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Subject: Unrest at the retirement home... rss

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M Waters
Australia
Adelaide
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Oh, how lovely everything was in the beginning. I’d just moved into my new retirement home and my heart was filled with honest dreams of tending to my beautiful garden. Once I’d gotten all the furniture settled in, I was able to cast an ambitious eye over the backyard. Perfect. Nothing but lawn, a clothes line and a frisbee. Strange as it may seem for a passionate gardener to be happy about this, I’d had a lifetime of imagining my own dream-garden and I wanted to create it from scratch and share it with others. Oh, how I dreamt of sharing my garden with others. But if I was to realize this dream then first I needed to discard some of the tired old soil that was inhibiting the beauty of the property (read: discard a “disaster: bad soil” card after the hands were dealt). After this I promptly began selecting not only what plants I wanted to grow, but indeed where I was going to grow them. Oh my, this was fun. I started out by planting some beautiful little fuchsias, pansies and daisies and was deeply committed to their long-term prosperity (read: began, but had not yet completed, sets of the abovementioned plants). However, it was while I was planting these precious little pieces of heaven that I noticed a neighbor moving into the property across the road. Her place was identical to mine except it had three bedrooms instead of two and the rear yard was slightly bigger. Not to be rude, I smiled and waved reservedly in her direction. However, she just fired an icy glare at me and walked from her late-model car with her pampered little kitty held tightly in her arms (read: my opponent played an “environment: cat” card early in the game). I tried not to concern myself with these thoughts over the next couple of days (read: next couple of hands) but things took a turn for the worse when my new neighbor, Ms Amelie, started to develop a garden of her own. My-oh-my, was it a garden! Before I’d established any of my plants (read: collected any of my sets) Ms Amelie had successfully grown camellias, poppies and daffodils (read: completed sets of all these plants).

Normally timid by nature I tried not to vent my frustration at her success. However, the final straw came when she was able to grow (read: complete) the most prized plant of our entire community – the bug eater. Oh, this means war you old hag. I waited until dark and then released both a stray dog and a wild deer into her garden (read: attacked with dog and deer). ‘Hehehe’ I thought to myself – ‘this is going to be great’. But when morning came, her wicked little cat had scared them both off (read: cat defended against wimpy dog and deer). After this I became paranoid that she knew it was me and I feared repercussions. With this in mind, I hastened to build both a fence and a greenhouse (read: played both “environment: fence” and “environment: greenhouse” cards). Some time went by and the underlying tension was growing. I could sense it. And I knew she could sense it too. Clearly the upcoming community market was to be our crescendo (read: total points at endgame). If one of us was to be publicly shamed and the other publicly honored then sure as anything I was going to fight to make the embarrassment hers. I was determined to make Ms Amelie’s gardening life a misery and began hording as many plants that I knew she wanted as possible (read: withheld cards my opponent needed to make a set). And indeed, she did the same. The gardening gloves were officially off. Indeed, we were spreading disease in eachothers gardens with more precision and effort than we were expanding our own gardens (read: did nothing but use attack cards for the remainder of the game) and the icy glares had become as familiar as an old friend.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I was nervous before the final showdown at the market (read: counting of scores). It had been my life’s dream to have the most valued garden in the neighborhood and it had been my dream to share it with family and friends. Oh, how I dreamed of it so. Oh, how I still dream of it so.

Me: Seven
Opponent: Twenty-two.
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