The Last Days of Summer

I’m sure some of you and/or your kids have already returned to school in whatever fashion that takes this fall. I’m sending positive thoughts of safety, energy, and joy to you as you take on this mammoth and vital task of education. In today’s environment, I’m grateful to no longer work on the front lines.mc900382578

Still we can find joy anywhere. One daughter’s kids returned last week, but they’re in a homeschool hybrid situation, where they go in twice a week and are at home three days. My other daughter’s child starts September 8 all virtual. This year, I’ll get to spend Thursday afternoons with her. We might do some school type work, but mostly, we’ll be playing. That’s been something as a grandmother I’ve had to relearn how to do. I’m pretty much a workaholic and sitting around doing nothing has little appeal even with beautiful views to inspire me.


For a while, all the grands got into coloring. You know they have these adult coloring books now. They’d come over and we’d drag out the books and pencils. I had to school myself that it was okay to spend hours having so much fun. img_3457

My youngest grand is really an organizer. We don’t just play games and see who wins each game. No, she sets it up as more of a tournament with a grand winner at the very end. There’s an order of which game we play first.

What joy to see her figuring out who done it in Clue. Or strategizing with Connect 4. And lookout when we play Uno.


One of my favorite games is Bean Bag Toss. I think up east you call it Corn Hole. Where does that name come from? We’re having a couple of days of moderate temps, so we can actually play outside. I expect we will both improve our skills over the fall. Look out, family members. 😊

I think the first time I heard of the importance of play was at a church women’s retreat where we learned to play Word Salad—Not sure how I failed to mention that game earlier. It’s my youngest granddaughter’s favorite game. Can you guess why? You get to act out part of the game.


So I want to encourage you to find time to play. I know how hard that is. Even a few minutes a day or a couple of times a week, will relieve your stress level. And we all could use a bit of help with that. We will get to the other side. I don’t know what it will look like, but we’ll get there.

Are you a game player? Are you competitive or do you just play the game? Do you have grands? Do you get to play with them? Can you find time to play with your kids? What kinds of things do you do to relieve stress? (Meditating is great for lowering blood pressure.) These days, we all need to find strategies to help reduce stress and connect with our inner child. And it never hurts to read a good book with a Happily Ever After ending. 😊

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Amazon Print

B & N


This one will get up on iTunes next month.

Love to hear from you.

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. Kathryn Jane says:

    Thanks for jogging the memories of playtime. I don’t have grands because I don’t have kids, so when I think of play it usually involves cats and kittens.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey, Kathryn. Cats and kittens work just as well, as do puppies and dogs. Someone who takes us outside of ourselves. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, Marsha! My granddaughter, Julia, is only a year old. I wish I could play with her, but can’t right now. Sigh. As for me, I play mahjong. That game really challenges my brain. I encourage you to try.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey, Vicki. I have church friends who play Mahjong. I remember my mother playing it when we lived in Puerto Rico during early high school. And on a visit to Maine, we stopped in a small café and there was this group of “old ladies” sitting around laughing and having a good time. I went over to chat and discovered they were playing Mahjong. Good to have this activity, not just for your brain, but for the friendships. And think about how fun it will be to teach your granddaughter games in just a few short years. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂


  3. Reblogged this on Jacquie Biggar-USA Today Best-selling author and commented:

    Marsha Riegert West​ reminds us of the need to slow down and maybe even play a game in these trying times.


  4. DH and I used to play cribbage all the time, but then we fell out of the habit. Thanks for the reminder; after all, laughter is the best medicine 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Jacquie. Thanks for the reblog. My dad and I used to play Cribbage. I think with the downsizing I finally got rid of the board. Thanks for the nice reminder and for stopping by. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sharon Wray says:

    This is the hardest part of having my kids away at college–no one else is around to play board games with me. Now, when they’re home, I have to bribe them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Sharon. Yeah, my husband is not a game player. I can’t even coax him outside for a bean bag toss. I totally get your sense of loss. Hope you’re kids are safe. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂


  6. petespringerauthor says:

    My old school district started this week, and the challenges keep getting harder for all parties involved.

    When we get to one of our family reunions again (We had to cancel this year), all of the games come out. We’re partial to cards, but board games and jigsaw puzzles work too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Pete. Yes, I don’t envy the parents, kids, or staff these days. I hope we don’t see spiking numbers with the return to school, but I fear too many people are thinking we can just ignore the virus. Isn’t it behind us yet? We are conditioned by TV to expect things to be settled in 30 min or maybe an hour. Only in extreme situations do we have the longer mini-series. And what we’re dealing with is way longer than the min-series solution. But I believe in people’s resiliency. We will come through this, just taking us longer than it should’ve. Sorry you missed your reunion. We missed our vacations. I’m hopeful, that next year will be better. Thanks so much for stopping by and stay safe. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. J.Q. Rose says:

    So you admit you are a workaholic? I’m glad you are learning to take time to play and enjoy some quiet moments at your lake. Yes, we are game players. Our favorite is Pegs and Jokers, a combo of Marbles and Sorry. We meet every week (4 couples) when we are in FL. I must admit I am a bit competitive, but not like the guys. Our granddaughter is the Uno Queen since she was a little kid. I get tired of playing it–probably because she beats me all the time. Also like to play Mexican Train with Dominoes. Corn Hole is a huge game here too (I thought it originated in the Midwest among the fields of corn. Guess I”ll have to Google that.) When we were campers, the most popular game was Ladder Golf. Brings back a lot of fun memories. School starts here on Monday. In person, classes reduced from 6 classes in the HS to 4 longer hours, and twice as many credits for the semester. I agree with you. We’ll get through it even if we do have politics connected with COVID.
    JQ Rose

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, JQ. Yes, I’ve been a workaholic for a long time. When I retired, I spent the first 6 months sitting everyone morning on the swing on our back patio reading. I had worked hard for a long time with a lot of stress. It took that long to regroup. Then I got more into my writing and back into church work. And I’m really competitive about everything. If I do something I want to do it really well. Games are no exception. 🙂 I’ve never heard of Pegs & Jokers, Mexican Train, or Ladder Golf. Let me know what you find about Corn Hole. I think your theory makes sense. Thanks so much for 🙂


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