3rd Generation - Since 1907
100 Water Street
Skowhegan, Maine 04976
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A Roll Of The Dice
Birthdays at our house were always very special -- my father made sure of it. He always had some crazy game he had dreamed up for us to play as we "searched" for our gift.

To celebrate my mother's birthday one year my father assembled us all in the family room. He produced a one-foot square pillow (dice) and about twenty cards which he spread in a meandering line on the floor, each card about 18 inches from the next, similar to a pathway in which one might move their "piece" on a game board.

The object . . . roll the dice, pace off the appropriate number, reach down and pick up a card, read aloud what it said, and then follow the directions to the best of your ability. Mom rolled the dice for a four, paced off four cards on the floor, picked up the fourth card which read: "Tennis anyone? Receive one dollar for every time you are able to bounce a ball up in the air off a tennis racket . . . sitting down."

Ever tried to bounce a ball on a tennis racket while sitting down? Practically impossible but great fun to watch! Mom earned about three dollars on that one.

She continued to roll the dice, step off the cards, pick them up, read them and even made a few dollars. Some of the tasks were extremely inventive: "Call the dog. If she comes on the first call, win $10; the second call, win $5; the third call $.50. How many glasses is the dishwasher designed to accommodate?; how many steps on the stairway to the second floor?; how many shoe boxes in your closet?" Money was rewarded on a sliding scale based on how close Mom was to the correct number.

When Mom got to the last card it read: "Go to your room!" We all looked at each other and then raced up to the master bedroom. Upon entering we saw the glow of two candles, a beautiful red rose on my mother's pillow, and next to the rose a box containing a pair of beautiful emerald earrings.

My father took my mother's hand and said, "Honey, you are the greatest treasure in my life. I rolled the dice thirteen years ago and I've been a winner ever since. Happy Birthday."