Gen Con – views from the chair (part one)

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Games: a frequent theme of life in the Knight house. My husband T.R. adores games, and our family enjoys them together in many ways. He not only taught a “Game Studies” course last semester at Taylor University last semester, but he helped organize a “Family Game Night” at our church in July. One reason he and I have enjoyed more games together is simple: board and card games create great activities we can experience in full despite disability.

Over the past four or five years, he has also become more a part of the professional side of gaming. Gradually, he started volunteering for a European game company that was to have a booth in Indianapolis. Then he got to know those in the industry better, and he started freelancing, primarily as a proofreader. Fast forward a few years there, and you will find all four of the Knight Family members at Gen Con.

Gen Con, “The Best Four Days in Gaming,” will find scads of people filling the Indianapolis Convention Center, even spilling into Lucas Oil Stadium this year. Estimates predict 60-70,000 attendees this year, making this event the largest Indy tourist attraction of the year, a larger financial boost for the city than the Indy 500 or NCAA finals.

IMG_0657.JPGIMG_0652How does this affect me? We arrived early, as T.R. and our daughters spent time yesterday and today helping set up a booth, where they’ll be working for a few hours each afternoon. With this large of an event, participants also pick up tickets early. And this is the second way the Convention Center really impressed me! After dinner, we decided to see if we could pick up and exchange a few tickets, changes we had made since sign-up a few months ago. A long line, twenty to thirty minutes long, we were told, snaked through a hallway then around a group of turnstiles. We weren’t certain a wheelchair could make those turns, and T.R. saw a sign near the line’s end that read “Special Services.”

The kind, patient folks helped all four of us with our ticket switches! Being in a wheelchair may not hold a lot of bonuses, but this certainly ranked up there. If this was the second, what was the first? It came in January, when Gen Con attendees are first able to reserve hotel rooms. Because we needed to reserve a handicap accessible room, we were allowed to hold a room before the official time window opened. Proof to me that sometimes, one needs to plan ahead. And ask. Also a demonstration of the professional hospitality one can find in our great state.

I already feel more encouraged about tomorrow’s Gen Con time – you’ll be hearing from me then, as I describe my “view from this chair.”

Day 25 – Thirty Days of Thanks – random summer stuff

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Summer break is a time for fun mini-adventures, often within the walls of our house. “Fun” for us may not be what would excite others, but isn’t that part of what makes summer break especially lovely? The chance to pause and enjoy unique blessings – I’ll share a few of those below.

Today’s 5 Thankful Things:

  1. IMG_0613New recipes to try – When I saw “French toast waffles” in a recipe email, I decided to give it a try. And family members made it work – this was fun!
  1. IMG_0619Twinkletoes – or at least painted toenails. Though she has lovely blue-painted nails herself, my kind daughter painted my toenails a beautiful burgundy.
  1. Blog adventures with our girls – On her own blog, twin number one examined the inner struggle she faces IMG_0629while finishing an assignment due at the start of school. She has this final paper almost completed, and the last part of it finds her dragging her heels. (It IS vacation, and I wonder how many AP students will have this assignment finished. This girl will, I know. But that doesn’t mean she has to like it.)
  1. Blog adventure number two – The second sister has been continuing to post on her art blog daily. You may recall that she started the blog in early July – how fun to see the growth that has been taking place!
  1. More game adventures – My husband and his friends have been playing a “legacy” game over the past few months, a game where things change and cards are even torn up as they go. It is so fun to hear these four friends laughing and groaning and cheering and lamenting… proof that games aren’t just for kids. Or that “kids” are defined by more than age.

Day 21 – Thirty Days of Thanks – playing together

Today’s 5 Thankful things:

  1.  Game night! – Our church had its first “Game Night” yesterday evening – more than fifty people came together to enjoy card and board games! Lots of fun for ages 13-82, and everything in between.
  1. Showing that adults can have fun, too – How Image-1fun to teach new games and play them with friends last night. It is so fun to teach “Fluxx” to people who hadn’t seen it before.
  1. School supply time – it’s rather crazy to think that school begins in just a few weeks, but it does … and that means school supplies are on sale!
  1. New sharpies – “Sharpie” markers are the BEST, and back-to-school sale time is the best time to snatch them up. Sales are wonderful!
  1. Family movie time – We enjoy watching movies together as a family, and we had a delightful time watching the extras from “Zootopia.” We enjoyed this movie when we first saw it in March, and now that we purchased it on DVD, we are appreciating it even more.

Day 14 – Thirty Days of Thanks – making special memories

Today’s 5 Thankful things – blueberries, shopping, and unplanned tech adventure:

  1. Fresh blueberries – Fresh blueberries are one of my very favorite fruits! I think I was first turned on to this delicious, juicy, plump and tender berry when I was three-and-a-half. How am I so specific? When Matt was born, toddler me was staying at Aunt Chrisann’s house. And she took us to a local blueberry farm one day, where we picked these wonderful berries. Buckets in my mind, but when they came home we brought them back to the house and ate the fruits, I thought they were the best ever. Surprisingly, I never picked blueberries at a farm again. Not able to do the picking myself, I so appreciate when we can visit a blueberry farm and purchase boxes of these delicacies, pre-picked by folks that day. Mmmmmm… will talk more about these in days go come.
  1. Unplanned tech adventure – The day we arrived at the lake is the day I first heard in the news about a little game called pokemon go… you may have heard about it. But my brother and husband have spent several days finding and collecting digital characters as they took walks on the streets in this area. And we’re talking about two tech professionals here… it’s been fun to watch.
  1. Wireless internet access – I appreciate having the ability to make a connection to the online world at a new place, making it so I can upload this blog without needing to plug in somewhere.
  1. Outlet bargains – Our first day in town, we went straight to Pepperidge Farm outlet store, where we purchased 8 or so loaves of bread and a bag of bagels for only $12.23, or something like that. A week of sandwich bread and such… awesome! (This even included a loaf of blueberry swirl bread!)
  1. Family shopping traditions – The outlet mall offers a neat place for kids in the family to find back-to-school shoes and such each year. Great tradition, even if it means that school is less than a month away. …yes, it is.

Day 13 – Thirty Days of Thanks – Family Blessings

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Today’s 5 Thankful things – ice cream, family, and memories: 

  1. oinks sign.JPGFun ice cream shop IMG_0521.JPGOink’s Dairy Delight offers a fun trip for our family each summer – wonderful dips of hard ice cream in more flavors than Ivanhoe’s has in its case. And fun decorations, even in the parking spots!
  1. Thoughtful little meal choices – When somebody like me has annoying allergies (like jalapeño peppers and black pepper), it is so appreciated when those preparing meals find ways to kindly, not ostentatiously, make necessary alterations. Thank you, Phoenix and Laura!
  1. Cousin love cousins16It is such a beautiful thing when cousins who haven’t seen one another for months (about a year, really) get to see one another, even if only for a few hours. Love you, Carolyn and Pam! It is especially enjoyable to trip through past memories, and to give our own children a chance to touch base with their second cousins.
  1. The quietest “party game” ever – “Codenames” is great fun, and our family, ages 9-73, really enjoyed playing this game several times. The game has won several awards, and I see why!
  1. The family puzzle – We brought a “3-D Castle” puzzle with us to the lake castle puzzlethis year, and at least six different family members worked together to complete this. With my uncooperative vision, puzzles tend to be an exercise in frustration for me, but I really enjoy viewing completed masterpieces!