I learned to play cards at an early age. The little kid games of Fish and Olde Maid come to mind. They were fun and you needed a second child or an adult to play with you. Lessons in numbers, winning and losing and sharing were learned. People interacted. Then as I got a little older or was home alone I learned to play solitaire. I can remember three forms I played hour after hour, before the invent of electronic gadgets. I even played it while talking on the phone.

There were always decks of cards handy during my growing up years. I also learned to play rummy, skat, pitch, canasta, euchre, pinochle, hearts, crazy eights, and others. My father was a poker player. All of those games required other people involved, solitaire didn’t, hence its name.

Then gadgets, or electronic devices came to be. I haven’t checked the statistics, but I’ll wager that playing card sales dwindled at that time. Lots of us play games on our phones, I-pads and computers. It’s certainly more convenient now that you don’t need a table and room to spread the cards.

According to the national Day of Calendar it wasn’t until 1990 when Microsoft included Solitaire in Windows 3.0 that the game truly went viral. Microsoft Solitaire successfully helped teach computer users how to use a mouse and, in the process, ended up becoming one of the most played video games in history.

“Over the past 28 years, Microsoft Solitaire has been providing great entertainment to hundreds of millions of players in every corner of the world, so May 22 each year will officially be designated as National Solitaire Day, recognizing the day Microsoft first included Solitaire in Windows.

In 2012, Microsoft evolved Solitaire into the Microsoft Solitaire Collection, which features five of the top Solitaire games in one app. Since then, the game has been played by over 242 million people and has become so popular that each year 33 billion games are played with over 3.2 trillion cards dealt! Wow, that’s a lot of players and cards.

It’s raining where I am today. I think I’ll download the Solitaire Collection, hold the cat and try each of the games. I won’t get the dishes done, but I’ll get to listen to the rain and relax.