Dawn of a New Cribbage


(Sunday Paper, Volume II, Issue 36)

Last weekend we were tossing around the idea of joining Kathy's sister for a weekend with her and her friends in the mountains of New Hampshire.

Kathy had just returned from her time away, though, and we decided to not do the full weekend - we drove up for the day on Saturday.

We did a quick little trail walk with the girls, and as everyone assembled for the weekend the weather was shaping up to be just gorgeous.

So how did we spend the rest of the day?

We whiled away the time indoors, playing games.

It was a blast.

And for me, you might say it was the dawn of a new age. (Cribb-age.)


I have long been obsessed with the idea of cribbage.

I remember reading that Terry Francona and Dustin Pedroia constantly played the game in the Red Sox clubhouse in what I think was their 2007 season.

I figured if it was good enough for them, it would probably be something I would enjoy.

I had it in mind as one of the 'New Things' I should try in 2013 as part of my '365 New Things In 2013'. I somehow managed to do 365 new things that year without learning to play cribbage.

And I remember having a couple of fifth graders who played the game at indoor recess and just not having the time to invest in sitting with them to learn from them. (And as I write this I remember that, also back in my teaching days, I told my librarian friend about my interest in Francona/Pedroia/cribbage and she left me a 'How To...' games book, with the cribbage page marked. My learning style is such that I have trouble learning from a book like that - I would have stood a much better chance letting the fifth graders teach me.)

But the point is - until last week, I never learned the game of cribbage.

Then I saw Nancy and Doug pull the game out and I watched them play for a bit, then they re-started the game and taught me while I played along. There's so much to it.

Lots of math.

Card strategy.

More math.

Lots of card shuffling.

So many rules.


And I love all of it.

It was pretty much what I hoped for.

The problem is: I am struggling to remember, just writing this all down, what the rules are. I know there's a lot of adding to 15. The Jack can do some crazy things. (Two for his heels! Something like that.) There are some poker-like good things you can have in a hand.

So somehow I need to keep playing in order to cement these things in my brain.

Do you play cribbage? Do you know someone who does? I need to keep playing. Let's figure something out.

What I'm saying is - I need someone to play with. I'll let you be Dustin Pedroia.


*Hoo-boy. What a week. The girls started school this week, so....Say it with me everybody: "I'm having trouble adjusting to the new routine!!!" We'll get there. This will by far be the busiest year I've had since I stopped teaching and I think it's going to be great (I've started my out-of-the-house writing this week as well and am figuring out that routine), but it'll probably be the end of September before anything becomes 'normal'.


*Shook off some rust this week with a couple of shows. Tuesday was not great, Wednesday was somewhat better. The hectic days mean I haven't been able to get out to as many open mics as I would have liked...hopefully that changes soon. Was able to get out to a show Saturday night - only planned on popping in and supporting the show and ended up getting to do a spot. It went really well - definitely the best of the three this week, so that was a good note to end the week on.

*Not too much booked in the near future (though I'll be in Newmarket, New Hampshire Friday night in an awesome venue with what looks to be a great lineup) but I'm hoping to fill in more and more of those dates as the fall progresses.

What I've Been Enjoying

*It's been a while since I've enjoyed watching the Mets specifically, but I sure have been enjoying watching baseball this season. There's so much fun stuff to follow: I get a kick out of watching Chris Sale pitch every five days here in Boston, I was following as many of Giancarlo Stanton's August at-bats as I could, and with as many as eight teams fighting for wild card position in the American League there's plenty to distract me from the Mets' shortcomings. I'd much rather have seen the Mets make a third straight post-season run this September for the first time in their history...but at least there's plenty else to keep an eye on as the 2017 baseball season comes to an end.


*Thanks again for Nancy and Doug for letting me barge into your cribbage game - I'm so glad I finally learned how to play!

*Bad news: Kathy has class on Thursday nights this fall, so there won't be a lot of Thursday night shows until December or so. Good news: I'm going to go ahead and take advantage of that situation and for the first time in a couple of years really enjoy the Thursday Night Football games. (Hopefully they don't stink like they did the past couple of years.) What do I mean by that? Maybe I'll make the girls something easy for dinner and then do something a little more adventurous for myself....or, more likely, just stock up on some unhealthy snacks and beer and have a weekly football party for one.

*I mentioned earlier that it's time to get into a new routine, but we're not even halfway there yet. The extra-curricular activities won't even start until next week so I'll have no idea how the day-to-day will look until mid-September...and as I said, it'll likely be the end of the month before I'll know when I can do things like go to the gym (which is by far the thing that has suffered the most the past couple of months).

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