A Quiet Wood

A Quiet Wood

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


For those of you who are unfamiliar, "balderdash" is much more than a term that embodies disbelief and incredulity. (As in, "What a lot of balderdash and poppycock! I never heard a more unbelievable tale! What?" *more effective if said in a thick British accent*) Balderdash is, in fact, an incredibly fun game of bluff. In essence, the most credulous liars come out on top. This is not, dear friends, the time to pass moral judgement on being said "credulous liar." (I, incidentally, am very good at Balderdash. Take that however you will.) This is simply a nod to a very fun game that can make one laugh until...well, let's just say it can make one laugh very hard. On Monday night, I was privileged to play this game with my family and some very dear friends.

The thing that has made this game so incredibly special to me growing up is playing it with my father. Now, many of my friends gave beautiful tributes to their respective father's on Father's Day last. I know, the holiday is past, but humor me here. My father does not play Balderdash to win. Oh no, he plays for the sheer joy of it. Beyond Balderdash (as we played the other night) involves making up definitions for words, plots for film titles, the meanings of abbreviations, the importance of given dates, and the significance of famous names. The sheer stupidity of my father's answers always yields a crop of howls, snickers, chuckles, snorts, gasps, and tears streaming down one's face. No, my dad never wins, but he brings a lot of joy to the other players. He helps everyone to enjoy the game.

I want to thank my dad for teaching me that there is a lot more to life than "winning." In a day when success is measured in dollars and position, I am blessed to have a dad that thinks it much more important to bring joy along the way and to find good in every situation. I have seen that one can be totally in love with and committed to Jesus Christ and still know when it's OK to be silly; that there truly is a time for everything, as Ecclesiastes says. No, my dad never wins at Balderdash, but I happen to think that in the things that are really important, he's the biggest winner I know.


Cindy said...

Hey! Balderdash soundeth fun. I haven't played that in a while...can't remember if I'm good at it or not! My sister-in-law is fantastic at it...makes up some of the most wonderful definitions. Your dad is so cute...definitely brings joy to those around him :)

I have a question. Do you whine and tell people you hate them when you play balderdash? Just curious...I remember trying to teach you to play another game :) Haha! Remember, Sonja, it's not all about the winning(condescending tone of voice.)JK!

Love ya, and can't wait to see ya in a few days!

Toots said...

We love Balderdash at our house too! It seems to me that any game would be fun with your dad! From what little I've been around him (and the Vernons in general) you guys make life a joy-filled one. That's a beautiful thing.
Great picture!

Kimberly said...

I have never played this game (but maybe that's a good thing as you know I an not a very good game player..except Taboo..would like to learn someday) Anyway...i think your Dad is great..I have a couple of very good memories of him rescuing me in awkward situations..he's good at that..deflating tension..and lots of very funny times being w/ya'll! He's lookin good, too!

Juwah said...


Ode to George who make me laugh
Ode to George who's not a Giraffe
Ode to George his definitions are funny
Ode to George who make my nose runny.
Ode to George the Eldest of Vernons
Ode to George he's got Ruthies heart burnin'
Ode to George great player of games
Ode to George who is slightly insane.
Ode to George Pop of Sonja and Brent
Ode to George who paid some of my rent
Ode to George because he's so neato
Ode to George who would NEVER wear a speedo!

Sonja said...

I'm laughing out loud, really. I'm sure my dad will enjoy your warm thoughts. Thanks. You're cool.

No, I don't whine and tell people I hate them at this game because I usually win. So there. :) See you soon.

Thanks for the kind words. You're right, most games are fun with my dad. There's a lot of joy to find in life, isn't there?

I think you might like this game. Although you could get annoyed with how stupid the real definitions are sometimes. I seem to remember a particularly feline situation my dad helped you with one time. :) I will always remember how glad my dad was to have you come for Sunday dinner, so someone would laugh at him instead of just rolling their eyes!

Marty said...

Love playing this game with your dad! Larry still gets tears remember all the laughs!!!

Julia, I have always loved your ways with words!!! It's been a long time since I've heard an poem so great! Oh, by the way...I saw a cute tin with Mary Jane's inside at the Dollar Tree...I almost bought them for you, but I felt a "slap" on the hand as I went to pick them up...I think it WAS Mary Jane! Ha! How stupid we were....


You NEEd to learn to play this game....you can't be serious thou!

Love you all and I'm trying to get a new blog posted with pics...My computer is slow...hopefully sometime today! I know all of you are waiting with eager eyes!!Ha!


tim said...

great stuff, Sonja. Didn't get to play many games with Bro. Vernon, when I lived under his dominion in the HSBC dorm, but his kindness and humor will ner' be forgotten. One of my favorite admonitions from him occured one early AM while jogging. I past by he and your mom; without breaking stride or barely looking up he mumbled, "don't those sleeves need a little fertilizer"... Such is the way he handles things. A measue of truth with a pound of humor.

LindaJo49 said...

What a tribute to a great dad!! We've played Balderdash for years and hearing you describe your dad makes us want to be a part of that game!!!

jenny said...

I love the new picture of you and Sam--you both look so cute!!

Tara said...

Leave it to you and Kayla to make us extra jealous! Looks so fun and I really wish we could all hang out and have good times like the old days at the V. house. I have some really GREAT pics of some of those occasions. I might post them sometime. I have a particularly awesome one of Brent doing the hand-squeeze thingy. Would have looked great in Sam's CD jacket! BTW, what an AWESOME project that was to take along on a road trip. One of those rare things that parents and kids can equally enjoy. Don't tell Derek I told you, but there were times that he was the one asking the kids if he should put the Sam CD on! Too cute! And I enjoyed your Karen Carpenter-esqe background vocals very much!

Juwah said...


Cindy said...

I, too, love the Carpenter vocals you and Brent had goin' on! It's my favorite song on the whole CD! When I first heard it, I actually had to listen to my Carpenter collection again :) Happy times!

Making Memories 1999 said...

Great tribute to your Papa!! Your parents are such great people!!

AmberDawn said...

I was going to get on here and leave a nice comment about how great your dad is but I see I've already been outdone before I even get a chance. *grin* He truly is a wonderful man of God!
~Amber Howell