A raucous game of Mao, our newly discovered favorite card game, with my big family, including three of my brothers and an assortment of their people. (The photo above is just half of the table!)
So the big question is: how many of you know the card game Mao? My brother Stephen introduced it to our family at Christmas, having been recently initiated into the rites of Mao by a friend up in New York. Since then I've taught another dozen people or so, and we've found a few others people who have been playing this for years. It is one crazy, stressful, and very addictive game!
Facebook brought a whole new dimension to my birthday, I have to say. I was overwhelmed by the birthday greetings on my wall, totally making up for my usual two or three actual birthday cards received in the mail! How lovely that was!
But there was a downside to my birthday week. Randy's biological father died suddenly on Tuesday when an aneurysm near his brain stem burst. Terry was, as Randy says, his father "in a biological sense, but not much more." Randy's parents divorced when he was 10 and his mom later married a man that Randy grew to love as his "real" dad: the one who played with him, disciplined him, and guided him. He died 10 years ago, and his legacy lives on through his words of wisdom and funny stories. Nonetheless, my husband has lost his father, and so he will be heading off to his funeral this weekend. (And I'll be taking my lucky son to hear John Prine at the Tennessee Theatre instead of my husband. So much for our long-awaited date night!)
January and February have been filled with illnesses and deaths among our friends and family this year. The daffodils are beginning to pop out here and there, and we are all ready for spring. A little yellow against the cold goes a long, long way to lift our winter spirits.