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Hope Is The Thing

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Hope is the thing, really…

This economy thing is really getting old, isn’t it? Too many people are out of work, looking for work, struggling with low-paying jobs, living in cars or under the stars. Shelters are full, bellies are empty and hope is dwindling.

Or is it? Due to the poor state of the economy, some things are changing for the good. People are focusing on reducing debt and increasing savings. In order to save, some families are cutting out expenses such as movies and dining out, and instead are packing a lunch, making dinner, eating leftovers, visiting the library and purchasing products online.

Less time at the movies or shopping means more time at home. A visit to the local library is often a family affair. In addition to books, you can also check out DVDs, CDs, and magazines. My library has bicycles that can be checked out!

Another great feature at my local library is a "free" table where you can recycle magazines. Instead of tossing my read magazines into the trash, I take them to the library where they will be shared with others. The best thing about this table is picking up magazines I would never subscribe to on my own. And of course, when I finish with them, I bring them back to the free table.

Remember playing rummy, Go Fish, Boggle, Monopoly, backgammon and cribbage? Yeah, I do too. Some of my best memories are of gathering around a table playing a game with my family and then later with my children. This past summer when I had eleven family members staying at my house we played charades. It was a blast! The topic was movies, and the kids (ranging in age from 9-18) were a hoot.

The evening was full of laughter, cost us no money, included lots of interaction, was family-centered and chock full of memories. It was a page from my past.

The downturn in the economy could actually be a blessing. Someday, we’ll be saying, “Remember that year when we learned how to play cribbage?" Or the winter we created works of art using Stroke of Fun, played Yatzee, learned to play chess, or just spent time reading?

Hope is the thing, isn’t it?

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About Marge Katherine Mercurio

  • Jean Auleta

    I loved your article, Marge. We like playing Name that Tune (using the Music Channels — Oldies): 1 pt. for the song title, 1 pt. for the author, 1 pt. for the year it came out. Happy Thanksgiving.

  • Thanks Jean. Games are so low budget that when you play them, the time slips away. Another friend wrote to say that playing games with your parents levels the playing field and there is more equality at the table than at any other time. I agree with that for sure. Thanks for writing!

  • Anne Mercurio Hensberry

    Loved the article Marge. Some of my best memories were playing these games with mom, and our nieces and nephews. How about playing Murder at the Sunday dinner table? I’m sure dad make up that game but it was fun and made dinner interesting.

  • Tom

    I remember a lot of Poker games with the family, and it was filled with smoke and a exhaust fan installed in the wall. we played every Sunday…Mom taught me how to play Pinnacle, which I haven’t played in years…Thanks for bringing the memories back…

  • I agree that it is good to return to a simpler way of living, and that hitting the libraries is a great idea. That being said, libraries are suffering a lot during this downturn as they are one of the first places that states are cutting funding. I implore anyone who values libraries as a resource to support them directly or indirectly. Write your congressperson and ask them to keep funding at current levels (or better yet, return them to previous levels). Donate a few dollars if you can.

    My sister works at a library and their funding was cut 50%. They have had to reduce staff as well as cut down to 4 days a week of service. Most people pay between $1-5 a year in taxes for libraries. It’s a pittance, and it’s still being cut.

  • Hi Shari,
    I know that libraries are working harder, with less resources and more patrons than ever before. They are always happy to work with volunteers and grateful to receive financial assistance. Thanks for your comment!