching at the time we were playing in Pagosa Springs with our friends and often told them that they should teach Cribbage in school to help students learn math—what better way to learn counting than playing a fun game.
Lin often wisely shares one of his favorite Cribbage lines as we near the end of the game, “I like your position,” or “I like my position.” Then he explains his rationale for the comment on how many moves it will take to win. It’s usually the best-case scenario. We’ve had lots of laughter over that comment when it backfired.
To me this morning ritual is a sacred space of love, laughter and communication—a nice way to connect and begin our day.
Well, our daily ritual this morning took a surprise twist! It was a red-letter day for sure. We’ve both said for years that we didn’t care which one of us got a perfect score, but we just wanted one of us to get it. The score for a perfect hand in Cribbage is 29, and neither one of us had ever seen it.
On the first hand today of the first game, Lin got it! He had 3 fives and a jack of diamonds in his hand. Then when we turned over the card we share, it was a five of diamonds, matching the jack of diamonds in his hand. Yahoooooo! 29 points!
Lin’s enthusiasm was priceless. In a way, he was speechless which is hard to imagine if you know him–he couldn’t believe it. I photographed his perfect Cribbage hand and put it on Facebook for all to see.
And he went ahead and won that first game, I won the second one, and he won the day on the third game—to boot, he skunked me! A memorable day and time shared.
Have you ever played Cribbage? Let me know if you share this interest of mine.
If you’re interested, you need a Cribbage board and a deck of cards. Here’s the rules for Cribbage: http://cribbagecorner.com/rules
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