Tuesday, August 28, 2012

This Season Of Scrabble and the Wonder of Words With Friends

I've always liked the magical way letters became words.  My childhood playmates did not find Scrabble to be nearly as much fun as Monopoly or Crazy Eights; however, it turned out that my much younger brother shared my passion for the game.  Over time, he perfected his game on his hand-held devices while I wrangled kids. On snow days and on my birthday, I tried to get other family members to play with me, but they usually declined in favor of a football game or Monopoly!  Only my brother was always ready and willing to play.  For many years, he was unbeatable!   
In fact, during the last days of his battle with cancer, I played to distract him from his pain and he played (I suspect) so that we would not have to say good-bye.

This summer, my Scrabble life grew exponentially and became filled with new, happy memories after I accepted a challenge to play an online version with my son.  Then, I slowly added some  Words With Friends requested games to my daily regime.  It wasn't long until I had multiple opponents including my niece and colleagues from work.  I was in "word heaven" right here on earth, or so I thought until one day, the family became embroiled in a "real" game while I cooked dinner.  It made my heart swell with pride that they had "found" the excitement of "my" game.  Then, if that was not enough, someone challenged me to a board game version on vacation.  I saw that someone else really loves the game.  It made evenings at the beach incredibly special. 

Thus, it has been a very exciting summer thanks to these ongoing, online games and those few "real" games with visible opponents. However, there seems to be a bit of an addictive quality to the whole online package where one game with an opponent morphs into two games through some cyberspace event! Thus, I am going to have to be the bearer of bad news to some of my opponents as I am now publicly declaring that I am not going to be able to play online every day, twice a day like I did this summer once school starts full force.  One game per opponent is the maximum I can handle, until vacation.  As my mother used to say, "Be careful what you wish for!"

For the record, because they will publicly challenge me on this, my son has whopped me quite a few times lately.  He is still "beatable" but it is getting harder and harder and his total number of wins exceeds mine!  My brother would be thrilled.  My colleague from work and I are in a dead heat with equal numbers of wins and losses.  She is spending a lot of time with Wilson and it sure is helping her!  Another colleage saw me setting up my classroom and announced, "I really want to beat you!"  Welcome back, 2012!  My niece is starting her busy senior year, thank goodness, as I have been sweating every game!  I am not so sure I can hang on at this pace.  I need a vacation! 

There is great news in this Scrabbled Summer filled with Wondrous Words.  Scrabble is alive and well everywhere thanks to the Internet.  Scrabble now has now established a whole new generation of competitive word lovers.  I promise I will accept all in-person board game requests from anyone if there are here or I am at their place.  It turns out I'm not the only one who loves words anymore and I am not begging for opponents anymore!    

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