When I Was a Kid


Whenever my mom was done giving me a bath and dressing me in my jammies, my dad would sing a little song.

“I see your heinie.
All bright and shiny.
Every time you wiggle.
It makes me giggle.”

He also used to call me, “FrogMog.”

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Learning to Play Poker


The spring I turned 12 Paw Paw (my grandpa) taught me to play poker.

I was so excited to learn because my mom’s family got together every now and then and played around a big table using matchsticks of beans to bet with. It always looked so fun…all the happy energy and boisterous laughing.

When he offered to teach me, I jumped at the chance.

He played a little different though, and instead of using beans, we played with money. Real money. Cold hard cash.

I had to use my babysitting money if I wanted him to teach me, and he spent the whole summer schooling me on the art of cards, first teaching me basics then working his way up to strategy.

By the end of the summer, I knew how to play poker.

And I had no money.