One sentence never uttered by any of us children to our mother was “I’m bored.”I’m not sure if it was the 1950’s or my particular family, but we never thought our parents had any duty to amuse us. When we were bored, as we often were, we first turned to each other for playing outdoors or games indoors. Then we would figure out how to walk over to a friend’s house. (No parents drove any kid anywhere to play.) But if that failed and we were out of books to read and homework to complete, we had to resort to solitaire.
I actually was given a great book of solitaire games and worked my way through most of the book. Later I bought the volume shown above, adding more possibilities for rainy(most of the year in Portland)boring afternoons. I was intrigued by the alternate name for solitaire games–patience. While I guess this is the British name for this kind of card game, it also appropriately fit what I needed for some of the games. With the books and a deck of cards, I could always fill spare time.
Today many solitaire games are available as apps for computers. In fact my computer came equipped with one. They do speed things up by distributing the cards, reshuffling them and keeping score. Still when I play them I miss the feel of the cards and the immense satisfaction of winning a round at last.
What never occurred to me in my childhood was turning to television at boring times. We did own one which stayed in my parents’ bedroom. We gathered to watch it together for the Ed Sullivan Show and the Wonderful World of Disney. But I had spent the first part of my life without one and it was never part of my routine. And even today I rarely think of tv when I need to fill spare time.