Saturday, December 5, 2009

turkey tracks

When I was younger, we would stop by my Great-Grandma Larson's house after church to visit. We'd eat a little "light lunch" as she'd call our meal of bread and butter, jam on the table, muenster cheese, and a vegetable. She'd offer 7Up and make my Dad a pot of coffee. Sunday afternoons are designed for naps and reading thick papers with special sections and coupons. Sunday afternoons are made for lazy walks or decorating a Christmas tree. And some Sunday afternoons are for playing Turkey Tracks.

Great-Grandma would find her box of dominoes and we'd spread them on the table, face down, and draw ten. (Was it ten?) At opposite corners there'd be draw piles. It's been so long that I cannot remember all of the rules, but the dominoes soon marched out in tracks and whoever went out won the round (smiley faces drawn in the zeros), while the rest of us racked up points from the dominoes we hadn't played. At some point in the game, Great-Grandma would push her chair back and get up slowly, walk the few steps to her kitchen and return with a plate of butterscotch cookies or her homemade doughnuts or a small bowl of Andes chocolate mints. We'd have refills of 7Up or milk and Dad would pour another cup of coffee for himself and we'd play Turkey Tracks through its twelve rounds. (Was is twelve?)

Sometimes I was bored out of my mind playing Turkey Tracks. Sometimes I giggled at anything. Sometimes I almost won a game. We didn't talk much during Turkey Tracks. Great-Grandma might mention some family news or talk about her friends. We'd dutifully tell her about our schoolwork or sports. I don't think I thought about Great-Grandma being a particularly interesting person until later on in high school and then I started asking her to show me all the old photos and tell me all the old stories. I took notes. I wrote down the names of the people in the photographs so that we would all remember who they were when she died. I have those papers lost in a box of my papers and I need to find them and give them to my Grandma who has all those old pictures.

There is a lot I need to do yet. Which is why, in my mind, my daily life is beginning to look like a Turkey Track game: branch off of branch off of branch sprawling across a smooth dining table, until bedtime when I scoop my dominoes into their box. I will always play another round tomorrow.


Sergio en Colombia said...


DC Running Mama said...

I like this post. And, what is it with grandmas and their sweets...a small tray of their speciality brings back such fond favorite memory of my grandmother: her icebox cookies. My mouth salivates just thinking about them and remembering hours spent playing in the woods by her farm.

Anonymous said...

Just started family night. We play games with our 4 kids on Friday nights and tonight is Turkey Tracks. My wife and I couldn't remember the rules so I googled it and found your post. Great story and as I read, it jogged my memory of the rules. Thanks.