Editorial:Obsolete Games by Teri Norsworthy

by | July 13, 2019 11:15 am

Last Updated: July 12, 2019 at 3:16 pm

When we were growing up, the word “desolate” would barely describe our community. We owned the only little store in our valley surrounded by vast farms resting between two mountain ranges. You never heard us saying we were bored! We made up games to play with whatever was going on around us.

If it got too late for us to take the cotton trailer to the gin, Dad would park it right out front of the store overnight for safety. The Williams kids would come down (lived 1/4 mile down the road from us) and we would stomp the cotton down until it got very tight. Then we would dig tunnels in it and play…we would come out of there with cotton and leaves all in our hair and on our clothes and it entertained us for hours.

On moonless nights, you could see the heavenly stars and Milky Way with your bare eyes. Occasionally, kids from the neighborhood that were at the store with their parents were invited to play our hide-and-seek game, which was a little unconventional. We would go out to the Texaco sign located about two hundred feet from the store to play hide-and-seek. Forget hiding behind trees, we lived in the desert.

It would be pitch black all around except for directly under the sign. The two lights shining onto the big star on the sign would cast a brightly lit circle around it. The one voted to be “it” would stand right at the bottom of the sign and all the others would simply step just right outside the lighted area and could NOT be seen. The dark was so void of commercial light that it was impossible for the one in the light to see outside the lit circle. As the one that was “it” went from one side of the lighted circle to try to tag someone, those on the other side would run to touch the bottom of the sign making them safe! I do not know of many places nowadays where it is dark enough at night to have such fun! Imagine all that entertainment without electronics!

Now that I have obtained the honor of grand parenthood, I take the liberty of convening innovating ways for my grands to develop their natural talents and think outside the box when they are with me. I show them how to make playhouses out of blankets stretched over lawn chairs or large piles of freshly cut limbs. When we’re baking, I allow them to add some of their ideas of what to put in the ingredients. When we do crafts, there is no wrong way; their way works just fine. I believe we can help our grands develop entrepreneurial spirits by encouraging them to think outside the box. Those electronic games don’t do that as far as I am concerned. They will never experience hide-and-seek or stomp the cotton like I did in my childhood but we can help them think of new ways to have fun.

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