A Tatty Old Box Full of Memories
Yesterday I began the traditional New Year clear-out. You know, the one where you use stealth to remove the toys and games which graced previous Christmas stockings but are no longer deemed fit for play, then take them under cover of darkness to the charity shop?
Anyway, as I rifled my way through the things we no longer need with ruthless efficiency, I came across a very ragged Scrabble box. It was rammed inside a plastic bag (bag circa 1987 by the looks of it), its insides spilling out into the once-protective-but-now-essential bag.
This was my mother’s Scrabble. It is the Scrabble board on which I learned the game. The board upon which my mother introduced me to her masterful word-play and grammatical dominance. The place where I came to understand the strategy of triple word scores and the biblical importance of the dictionary.
To me, this ridiculous shabby old box, replaceable in a heartbeat, signifies our annual camping holiday and Christmas. Each passing year would bring the same game but a fresh new set of vocabulary and higher score, until eventually I could hold my own against her magnificence.
I placed it in the charity box with a nonchalant shrug. “I really should get rid of this old thing, “ I announced to my husband. He just gave me a look and said “OK, if you want to.”
Today I have taken it out of the bag, photographed it and cried. It’s a keeper.
In some small way, this tatty old board game is the reason I am writing this today. Throw away a piece of my mother? How could I?