Going For Gin

At the ripe ol’ age of 60, hubby and I taught ourselves the scintillating card game of Gin Rummy the other day.
Who says you can’t teach a couple of old cats new tricks?
It was a thrill! A blast!
And those extra 25 points when you Go For Gin are exhilarating!
It’s almost a backwards game in that you don’t get any points for all the good cards that you have, but from the bad cards that your opponent has.
Trying to wrap our heads around that one was difficult at best.
But we did it.
And it occurred to me that card games are a lot like life – a little bit of luck – a little bit of strategy.
We all need luck in the form of good genes, decent DNA, a fair upbringing, a bit of education, moral direction, care when young.
And we all need strategy such as choosing excellent self-care, not to over- indulge, imbibe, inhale, ingest too much of any one thing, good life habits such as exercise and eating well, working hard keeping our noses to the grindstone for the applicable period, connection, purpose, and a good night’s sleep.
The combination of those two thing, luck and strategy, may help us lead long, fulfilling lives, full of good people, love and happiness.
A faltering of either of those things can lead to a miserable existence.
A bowing out when the cards dealt don’t seem to be on their way to offering up a Gin.
Called a “Knock”, it is exactly that, when the bad cards are low enough so as to not give away too many points to your opponent, and the game is ended.
The school of hard knocks?
A hard knock life?
We met a retired thoroughbred racehorse named Go For Gin when we visited the Kentucky Horse Park several years ago.
He recently passed away at the age of 31, a ripe old age for a horse indeed.
When we saw him, he had a stall to himself where visitors could say hello.
But he mostly had his head out his window, soaking up the sun’s rays, eyes half closed as if reminiscing about all he had done in his life: the wins, the losses, the final years being an ambassador of the sport at the Horse Park.
A handsome dark brown/bay fellow, he had gone for Gin many a time in his career.
Hustled for those extra 25 points that to “Go For Gin” means.
And his long life was indeed a combination of luck and strategy, just like the card game; for to live that long for a racehorse is nearly unheard of these days.
The luck of his genes played out a long hand for him, and the strategy of his life care was in the hands of good people clearly.
They fed and watered and exercised him every day, made sure his stall was clean, his surroundings safe.
Perhaps he lacked companionship of other horses, but if so, that didn’t seem to affect his long, healthy life, at least physically.
And so, as we all eke our way through our own existences, we can only hope that we have a bit of luck on our side, offer up a bit of strategy to match it, and see how long we can go and where life takes us.
Hopefully we will all go for Gin and see that extra 25 points at the end of a long, fulfilling and happy life.


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