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A Story Teller
Be of Good Cheer
Believing is Seeing
Benefits of Play
Black Friday
Cabin Fever
Coffee Perks
Different, Yet Similar
Division More Fun Than Hiking
Forty and Pregnant
Happy Mother's Day
Home Canning
Happy Valentine's Day
It's a Miracle
"Just" a Housewife
Little Gem in the Woods
Marlboro Country
Missing Hiker
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
RMKK Year in Review
She's Having a Baby
Ten Sixty-Six
The Game of Life
The Otters Return to Glacier
The Wonder of it All
These Boots Are Made for Walking
Time is on My Side
You Get What You Expect
100 Years of Grandeur


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The Game of Life

Milton Bradley's Game of LifeLike 175 million other people worldwide, I recently joined the social networking website, Facebook. Besides luring my own friends, I pestered relatives, and my grown kids high school pals to join me in snooping on one another. It’s been a hoot and for the first couple of weeks, I was hooked. After mentioning in my status bar that “Marlene is hooked on Facebook”, a friend commented back that playing on the site can be as addictive as crack. I was having so much fun one Saturday afternoon reconnecting with old friends that I kept ignoring my daughter E’s request to play a board game. I finally got my priorities straight and decided not to go down in history as, “Mom never played a game with us”. Why do kids always say that? Well give them an inch, they’ll take a mile. So I closed the laptop to ward off temptation and told my girls to set up the game on the kitchen table.

M & E set up the Milton Bradley Game of LIFE. After a chance selection of occupations and receiving a playing piece to drive us around the board, we began to play. Through LIFE we traveled, collecting paychecks, making loans, having kids, and getting sick. Depending on the spin of the wheel and decisions made along the way, one could spend their retirement in Millionaire Estates or Countryside Acres. Some of this seemed like happenstance, while also being the consequence of choice. As I sat there playing, I kept thinking about my husband’s opinion of the game. What message was this game sending?

My husband, David, (also known as Grandpa Davey) strives to follow “A Path With a Heart”, not the one where you have to live up to the Jones’s. Games like LIFE and online communities like WEBKINZ, condition our children to place too much value on money. They encourage life in the rat race, irresponsible borrowing, and spendthrift behavior. Get a job, be a consumer, live up to the Jones’s, and hope to live to retirement is a common theme. The message is, it’s where you live, what you wear, and how much you make that gives life meaning.

It’s not up to me to tell you what gives life meaning as we are all on a journey of our own. I would simply remind you to take some quiet time with your inner-self and nurture the dreams that make your life worth living.