I mean quite young. Less than 8 years old.
I wasn't introduce to this serious form of gamesmanship by any of my male relatives or friends.
Oh, No. Not in my family.
That would have been---treasonous??
No. My brothers and I were introduced by our great-grandmother, Barbara Roth Flynn. We called her "Cese". (The C is pronounced as an S)
She was a tower of a woman. One of the last of the Victorians.
She stood at least 6 feet tall. And she had the will and stamina of a Percheron stallion.
She outlived her husband by several decades. And in her widowhood she enjoyed many female friends. And one night a week, four of them would meet.
To play cards.
A nice "friendly" game of Canasta.
Mind you, the youngest of the girls (in chronological age) was in her mid 80's!
Occasionally I would be visiting her with my brothers (who drove us there) when one of "the girls" was absent or unable to complete the game.
This was not an excuse to end the game prematurely. Oh, NO!
One of the great-grand kids was enlisted to fill the empty seat. And we were expected to play well. VERY well. Until the game was done. One, two in the morning.
So we learned Canasta.
And, we learned to play Cribbage. Against Cese. (As a result of that I can add to 15 faster than anyone I know. I can't get to 8 or 10 or 16, but I got 15 down!)
I was reminded of all of this yesterday.
I was invited to a brunch in Morro Bay by my childhood piano teacher. Her name is Virginia Hanigan.
It was a brunch to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Morro Bay Chapter of PEO. Virginia had help to found the group.
PEO is an organization of WOMEN dedicated to the EDUCATION of women. A powerful idea and group.
And so about thirty women ate together and reminisced about their chapter. Some were in their 80's and some just out of college. A fabulous mix. And the whole thing was great fun.
And at the end of the meeting Virginia walked over to the piano, sat down and played a piece for me.
And this is what she said:
"That's one of the pieces I had your grandmother learn"
Cese's daughter had taken lesson from Virginia, too! Something I never knew.
There is something about women. The life histories that are intertwined and remain with us forever.
So, yeah. There are times when I just like being WITH THE GIRLS.