I am soft. Let me explain.
Two years ago, Wendy from Maryland, Maxine from New York, and Bambi from Virginia, all who graduated with Hannah in 1970 from the College of Wooster in Ohio, came to York for the first Woo Girls Reunion. Last year we all went to Maxine’s place in western New York for the second get-together. This year we head to Richmond in the Commonwealth of Virginia for Numero Tres.
Rather than manning up and driving the 600+ miles from York through the choking traffic of the Northeast, we decide to fly. Flying first to Atlanta, we hike the waterfalls trails of Alabama as well as hike and play pickleball in north Georgia. After five days loving the South, we are set to fly from Atlanta to Richmond for Woo Girls III.
Arriving two hours early at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport south of Atlanta on Friday morning, we are given the option at the check-in kiosk to volunteer to take a later flight. If we do, we have the choice of five Delta dollar reimbursements – $100, $200, $300, $400, or $500. Hannah selects $400, figuring we might get chosen over the “greedier” $500 selectors.
Arriving at the waiting area, soon we are called to the counter and asked if we are still willing to volunteer to take a later flight. Agreeing to take the 222P flight rather than our 955A, we are now offered $800 in Delta dollars each. We can’t say yes fast enough.
Having only six volunteers when they need seven as the flight is ready to leave, Delta ups their offer to $900 and nabs their last volunteer. After the 955A flight departs, the young counter woman calls us up to get our $900 vouchers! We feel like we won the lottery.
Waiting four more hours in the Atlanta Airport for $1800 is no sacrifice. Sending emails and texts from our phones, Hannah writing postcards and me revising blog drafts, sharing a turkey Subway sub, and reading the USA Today, in no time, we are lining up to take our 222P flight to Richmond.
What do you know but Delta overbooks again! It is NASCAR race weekend in Richmond. This time they get to $1500 before they get enough volunteers. We are not a part of the auction. Earlier I had learned that the next flight is tomorrow. Wanting no part of finding a place for the night in Atlanta in addition to missing the opening night of Woo Girls III, we board the plane with our hot little $900 bonanza in hand.
After landing at Richmond International, we drive on I-64, then country roads to Quinton (Richmond Metro Area), where our hosts Bambi and Skip welcome us. With Wendy, Maxine, and her husband Don already here, we catch up on each other’s lives over water, wine, and Coors Light; Bambi’s mouthwatering lasagna from the classic Moosewood Cookbook follows.
Come Saturday morning while the others sleep, Hannah and I drive a couple of miles down Quaker Road to the half mile oval at Quinton Park. Before walking five laps, we find a Little Library, where one and all can take a book or place one in the outdoor cabinet for others to take. Finding a family favorite from the Little Bear series, we add it to our own Owen and Max home library.
Our hosts for the weekend, Bambi and Skip have planned this Saturday in nearby CW. Do you know what CW is? I had no idea. I am not talking the cable station, but a visit to Colonial Williamsburg.
On this unusually warm 90F summer Saturday in late April, we walk the car-free Main Street past period homes from the Revolutionary War era. Lunching at the King’s Arms, we have an updated repast in a Revolutionary Years setting. Later, in nearby Yorktown on the James River, we take in Surrender Field where General Cornwallis in defeat offered his sword to George Washington.
Back in Quinton after dinner, it’s game time. Bringing a new Rothermel Family favorite, we introduce the Left Center Right dice game. Played with three specialty dice, the game becomes even more “interesting” when we each bring a few dollar bills to the table. Being an entirely random game with no skill needed, the first time player has the same chance of winning as the veteran player does.
To explain, the six sides of the specialty dice have an R, an L, a C, and three single black dots. Rolling three dice to begin, if the player rolls an R, she passes a dollar to the person to her right; an L, pass to the left and a C means she puts the dollar in the center (the pot). A black dot means you keep your dollar. Once done, the turn passes to the person on the left; when only one person has a dollar, that one wins the pot.
With seven of us each starting with three dollars, we are playing for a $21 bonanza. Hannah is especially adept at the pre-roll movements (e.g. holding the dice with one hand pointing to the ceiling, then extending the other arm, blowing on the dice, all the while smiling, and enjoying the attention).
It turns out Maxine’s husband Don wins the first game and the $21 bounty. In the second game, Don and Hannah have the last two dollars. A black dot roll for Don has him keeping his dollar, then a black dot roll for Hannah lets her keep her greenback. Then Don rolls a C, putting his dollar in the pot and Hannah comes home the winner.
Board, card, or dice games bring groups together in laughter and celebration. For Woo Girls IV next year in York, we have the classic Mormon Bridge for the gang.