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Murder Anyone?

June 28, 2012

     Another good one from the vault.  Are you having fun yet this summer?

     Ask my kids what constitutes a good evening and the answer may include a trip to the nearest video rental establishment.  We watch a lot of movies.  I hate to confess it, but quite often we lack creativity and any divergence from the regular form of evening entertainment.

     Tonight was different.  I don’t even know how it all came about but a movie was not part of it.  I was sitting on the back patio and one by one my family straggled over and joined me.  Dusk was setting in and the night was cool and pleasant.  My husband turned on the little white lights we have wrapped around our large tree trunk, and it was a perfect summer evening atmosphere.

     I had been reading, “Gone Away Lake” to my girls for our summer story.  They have loved it so much they had to tell their brothers and father all about the story.  One of them ran to grab the book and my 16 year old took it and began to read aloud.  We only had two chapters to go.  He read one then my 15 year old read the other.  I was so amazed that they would, on their own, begin reading a book to us that they had not had the benefit of the beginning. 

     The fireflies started to twinkle and the mosquitoes began to bite, but I was not budging.  With a smack every now and then, I was determined to stay in this wonderful moment.

     We are all ruled by electronics of some form.  Modern technology is not an extra perk to help us through our daily lives anymore, it has become a necessity, a demanded right.  I had a discussion with a young man in his twenties who strongly believed in emanate domain for cell towers.  He was convinced, quite seriously, that he could not function without his iphone.  Our entertainment seems to revolve around the TV, the computer or the game system.

     Dear Mama it is time to unplug.  A beautiful summer night is calling our names.  Special and memorable evenings with our families are right outside the doors of our homes.

     The activities that you can enjoy with your family outside on a summer evening are actually quite numerous.  Today I will share with you one of our family favorites, “Murder in the Dark.” Besides the ominous name, this really is a fun game, and it is one of those games that follows the rule of “the more the merrier.”   

     “Murder in the dark”, is a combination of “Hide and seek” and “Tag.”  Get small squares of paper, one for each person playing.  Leave all pieces of paper blank except one that you mark with a black dot, reminiscent of “Treasure Island.”  Everyone draws a slip of paper from a hat.  The person who gets the black dot is “It,” but no one must know who got the black dot.  Everyone returns their slip of paper to the hat.  Someone shouts, “The murderer is loose!”, and everyone scatters.  The person who gets the black dot must use cunning and sometimes trickery.  They run away just like everyone else and act like they are trying to avoid capture.  The person who is “It,” must find and tag someone.  Once a person has been tagged, then they too are “It.”  Then both murderers continue trying to catch everyone.  It is always the most fun when no one knows who all the “its” are.

     Players can stay on the move or find an excellent hiding spot and never budge.  For Mom’s that don’t run well, trickery is your only hope.  One of my daughter’s cunning was quite surprising one night.  Her uncle was lying in the woods and she was “It.”  She got near him and began to whimper, “Uncle Scotty, I’m scared.”  Uncle Scotty, full of concern for her welfare was soon captured.

     On a summer evening, electronics are no match for a good game of “Murder in the Dark.”  So tonight, turn off the TV, shut down the game system and head into the dark night for a good book or some murder, you choose.

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