British style Trivial Pursuit and a surprise “visit” from my mom…

We had big plans to try a new restaurant yesterday, but the weather was icky and I didn’t feel like wandering around in the cold and wind. That gave us the perfect opportunity to try out the new 40th anniversary edition Trivial Pursuit game I bought from Amazon.de. I ordered it when Bill’s mom was visiting us last month, but we never got around to trying it until yesterday afternoon. Over wine and Steely Dan, we played the game, quickly realizing that it was a British version, which made it a bit more challenging. We got lots of British culture, sports, and government questions. I’m not complaining, though. It made the game more interesting.

At home in storage, we have the original game that came out in the 80s. Bill was always very good at Trivial Pursuit. He says his ex wife complained that he cheated, he was so good at it. Fortunately, Bill and I are evenly matched. I won yesterday’s game, but it was close.

After we were finished playing our board game, I took a look at Facebook and noticed a long, lost, familiar face… There was my mom, featured on the Facebook page for the assisted living place where she’s lived for the past ten years. She looks great, standing next to an exquisite counted cross stitch project she recently finished. My mom is super talented with keyboards, knitting needles, and other needles. I inherited her musical gifts, but not her talent for making beautiful works of art with needles, beads, and thread.

After my dad retired from the Air Force, my parents ran their own business out of our home. Mom sold knitting and needlework supplies, and she taught countless people her crafts. Dad sold art and framed pictures for people. Mom was also a church organist for about fifty years. Unlike most kids, whose parents worked out of the home and forced them to be “latchkey”, both of my parents were always home. I didn’t always appreciate that about them, but now I know I was lucky in that I got to spend a lot more time with both of them than my sisters did.

I tried to cross stitch when I was a kid, but I was terrible at it. I don’t have the patience to sit still for that long. I don’t have the dexterity to use a needle and thread. I have always hated sewing, even with a machine. I couldn’t make straight seams to save my life. My mom, by contrast, does just about everything with a needle except crochet. She told me it was because when she was growing up, her mother crocheted (and I have inherited one of the afghans Grandma Elliott made), but didn’t knit. A neighbor offered to teach my mom how to knit. Mom said yes to that because the neighbor had a TV. She and the neighbor would watch TV while they knitted together. I never learned any stitching skills, although one of my sisters has followed in my mom’s artsy footsteps. She knits and cross stitches and all that. Meanwhile, I’m the most musical of her progeny.

I did appreciate the yarn my mom sold. As a child and teenager, I showed horses, and that required me to braid manes and tails. Either yarn or rubber bands are required for braiding manes and tails, so I always had my pick of the best colors and highest quality yarns at the barn!

Mom’s yarn came in handy at the barn… I was 16 years old in this photo. I miss these days.

I haven’t seen my mom in person since the summer of 2015. I’d love it if she came to visit us again, especially since we live in a new city and have a better house for hosting guests. But flying across the Atlantic is tough on her, despite the fact that she’s aging so well. I’m long overdue for a trip home, anyway. It’s been five years since I was last in the States. Bill’s contract is coming up for renewal again this year. We’ll see if we stay or go. If we go, I’ll visit Mom when we get back to the States. If we don’t, it may be time to plan a visit to the USA before it’s too late. Bill needs to go see his dad, his daughter, and his grandchildren, too.

We were thinking we might go out today, but the weather is similarly yucky. Maybe we’ll play another game of Trivial Pursuit over more wine and conversation. Or maybe I’ll finish my latest jigsaw puzzle… we’ll see.


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