24 March 2023

Published March 22, 2023 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit.



Anyone remember playing solitaire with real cards you held in your hand? Those who don’t will probably never know the “joy” of playing 52 Card Pickup. πŸ˜‰ I still remember the colorful backs of my parents’ plastic coated playing cards. I learned early how to shuffle them and became adept at making a tunnel. A playing card turned your plain old bicycle into a motorcycle like magic. All it took was a clothespin to clip the cards to your wheel spokes.

I could go on about the joys of playing cards. Instead I’ll leave you to your own memories and musings and present my story for the week.

Genre: Fiction-ish
Word Count: 100


β€œTwo of hearts joins the ace of hearts.” Ten-year-old Elise arranged the four suits in neat rows on her beach towel. β€œKing of clubs marries his queen.”

            Elise’s mom, who worked full time, had found the perfect summer babysitter when she joined the pool. Leave childcare to the lifeguards.

Hot sun beat down on Elise’s bare back. She stacked and shuffled the cards. β€œI win,” she said to no one. β€œTime for a swim.”

Diving under the waves she imagined herself to be a mermaid with iridescent fins. The water caressed her. Immersed in her chlorinated haven, who needed playmates?

70 comments on “24 March 2023

    • Dear Trent,

      I don’t recall ever doing the spoke thing. My parents wouldn’t have been happy to find a missing card in any of the decks. My brother’s the one who introduced me to 52 Card Pickup. πŸ˜‰ Glad you got the ‘ish’ part. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Your story gives depth to the painting. I see little Elsie’s joyful world as a mermaid. I would feel sorry for her since her mom is clueless about her lonely child, but it seems Elsie has found a way to cope that’s not half bad!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Clare,

      I didn’t have enough words to add that Elise’s older brother (by 6 years) was supposed to keep an eye on her. πŸ˜‰
      No need to feel sorry for Elise. She did have friends they just weren’t members of the same pool. Good memories do abound. Thank you.




  • The only cards we played with when I was a kid were Old Maid and the like. There were no face cards in our household. My dad had learned to gamble when he was in the Navy during WW II, and he saw the dangers up close and personal.

    I do enjoy the website I found that offers many, many varieties of Solitaire. No money lost or gained :). It sure helped pass the hours when I was so sick!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Linda,

      Cards were cheap entertainment at our house. My dad was in the army in WWII but he never said anything about gambling. I guess it wasn’t his thing. He taught me to play gin rummy and casino. Some of my fondest memories center around cards.

      Solitaire was an escape mechanism for me, in childhood and adult years, until computers. Then I played it until I could no longer stand it. Now I play Scrabble on my iPad and iPhone. πŸ˜‰



      Liked by 1 person

      • Dad was in the Navy, in submarines.Plenty of time for gambling when they were off-duty. I’m thinking part of his aversion was going from calm to terror when the alarms rang. There were either torpedos or depth charges coming their way. Got their minds off the game, I guess.


  • Cards, cards & more cards. I’ll never forget the annual Christmas & holiday treks up to my hometown of Galt, Missouri. Our relatives would gather from everywhere to Grannies house, set up card tables throughout the house, and the games began. It was a great time. And, yes, I used cards on the spokes of my bicycle mimicking my dreams of a motorcycle. Wonderful memories from childhood. Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Amazing how 52 (54, counting the Jokers) cards can truly work the imagination. Yes, there are the games people play, but you are not limited to that and can amuse yourself for hours. My friend Roxanne and I played countless games of gin rummy, while drinking pots of tea. And I have spent many an hour playing variations of Solitaire.

    Of course, socializing IS important, eh, Miss Finn?

    Shalom and lotsa pleasant love,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      It’s not to say that Elise didn’t have friends. Not many of them belonged to the Jewish Community Center pool. πŸ˜‰ I loved playing gin rummy with my dad. It seems we’ve lost something these days with all the electronics. Thank you for swimming by. πŸ˜€

      Shalom and lotsa social hugs,


      Liked by 1 person

  • Absolutely love playing cards, and I use the real ones with my kids too. For me – their beauty is in the endless variation of games you can play with something that fits in the pocket. I remember inventing new games with them too with my cousin.
    I sense there’s more ish than fiction in your story, and love it all the more for that!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jen,

      I kind of miss card games with friends and family. My dad taught me solitaire and other games. I remember him sitting at the dining room table playing game after game of solitaire and explaining his moves.
      And yes, there’s more fact than fiction in my story. πŸ˜‰ Thank you.




    • Dear Tracey,

      My mother enrolled me in swimming lessons around six or seven because I wasn’t afraid of the water. I had no fear of jumping off the diving board and dog paddling to the ladder. I’ve always been grateful for those lessons. As you can guess this story is more autobiography than fiction. So we have a lot in common. Thank you.




  • Reminded me how playing cards was a great family pastime in our household. I believe I must have been quite proficient at Solo Whist by the time I was eleven. Your character seems to be as happy within her own skin as she is in the water. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Beautiful mermaid painting, and as for the tale, a deck of cards and a swimming pool, what more can a child ask to keep her out of trouble if she can’t have her mother with her, right?!


    Liked by 1 person

  • I love the story and your painting Rochelle.

    In my younger days, it was called Patience rather than Solitaire in the UK. Nowadays I confess to being almost addicted to playing it on my tablet – most evenings I have one eye on the TV and the other on the game!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Keith,

      Thank you re my story and painting.

      I got bored with electronic solitaire but am addicted to Scrabble on my tablet. There are a couple of other games I play as well, with one eye on the TV. Nice to know I’m not the only one. πŸ˜‰




  • Cards and playing games have lost their hold on me. Too bad. Yes to the bike spoke motor.

    My bike now (unlike Jan’s dresser) is a 2014 Honda Forza 300 (I’m wondering how old is too old to ride). My son said that if I can’t pick it up, I shouldn’t ride it. So I sold the big bike and got this in 2015. I’ve never had to pick up the scoot, but I must have played 52-pick-up hundreds of times.

    The other day at the pool I watched a lady swim laps with mermaid fins. Dolphin kicks only, but she seemed to be having fun.

    Wonderful story.



    Liked by 1 person

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