Owen Melville plays cribbage with Susan Glines, both of West Paris at “Cabin Fever” Rose Lincoln

Marta Clements, of South Woodstock, on right, helps Peg Turner, of South Paris play “Hand and Foot” at Cabin Fever. Rose Lincoln

Nathan Ilsley, 9, plays Sequence with Peg Perham, both are from West Paris. Rose Lincoln

WEST PARIS — On a cold but sunny school vacation day, eight women and one man played cards and board games in First Universalist Church of West Paris.

One woman said she hoped some children would show up.

It was “Cabin Fever” day. They had finished a “to-die-for” lunch of seafood soup and vegetarian taco soup.  Nearby on a folding table in the church basement was dessert, cookies and “sinful bars.”

While some lamented the low turnout, Susan Glines of West Paris said, “If you live alone, this is quite a group.”

Conversation moved from topic to topic.

Susan Glimes said it was good to be out. Her cardiologist told her, I think your heart is craving exercise. “Every time I think I should go out [but don’t want to], I think, oh  my heart is craving…,” she said


They talked of turkeys, squirrels and coyotes. Peg Perham said circling coyotes sent them to sleep in their car once when they were camping.

After deciding which game they would play, people moved into different parts of the room. One woman was assembling the edges of a jigsaw puzzle while two set up Cribbage.

When someone selected the card game Uno they found it was not a game but a box of chocolates. No one was sure how old the chocolates were, but Glines, frowning, said she wished she hadn’t eaten one.

Four women around a card table were playing, Hand and Foot, not to be confused with a cow disease called Hoof and Mouth, said one of the players in this rural village.

Some were learning the rules of Hand and Foot, an off-shoot of Canasta. “I only played it once last year, so don’t ask me how to play it,” said Peggy Turner of South Paris.

Tina Liimatta, of Norway, was sitting by the card players listening to the banter. At home she was knitting mittens using a pattern that called for three needles and concentration. She brought her scarf to Cabin Fever to knit because, “it takes a whole lot less thinking. It’s just back and forth, back and forth.” she said.

When Perham’s granddaughter came to the door with her friend and their three children, the group was excited, “Oh good there are more people coming – children!” said Owen Melville, of West Paris.

“Come right in,” said Marta Clements, of South Woodstock.

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