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“Aging can be fun if you lay back and enjoy it.” Clint Eastwood

When I was growing up my Mom played bridge every week with three other women. Women that she knew since she was in Kindergarten. Other women wanted to be a part of the “foursome” but they stuck with their selective group, that was what worked. The gals brought “brown bags” for lunch. Every Thursday they would rotate homes. As the years rolled along, my mom gave up driving and my dad would drive mom and her sister to join the others.

I thought the game of Bridge was for old people, the tradition was for old people, women for the most part. Running off in my own direction never giving too much importance to my Mother’s weekly activity with her pals.

Now life looks much differently. My parents have been married for seventy-three years. They are firmly planted in their nineties. My dad serves my mom coffee every morning and their main meal is midday. They watch movies, go out to lunch, read, and play bridge. Their live-in caretaker, I fondly refer to as “Nanny”. They taught Nanny how to play bridge and the fourth is the ‘dummy’ I named the dummy “Harry” seems I like to name things.

I arrived in Laguna Niguel at my parents home for three days taking Nanny’s place best I could. She took a much-needed break. My parents were set on teaching me bridge. The game is layered with strategies, playing your partner, counting cards. There are delightful phrases such as “put the kids on the street”. My mom would verbalize “oh phewy!” or that’s “wretched”. The card that could wipe out a high hand is ironically referred to as a “trump” card.

I played with only partial understanding the rules. My dad took over and coached me along. What I once thought was for old ladies I loved!

The game was a blast! Differing from any other card game I had played. Having any kind of fun and positive moments with my elderly folks is precious. I actually said to my dad “I want to bid the black clover card. What’s that one called?” He said the “black clover card is also known as a trump. You bid a one-trump”. My dad who often times astonishes me is nearing ninety-six rarely misses a beat.

Preconceived ideas be damned! If I once harbored such judgment towards a game, what other lessons are there for me to learn? What other things in life have I prejudged or misconceived? It is time for me to broaden what I never knew nor understood. There could be more wonder for me to discover!

My Mantra: “Learning something new can be filled with surprise.”