Monday, July 31, 2006
Thunderstorms, Candlelight, and Dread Pirates
Today was an ordinary day consisting of errands and household tasks, but as always the unexpected comes along to add spice to the day, or in this case the evening. After a sultry day of temperatures in the 100's, a strong thunderstorm overtook our area while our family was enjoying supper. During our meal we watched as the sky quickly grew dark and great gusts of wind arrived causing the forest of trees surrounding our house to blow, bend, and toss about wildly. Soon came the heavy rain to add to the exciting supper scene we were observing from our table through the glass doors and living room windows. About the time we concluded our meal and were cleaning up, we lost all electricity, which of course caused great excitement and drama for the kids. Gathering flashlights, batteries and candles was all great fun for them, while Mom and Dad on the other hand were concerning themselves with details like the freezer defrosting, food spoiling in the fridge, losing water pressure, how many batteries we had on hand... you get the idea.
Ruby thoroughly enjoyed herself for a long time by shining the flashlight on the ceiling and walls and chasing the light about the room. She giggled the entire time and was purely delighted by this new game she had created, while at the same time seemed to be thinking (by the look on her face) "I wonder why we've been in the dark for so very long?? What's Up??"
Eventually, I decided that a game plan for the eve's activities needed to be made because it looked like we may be w/o electricity for some time, so I said, "Hey how about a game of Dread Pirate by candlelight?" To which there were abundant cheers and excitement by all. If you haven't played this game, it is truly fun and has quickly become a family favorite - after all who can resist an opportunity to "talk pirate" and have some family adventure filled with treasure, battles on the high seas, and lots of booty... all while enjoying an absolutely beautifully crafted board game with pieces that are a pleasure to look upon and hold in your hand. Oh, and did I tell you it's historically educational too (but of course!)? It is truly a child's treasure in itself (and pretty awesome for adults too!).
Soon after our game began the lights came back on and all was calm outside and back to normal inside... but we decided to play by candlelight anyway - it was just too much fun. Who knows, maybe it will now become our family's traditional way of playing. Why not, it adds another element of suspense to the playing experience.
Sadly our game had to be cut short due to bedtime, but it still sits undisturbed in the middle of the kitchen table awaiting the arrival of morning ... and maybe some hungry young pirates who want to challenge one another to a skirmish before breakfast!
P.S. Our kids very much enjoy pirate stories, which adds greatly to the fun of this game as they all decide which famous pirate character from literature they want to be for the game (this is not part of the game - just something they add to it themselves for extra fun). The usual favorites include Long John Silver, Captain Cook, Smee, Black Stashe, The Dread Pirate Roberts, Blackbeard, and so on. If you have a pirate fan in your house, below are some reading recommendations from the Amick kids.
The Count of Monte Cristo
Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
Peter Pan by J.M. Barry
Peter and the Starcatchers
The Princess Bride
and we're soon to check out Peter and the Shadow Thieves.