Where would childhood be without games? One of the favorites of my cousins and myself was Capture the Flag. For those unfamiliar with Capture the Flag, the rules are simple. You have two teams. Each team has a flag- typically made from some sort of rag (or your Grandmother's brand new pantyhose) tied to a stick. Each team has a "territory with a defined line of separation/neutral zone. Each territory has an area designated as a "jail" (could be a tree or a rock) and a place where their "flag" is located. The object of the game is to steal the other team's flag and bring it across the neutral zone into your territory. If you are caught by the opposing team while trying to steal the flag you are placed in "jail" until your teammate(s) help you escape by tagging you.
In our little piece of Deltaville, we had ideal Capture the Flag conditions. Sometimes we chose to use the whole of Jackson Acres and split The Point in half. Sometimes we only used the properties owned by my grandparents and my Great-Uncle Pepop. Either way it was always a good time. My cousins and I would strategize over the best location for the flag. Then there was strategy for stealing our opponents' flag. That strategy usually ran along the lines of "run over there, find the flag and don't get caught". None of us were George S. Patton.
Despite our lack of brilliant war plans, we played all afternoon until the sun went down and we were finally called in for supper. We were dirty and disheveled and full of dirt. But we were happy. Dinner usually lent itself to rehashing the day's battles and jail breaks.
And in remembering those games: the laughing so hard you're nearly crying, the squeals as we inched away from an outstretched hand, the taunting when we escaped imminent capture, the breathlessness when we managed to cross back into our territory.... I wonder why adults don't take the time to play capture the flag.
“I read and walked for miles at night along the beach, writing bad blank verse and searching endlessly for someone wonderful who would step out of the darkness and change my life. It never crossed my mind that that person could be me.”