Wednesday, March 15, 2023

away sweetly


This cloth has been hanging on the design wall patiently waiting its turn. Could be it never gets cut up or incorporated into a larger thing, it's so strong and singular all on its own.
Look down there in the foreground at the little Christmas cactus playing at being an Easter bunny.


I went "up country" on Sunday to stay over and spend the day with Charlie because they had no school on Monday for some administrative business. It was a welcome break. It's a shock seeing him after two weeks he's growing so fast. We've dispensed with the booster seat but there is still a wicker basket of toys and other crap in the back seat.

Sunday night another rainstorm blew through but Monday was glorious. He wanted me to time him running around the house with the stopwatch on my phone. Lucky me hit the camera button instead. 

All the neighboring herds were out enjoying the new grass. Sheep, cattle, cows, burros, horses. You can hear them from time to time mooing. 

Earlier in the day we had Poker 101 instead of boring math practice. Still, there was money involved. Adding, subtraction, probability, odds. He is discovering that math is in everything one way or another.
Hilariously, he learned to bluff accidentally and I learned that I have zero poker face.

 Sunday afternoon poker was a family tradition at my house. I joke that I was raised in the Church of the Inside Straight.

My family moved to the country when I was seven. Each Sunday my relatives would come for lunch and spend the afternoon into dinnertime playing nickel/dime poker around the kitchen table. Ballentine beer and the air blue with cigarette and cigar smoke. My Dad was a Charlie as was his father.

My Mom scuttled around the players in the tight kitchen cleaning up after dinner. My grandmother took over the TV in the living room. Kids were banished from the kitchen, but I had mastered the art of sitting quietly and was allowed to perch on a stool behind my Dad or my uncle and observe what was usually a friendly game. 

Holding a lame pair of sixes, my Dad leaned back to confer with me, silently. Stay or fold? Me, ever the wise guy, pushed a dime from his pile into the pot. We won that hand, but I was never allowed to sit in and play on my own. That would have been too much acknowledgment for a girl child.

Somehow, that distance was important to my understanding of the game, the people, and that my place would not be in their world in just a few years. 

Charlie and I laughed and learned as we went along, hand after hand. Later, I found a high-stakes poker tournament on TV and waited for him to spot the difference. He could tell that even with their poker faces on, they were anxious, and crabby even the big winner. On his own, he picked up that professional gamblers had flushed all the fun out of the game.

We went out to play.


jude said...

that is one beautiful cloth. so thin!
he grew up so fast

Deb Lacativa said...

Thanks. It's linen. Delicate but tough.

Just, wait Nana. I feel like the past eight years have barreled by in just one.

Nancy said...

Deb~ I laughed through this whole post! And then read it aloud to J. I love to see your Charlie...he reminds me so much of our Trey, now 20!
When my children were young, their dad taught them to play Blackjack. Once while walking past him and my daughter daughter, at 5 years old was the "dealer" I passed, I heard her say in the most perfect monotone voice, "Ya want insurance?". I look down and sure enough, she had an ace showing 😅
Thanks for bringing that memory back for a moment tonight.

ARTISUN said...

Love hearing your stories about growing up, and it's so fun to see you teaching and playing poker with Charlie.