• Yesterday, my daughter Elise beat the pants off me in the game called Words With Friends. I have never seen a Bigger score, and I used to make it to the 400’s often when playing a novice. She got all the big point letters: J-Q-Z-X and used them all strategically.  Sweetly, she said in the side bar, “You taught me well.” Several times I came close to catching her by playing off her big letters and using all the double word squares in sight, and then she would land another 50 point word.  My last play was ready to go and if she did not block the space, I could play all seven letters for 70 points and win!  Unbelievable- she played all seven of hers first and the final word was “SPLENDOR”.  I really like to win, but I truthfully felt so proud of her.  Those of you who play the game know that it is a type of Scrabble.  The advantage to this electronic version is that you can try several word placements to find the best play before entering the word, because it will tell you the point value of the word.  You can enter a nonsense word in hoping that is valid, and it will tell you that it is not a real word and give you another chance. Some people even go to the Internet and use a site that gives them word choices with the letters they have.  All the tricks make it easy to feel so smart.  The challenge is all in the placement and the luck of the letters received.  We used to moan when we got the Q in the board game and now we cheer knowing QI, JO, ZA and EX can land you some big points.  I nearly quit playing a year ago when I thought it was getting monotonous and slow.  Some people would play one word a day and never chat on the sidebar. I wanted to play a game a day and rack up points on the leader board. I left Crazyville before it became an addiction. But, I continue to play with just my daughters Bethany and Elise.  That one word a day is like a gift.  It says, ” Hello, I am thinking about you and checking in”.  On a Sunday when we play rapid fire while watching a football game ( one word every thirty minutes -woo hoo ), then the gift is saying, “I love you mommy and I like to spend time with you even when we are far apart”.  No longer do I care about winning which would shock my brothers. I will even say, “oh look, I left a triple word triple letter space open for you”. Games are really about building community and team spirit.  So what is your next word?

Meaning in My Mishaps

Yesterday, I borrowed Linda’s car to zip home and grab the red pepper that did not make it into the bag for our Taste and See lunch.  When I put her car into drive it did not budge.  Obviously, I jinxed myself when I joked with Linda asking, “Are you sure you trust me with your car?” Ah, I saw the light on the dashboard saying the parking brake was on.  Now, where is the brake release in a Lexis? A little panicked, I put the car in park and asked the first passer by to help me find the brake release.  Lynne had no trouble spotting it and pressed down with her foot to solve the problem.  She then went inside for the cooking demo surely wondering what kind of goofy people she would meet today.  I zoomed home and scolded the pepper for jumping out of the bag, and made it back in a timely fashion.  Lunch was superb.  I wondered if Linda always put on the parking brakes as an extra safety measure.  It is not something I do unless on a hill, which was once long ago.  And isn’t this a reflection of our personalities.  She is a leader who takes counsel, steps carefully and moves slowly toward her goal.  I plunge right in, cut corners, find the easy way and move quickly to the finish and on to the next project.  It is important to put on the brakes sometimes and consider our options prayerfully.  The safety brake can keep us from sliding down hill and plunging into deep water.  Most mishaps are because of multitasking and not paying attention to details. My husband did have to race home one time when I thought I left the stove on. I was sure I smelled smoke before we got there, but luckily I had done the right thing and just could not remember turning the dial to off.  I can’t change my personality and some people will appreciate a go getter like me.  I truly feel blessed to have people who help me slow the pace and even sometimes stop the car to enjoy the view.  If I forget the brakes, please pardon me for bumping into you.