I am adept at categorizing, inventorying and arranging. This talent was fostered by hours and hours spent playing Solitaire when I was a child, home in bed. I missed a lot of my childhood due to respiratory infections and later, knee surgeries. I laid down cards for hours. My mother would play Double Solitaire when she came home from school; she was a fifth grade English teacher when I was in elementary school. I was one of eight to ten students whose parents worked at the school, a faculty brat. I pretended to disdain the title, but I truly did not mind having my mother at school. When I was running a fever and couldn’t go in, my mother made arrangements for me to stay at the house of her good friend, also a teacher. She lived just minutes from school and had a housekeeper. Her housekeeper delivered meals to me in bed. It was a good gig while it lasted. By the time I was ten, I was deemed self-sufficient. The days stretched out. My parents left for work by 7:30 a.m. and my mother -- and sister, with her -- got home around 4:30, my father at 6:00 p.m.. When my parents finally allowed me to have my own television, I was ecstatic. Companionship. In a time that predated remote controllers, I had a wired button that was rigged to the t.v. that could turn it on and turn it off. This was the height of technology and I was careful not to boast about it. I played my endless games of Solitaire, read books, up to one/day, and completed word puzzles of all sorts. The television played in the background as white noise. Number games were more challenging for me. When my mother came home, she brought with her my school work. I would finish it after dinner, and she would take it into school the next morning. In a box in my basement, I have a manilla envelope containing about twenty letters my fourth grade classmates wrote me after a particularly long absence. I have just one box of childhood treasures, and those made the cut. Little did I know that the simple game of Solitaire would be good preparation for the long road of life that laid ahead. I think of is as a kind of starter program in life skills.About forty years later, I continue to cling to my favorite form of Solitaire. Array seven cards in a row, one up, six down. Repeat with six cards, moving over one, one up, five down and so on. Then begin chasing down Kings of each suit to start a stack of cards in descending numeric order, by suit. Yep, I am sure good at categorizing, inventorying and arranging.