Sunday, September 15, 2013

Week 37: At Grandmama and Grandaddy's Farm: A board game for all ages

   Sometimes memories are etched inside our head as if as they're second nature. Yet snapshots of moments in time are often laid out like a Sunday dinner... a casserole here, a smoked ham there, a relish tray over there... They all come together when centered on place... as if quilted onto the same backing, the continuity becomes plain. Suddenly our memory becomes a sort of game board of people and events which come together to make the person we are today. This week's book-of-the-week is that sort of memoir, a map that is made into a game... At Grandmama and Grandaddy's Farm: A board game for all ages.
The game board, a box for the accessories, and the instruction booklet
   The instruction booklet is made with the stiff leaf binding. This is what is listed as the Object of the game: 

The object of the game is to do the most  wonderful things at Grandmama and Grandaddy’s farm. You do this by collecting mementos of all the fun things that can be done when you visit the farm. The person with the most mementos at the end of the game wins. The game ends after everyone has returned to the garage Start point.

The game accessories are stored inside a drop-spine box which has two sections and a magnet to hold the lid closed. The accessories are a pair of dice, buttons for the tokens, What Shall We Do cards, and the memento cards. The game board is a 9-section folded book of my grandparents' yard in rural Caswell County, North Carolina. 

country prints and terra cotta bookcloth allude to a North Carolina farm in the 1950's....
As the game board unfolds... its pages display a variety of patterns, much like my grandmother's hand-pieced quilts. These same prints are repeated throughout the set. Opening the game board reveals a tryptic of country motifs on the back side...

Open the game board to reveal the tri-panel back side
inside three panels... the right-hand panel has a print of a young lady beside the actual farm house in the game!
The cover of the instruction booklet
The instruction book has all the rules of the game and a list of all the mementos which can be acquired when a token lands on a space with a ?. Inside the accessory box are the What Shall We Do? game cards, a collection of buttons (which are the tokens), and a collection of picture cards of the mementos awarded from certain What Shall We Do? cards.

a two-section drop-side box that looks like a book...
   This is what is written on the What Shall We Do? cards and the memento cards that go with them:

Listen to Grandaddy talk                                                                 Memento: Silver Dollar
about the tobacco crop
(get a silver dollar & go to the tobacco field)

Play with Franklin’s Steiff lion                                                        Memento: toy lion
(get a stuffed lion toy and go to the living room)

Play Old Maid                                                                                   Memento: Old Maid cards
(get a deck of playing cards, go to the den)

Play "Chopsticks" on the piano                                                        Memento: toy piano
(get a toy piano,  go to the living room)

Go to Grandmama’s secret closet                                               Memento: antique figurine
(get a china figurine)

Play Dress Up                                                                                 Memento: flowered hat 
(get a flowery bonnet,
go across the road to the cousin’s house,)

Get a jar of Grandmama’s watermelon pickles                         Memento: jar of watermelon pickles
(go to the root cellar)

Pick grapes                                                                                      Memento: bunch of grapes
(go to the grape arbor, get a bunch of grapes)

Pick corn                                                                                          Memento: bushel of corn
(go to the garden, get a bushel of corn)

Pick tomatoes                                                                                  Memento: bushel of tomatoes
(go to the garden, get a bushel of tomatoes)

Go feed the chickens                                                                     Memento: basket of eggs
(go to the chicken coop, get a basket of eggs)

Go feed the pigs                                                                             No Memento :-(
(go to the pig sty, loose one turn)

Help Grandmama bake biscuits                                                  Memento: plate of biscuits
(go to the kitchen, get a buttered biscuit)

Swing on the porch swing                                                             No Memento :-(
(go to the porch swing, loose a turn)

Help Grandaddy hitch the mule to the                                        No Memento :-(
tobacco sled (go to the barn)

Help Grandmama make jam                                                        Memento: jar of strawberry jam
(go to the kitchen, get a jar of jam)

Play tag with the cousins                                                               No Memento :-(
(go to the end of the driveway)

Family Dinner                                                                                  7 Mementos: turkey, ham,
(go to the dining room get one of each dish)                           casserole, beans, corn, pie, cake

Run from the chickens                                                                   No Memento :-(
(go to the hanging iron-pot flower holder, loose a turn)

Help Grandmama pick beans                                                       Memento: bushel of beans
(go to the garden, get a bushel of beans)

Play hide and seek                                                                          No Memento :-(
(go to the barn)

Sit on the porch and listen to the grown-ups talk                        Memento: iced tea
(loose a turn but get a glass of iced tea)

Step in chicken poop                                                                       No Memento :-(
(loose a turn)

A warm hug from Grandmama                                                      Memento: a red heart
(get a red heart and a free roll of the dice)

the game board all set up... see the memento cards lined across the top
a close-up of the game board, button tokens, and the cards...
all cleaned up after a rousing game
Interactive memory as a game has a nice way of clarifying things, rewriting history, or just enjoying lovely moments of the past over and over. At Grandmama and Grandaddy's Farm is an interactive book which puts memories within the context of the present... resulting in a whole new set of memories!