Simplify life with the Lord

I think it’s time to simplify my life. Lately, things are just too complicated.

Take games, for example.

I’ve always liked Yahtzee, adored Scrabble, and my new favorite online game is something called Ruzzle that involves swiping letters across a board to form words. At the risk of sounding like a braggart, when it comes to the latter two I’m practically unbeatable.

That being said, lately I find that learning new games is a real headache, both literally and figuratively.

It’s been a while since I’ve attempted this, primarily due to the fact that my family and I don’t see much of our friend, Tony, anymore.

Tony, you see, is a game-player extraordinaire. Like those folks in the old Mastercard TV commercials who “never leave home without” their credit card, he never leaves home without a bag of every sort of game imaginable.

Unfortunately, due to geographical factors, our family doesn’t get to see as much of our old friend as we’d like, which also explains our lack of “new game” experience. That changed the other day, however, when one of our more recent acquaintances dropped by the house with a card game she wanted us to try.

I knew right away that I was in trouble when she opened up the bag she had brought with her and pulled out several decks of playing cards.

“We play this game with five decks,” she explained cheerfully. “As you can imagine, it takes quite a while.”

Yep, I could imagine. What I could not have imagined was how complicated the game turned out to be.

Spreading out all five decks, the players (our new friend, Julie, my husband, Bob, daughter, Val, and I) had to separate four of the decks into two piles, and draw 11 cards from each pile.

One set of 11 cards became our hand, which we could look at, but the other set became our “foot,” which had to be kept face down until a later time. The fifth card deck was placed in the middle of the table so that each player could draw two cards from it when his or her turn came.

Next, Julie informed us that every time a player accrued seven of the same card a clean or dirty “book” could be assembled. A clean book was one without a wild card in it, while a dirty book had a joker or deuce.

Each card held a certain point value, and black threes held no points at all, while red threes counted as 100 points. Except on the third Friday of every month, unless it was raining — OK, I made that last part up, but you get the idea.

I heard a “sizzle” that wasn’t coming from the sliders Bob had put on our George Forman grill, but rather my brain, which was clearly on overload.

When the game ended, I couldn’t help thinking that something fun shouldn’t leave me with fried synapses.

The best things in life are simple — fun, family, faith. A relationship with the Lord isn’t complicated, but it’s the most important part of life.