Thursday, April 10, 2008

More changes...

A while ago, I wrote about the changes happening in my Curaçao bridge group. Some of us were moving abroad, other were working, traveling more. One was still fighting to stay healthy and active. Hilde had passed away, and things were a bit sad.

I am glad to report that Nicoline is doing great, finishing her treatment and full of plans. She looked wonderful last time I saw her. Kitty and Marja B are becoming grandmothers and Eva is adjusting wonderfully to her new home...even I have started to see some good things in Miami!!! Well, don't get too excited.....I still not at home here...but things are definitely looking up...

Regardless, change is something we cannot stop and our small group keeps changing. Vicki just told me the group is getting smaller, that it's harder every week to get even two tables together. The news filled me with sadness. We have been together for so long, we have been so close. Just take the recent emails from Eva about her grandson's health; and how we all kept in touch, sent our positive thoughts and were so glad when things worked out well. He is home with his parents and sister and we're all glad.

How can it be, then, that organizing two tables is a problem? We were always a busy group of mothers and wives that kept our Wednesdays bridge date, no matter what. When some of us were traveling, there was always someone to hold the fort and bridge continued. If one was sick or under the weather, we had time to visit and play! When our children had school holidays, we all took a holiday from bridge and couldn't wait to start again. Bridge was the rhythm of our least I thought so because it kept us in touch, gave us an excuse to get together and talk about ourselves, our lives....We even took a cruise together a few years back, only the girls, to play and enjoy each other company and we had a ball!

When I moved to Miami, this was the group I missed most, in many ways still do. I enjoy the forwarded emails I receive from them, love to hear from their families and their lives, keep them posted on my developments too. What is happening in Curaçao? Is everyone too busy to put a day aside to see friends? have other things taken up their time? are they traveling more? have the grandchildren taken priority where children were worked into our bridge schedule? is retirement taken too seriously?

All this rambling most seem positively an exaggeration to anyone that doesn't understand this bridge culture I came to know on the island. When I moved there, playing bridge was part of your social life. There were groups of all ages involved and on special occasions, like someone's big birthday or farewell, they all got together.... older ladies and younger ones. It was a sort of tradition and we all enjoyed these playing dates.

Mothers and daughters played in different groups, expats had theirs, very good players would gravitate to one another..... Wednesday mornings, Tuesdays at the club or Monday nights, everyone had her favorite. To think that this is no longer the case, makes me sad. That was one thing I held on to all these years I have been away: Wednesday mornings my friends would all be together at someone's home playing bridge...that was a constant. When I traveled to Curaçao, for whatever reason, I could let them know in advance and got to see everyone on a given Wednesday. Next, they will tell me that the tradition will die out because the younger group of women is not learning to play!!! We must trump that.....

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