Skip-bo and the Farm

Something my family spent a lot of time doing was driving. I don’t know how many times we went back and forth to my grandparent’s farm in Alberta but trust me, it was a lot.

My guess is between two and four times a year for 10 years.

Anyway, we loved going out to Alberta and spending time at the farm even though we were “from B.C.” Yeah, we were branded by our cousins for being from over the mountains and through the hills. To me it was so weird that someone would care (and have an opinion) about where I lived. However, I think we all tried to fit in with our cousins as best we could even though we didn’t understand what made us so different.

This meant playing in/around/on cows, farm equipment, junkyards, derby cars, snowmobiles, etc. etc. etc. At home we didn’t have any of these things. Just bears and stuff and junk. Mountain trails. Dogs who chased you home from school. Kids stuff. We were in Alberta now.

Of course we also spent a lot of time with our grandparents. They were nice people. Really really nice. My grandfather spent a lot of time restoring classic Fords and my grandma spent hours tending to her vast flower garden, greenhouse, and vegetable patch. They were simple people who lived quite a ways out of town. There was no TV, no Internet, no video games, no radio stations, no entertainment really. So, when our cousins weren’t around the four of us Roste kids could play with our mom’s old toys from when she was a kid or…

  • Watch one of the two VHS tapes in the house:
  1. Disney classics Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, and Robin Hood, all on one tape
  2. Hockey’s Greatest Hits
  • Play games (here are my favourites):
    • Skip-bo
    • Racko
    • Othello
    • Old Maid
    • Dutch Blitz

    And…that’s about it.

    But actually, we all loved games and especially Skip-bo. My grandpa was pretty good at it and my grandma was ruthless. They taught me all I’ll ever need to know about cards and strategy and my family still gets together regularly to rally at Skip-bo. Sure we try other games now and then but nothing really compares. Especially now that we have all sorts of in-laws who don’t quite “get it” yet. They’re so funny.

    Anyway, so this little passion began for me basically as soon as the game was released…OK, since I learned how to play. It’s a simple game anyone can play so I don’t think it’s the game I love so much as all the years of happy memories of my grandparent’s farm and spending time with my relatives and family.

    It’s weird. Even though there wasn’t much to do and even though we had to wash dishes by hand and do chores and stuff, I always had the best time and cried and cried each and every time we had to leave. I loved living over the rainbow but…well I can’t explain it. I guess you just know when you’re loved and you want to hold on even when you know you can’t.