Anticipation and Mrs Game
She was a large, red-headed woman with a gap-toothed grin that made me smile. While Mrs Game waited for her son to marry and have children, she took a shine to us. My sister, brother and I and became her surrogate grandchildren.
Mrs Game worked on the farm for my grandpa, cutting grapes, along with a few other women. After school, we walked through the grapes to see our mom. The women were always cheerful and chatty. Mrs Game would give us that smile I loved and hand each of us a candy.
I loved her name. It seemed like a perfect name for a woman who loved kids and liked to have fun. Anything involving Mrs Game was absolutely magical.
There was the time we were invited over on a Saturday morning to watch cartoons on her colour tv. This was at a time when colour tvs were rare and for children without a tv this was so exciting! We could hardly wait to get there. After watching cartoons, she made us Lipton’s chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. It was perfect.
Growing up, there wasn’t a lot of money, so trips to fairs and amusement parks were restricted to a couple of rides. It was different with Mrs Game. Mr and Mrs Game took us to the Crystal Beach Amusement Park on nickel day. Every ride was a nickel and we were told we could go on as many rides as we wanted. Oh, the anticipation as we drove to Crystal Beach. We could hardly wait to get there. It was like going to Disney World!
If Crystal Beach was like Disney World then Christmas was a wonderland and Mrs Game was Santa Claus. Mr and Mrs Game would stop by on Christmas Eve to drop off presents. It was hard to fall asleep knowing that something wonderful awaited us under the tree.
During these fun times Mrs Game’s son married and then eventually, to Mrs Game’s delight, gave his mom a grandchild. The Christmas Eve after the baby was born I waited with great anticipation for Mrs Game to arrive. Watching from the window, I waited with bated breath as every car approached. I hoped the car would slow and turn into our driveway.
My parents reminded us that Mrs Game had a grandchild of her own and wasn’t likely to show up. I had a sinking feeling that this was true, but I waited anyway. Eventually, I gave up and went to bed.
Mrs Game never did show up. I was sad to think that she would no longer be in our lives. All these years later I think of her with great fondness. I will never forget her gap-toothed grin and how she made a small part of our childhood simply wonderful.