Croquet Anyone?

Ranching can sometimes feel like, “all work and no play”, yet we love to make memories as a family and treasure the many fond memories we have playing games on Sunday afternoons and holidays at Grandma and Grandpa Grieb’s house. There were three outside games we all enjoyed as kids: Croquet, Kick-the-Can, and the ever-popular Bamboo Patch game.

Now that the tables are turned and we ARE the grandparents; our family tradition of playing games together continues.

The big fields next to Grandma and Grandpa Grieb’s house were often filled with the harvesting and drying of apricots. However, when the fields were cleared after the harvest we quickly took up that space for our outside games. Croquet was one of the first games we set up. Grabbing the mallets, balls, ball stakes and wicks we set up the familiar pattern. We then developed our hitting skill by whacking the croquet balls with a mallet through the ball stakes. The game is played by 2 – 6 people and the object is to get from one wick to the other through the stakes taking turns. The first one to hit the stake on the other side is the winner. You can break up into teams or just fight for ball position as individuals.

Recently we got out our Croquet set at Grieb Ranch for four generations to play. As we were setting up, Papa (Carl) declared that he would surely beat us all. Little did he know that the playing field was dotted with holes left by the chickens where they spend part of the day sunbathing. Those holes made the game more challenging than usual and much laughter was heard across the playing field.

Memories by Connie Grieb Willems

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