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Playing with a full deck

I'm a big believer in sharing, but it occurs to me that I'm the person who least uses the iPad presented to me as a gift by my family last spring.

Most notably, my mother has practically claimed it as her own -- once she learned she could play solitaire on my trusty tablet, that is.

My mother is no big card player. She doesn't play bridge, cribbage or canasta. But when she has a little free time she enjoys a game of solitaire and, when dared, double solitaire. And she plays it with great gusto.

She also considers herself a seasoned card shuffler, but guess what? She doesn't have to shuffle anymore. The iPad does it for her.

"I don't think I'll ever play with real cards again," she announced one day, glancing up from the screen.

This is a woman who has no computer of her own. When it's time to reset the clock on the microwave, I do it for her. She owns a cellphone but saves it for emergencies.

These days, an emergency would be the iPad running out of juice.

"Is the iPod charged up?" she'll ask, entering our house for a visit.

"It's called an iPad. An iPod is something different," I'll say.

"Whateverrrr. Is it charged up?"

"Yes, Mom, it's all ready for you."

"Good," she'll say, warming up her fingers.

My husband has embraced the "our iPad" concept as well. So has our daughter, which comes as no surprise.

I'll put my iPad on the kitchen table, reach to grab something out of the cupboard and turn back around to see it gone. Gone!

Sneaky, this family of mine.

It's not as if someone is borrowing my car and returning it on empty. Or using up all my cellphone minutes. Or borrowing my favorite moisturizer and never returning it.

Besides, as I said, I'm a big believer in sharing.

Our daughter works the thing with lightning speed. Me? I still take my time carefully opening it, turning it on and unlocking it.

That's because I haven't had much time this summer to familiarize myself with this iPad of mine or, as things are going, much opportunity.

One night, my mother even asked if she could take it home with her. She was requesting an iPad sleepover. An iSleepover!

If she wins a game, she plays another.

If she loses a game, she plays another.

"Here, let me try a game," I said one weekend afternoon, pulling up a chair.

"Just one," she replied, eyeing me suspiciously.

When I think back to the "Moments of Our Lives, Summer 2011" version, it won't just be memories of beaches and barbecues and bike rides.

It also will be the image of my mother sitting on my chair on my patio playing with my iPad.

But, as I said, I'm a big believer in sharing.

email: smartin@buffnews.com

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