Saturday, March 31, 2012
As sure as robins returning and ice thawing, playing pick-up-sticks was a sign of spring when growing up in the country! It didn't matter where we played. It could have been on a front porch or a side porch or a back porch. It could have been on a sidewalk rid of snow. Wherever it was, we always had lots of fun and lots of laughs.
I can't remember if we kept score. I do remember taking my time studying the jumbled pile of thin sticks. I'd try to figure out which one would be the easiest one to pick up without moving any of the others. Of course that was my cousin's goal too. It'd be so nerve-racking when gently taking hold of one and trying to pull it out from the bottom. I felt rather talented when I'd press down on one end of a stick and the other end would lift up above the others. Then I'd have to move my fingers just so to turn the stick while it was still up in the air and move it over the others and then down. That was a major accomplishment when playing this simple game void of batteries and micro chips.
Besides planning moves and figuring out a strategy which changed more often than not, a game like pick-up-sticks offered a sharing of time with others. Conversations flowed as sticks were studied and pulled and rescued from the pile. Nerves were raw when nearby sticks were moved in the process and starting all over again was the result. Kids miss out on alot when sitting and playing video games for when we played pick-up-sticks it was about so much more than the game itself.