Eularee Smith
Writer & Educator

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Family Connections

I admit that I am a Scrabble addict. As a child we used to play the game for hours and as an adult I enjoyed playing with my kids and now I play with my grandkids. My idea of a weekend getaway is to spend time with my friends playing marathon Scrabble.

Unfortunately the game of Scrabble is not like Solitaire. You really need someone sitting across the board from you. After reading an article about a woman who reconnected with her family through online games, I was inspired to start playing Words With Friends.

Words With Friends gained a bit of notoriety with the escorting of Alec Baldwin off the plane when he refused to stop playing with his friends. This intrigued me. Knowing I would in recovery mode from shoulder surgery, it seemed a good time to investigate the online word game. 

Not being the most patient person, I admittedly was a bit frustrated when I started to play with those friends who would not respond immediately. Hardly a game if I have to wait a day to get my turn. But then I discovered I could play more than one game at a time and like Bobby Fisher, the chess champ, playing mutilple games at once, I threw myself into inviting several people to play a game.

Online games stimulate the mind and keep it challenged like crossword puzzles, sudoku and the jumbles. Teaching my granddaughter how to spell and helping a few friends who say they can't spell is a bonus. I have found lots of new two letter words to boost my score and even made 66 points on one word. 

It is wonderful. I play with family and friends that I rarely see. We can send a chatty message about not having any vowels or why did they play that, just as if we were sitting across the table when we were children. Albeit not as vocal, the games are lively and the results are just as satisfying. 

Through the miracle of technology, game night can be reinvented with family members that have moved away. My brother and I are playing Drawsome, a pictionary type game. Though neither of us inherited any artistitic flair, we laugh at our attempts at drawing stick people or animals. His drawing of a centaur added a few endorphins to my aching shoulder recovery. 

In a world that is moving faster everyday, finding ways to connect with family and friends keeps us balanced and focused on the joys of family and friendship. I still have very fond memories of my brother taunting us every time he got a monopoly! Wonder if they have that game online...I loved buying the railroads!

Image: Flickrimages by Travis Isaacs

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