Thursday night, I hosted my neighborhood bunco group. We have a white board near the front door that Elise uses to work on spelling words. I gave Nina a piece of paper with "WELCOME TO BUNCO!" written on it, and asked her to write that on the board. The photo on the right is the result. Ha! Love it! This age cracks me up the way they don't quite grasp the concept of words and spacing just yet. She had very carefully copied the letters in order exactly as I had written them - just with her own creative layout!
Anyway, back to bunco... I have no idea who created the game, or who decided that every neighborhood in the 'burbs should have a bunco group, but I'd like to thank those people. Bunco is my one night per month when I can always count on a night away from home. J.C. knows better than to mess with my bunco night. If you've never played bunco, it is akin to men's poker night but with wine or margaritas rather than beer, tasty homemade appetizers and desserts instead of pretzels and chips, and dice take the place of cards. There is no skill involved in bunco. If you can roll dice and count, you can play. If the wine keeps you from counting correctly, nobody cares, so even counting isn't a critical skill set. Mostly, it is just a time for moms in the neighborhood to escape the daily grind and come together for fun and conversation under the guise of bunco. We chat about schools, camps, allergies, autism, colleges, vacations, work, and whatever else is might be on our minds that day. My neighborhood group has moms of college graduates, moms of babies, and everything in between. We're all at different stages in life, but being moms gives us common ground, so we're never at a loss for conversation.
Bunco is played at tables of four rotating players, so most bunco groups have 12 to 16 regular players and a list of subs who play when a regular player is unavailable. My poor bunco group has experienced some attrition lately. That's natural for any bunco circle as our schedules change and Thursday nights get filled up with soccer, ballet, or a part-time job, but it usually doesn't take long to fill the empty spot with someone new. I'm a little worried about our numbers right now though as we are down to 9 regular players. I would hate to see my poor bunco group wither away entirely. While bunco isn't an important piece of my life, it is one that I enjoy, look forward to, and would surely miss. I'm hoping my group is just going through a little bump in the road, and we'll soon be back to a full roster with people waiting in the wings for a regular spot to open like we were a couple years ago.
On a lighter note, bunco always has a theme. Thursday's theme was fall and Halloween, so I tried a new recipe for pumpkin pie bars. They received lots of compliments, and I thought they were quite tasty myself. If you're looking for a new fall recipe, give it a try! For a centerpiece on my kitchen island, I found this fabulous bouquet of Pumpkin Tree at Trader Joes. Isn't that cool? Totally festive - I may just plan to keep buying bunches of the stuff from now until Thanksgiving to replenish my vase each week. More fall loveliness!