Family photoThe long, dark, cold days of winter are upon us. It’s just getting light when I take Thistle for her morning constitutional and I can barely squeeze in a quick trot with her at the end of the workday.

It’s just dark.

And cold.

Which got me to thinking about how we used to entertain ourselves when we were kids in the mountains of WV. Or, more specifically, how my grandmother entertained us.

There were no video games or endless cartoons. We got three, maybe four television channels and there wasn’t much on to appeal to kids. SO . . . we played games!

My favorites were Old Maid; Crazy Eights; I Spy; and Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button? These were simple games that required few props and engaged our imaginations. Even now I can picture the floral fabric of the sofa where we played cards and all the little knick knacks around the room that we would spy with our little eyes.

It was warm, it was fun, and it made me feel important when my grandmother took time to teach me games and play with me.

Grandma’s been gone for a while now. The photo above is probably ten-years-old. She would have been totally up for a game of Crazy Eights even then.

Maybe, on one of these cold, dark nights, we’ll round up a button or break out a deck of cards and play a game or two in her memory. Just to keep warm and bright . . .