Packed Sardines

A friend from high school discovered this blog and added a comment about my mom. In it she included a rather strange reference:

” I miss her fun personality from our youth and her enthusiastic refereeing of “packed sardines” at your house. That was so much fun.”

I hadn’t thought about Packed Sardines in years. What a great game! I can’t believe my mother let us play it!

My parents encouraged any excuse to have a party. They’d routinely host 15 or 20 of my friends at the beginning of most school vacations, a full moon—whatever the occasion. (I just knew I had the coolest parents.) Mom taught us all how to play Packed Sardines when we were in 9th grade.

It’s Hide & Seek, but when you find the person, you crawl in with them, making it possible to get eight kids in a stall shower. Nothing was sacred. She let us hide all over the house: in closets, under the beds, in cupboards, out in the garage, in the flower beds behind the bushes. She even suggested hiding places. I think the shower was her idea. It was my Dad’s idea to turn on the water. All the squealing and giggles; what fun!

Thanks for the happy memories, Elaine!

2 thoughts on “Packed Sardines

  1. We played sardines on Cape Cod in the summer when there were rainy days. We had some great places to hide in the huge summer house my Granddad built. Then years later I took my teen and almost teen kids back for a visit. Thery became reacquainted with their cousins and on one rainy day. they “invented” this great new game. What was it..? .sardines. They found a few new places we had not ever found. It is a story with a sad ending. We had to sell the house 15 years ago because if the horrendous real estate taxes in Massachusetts.


  2. What a wonderful memory. I had never heard of the game but have other memories of the kids in the neighborhood gathering at our house because Mom didn’t fuss about the mess we created. We were safe and happy and that is what mattered to Mom.


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