Aggravation

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Am I aggravating?  Don’t answer that:)  It was a hypothetical question.  But I do know that there was a lot of Aggravation last time I visited the Eicher family.  Okay, enough of the jokes.  Aggravation is a fun game that the Eichers have played as long as I have known them.  The Amish – despite ferocious societal pressure from the outside – still largely live in an electronic-free world.  This means that entertainment – gasp – actually involves doing non-electronic stuff together like playing games or talking.  Connect Four, Sorry, Aggravation, other board games, and puzzles still do much to entertain Amish families during the evenings of a long, cold winter.  This winter has been anything but cold so I think some of the indoor games have been curtailed a bit.  But Aggravation is still a favorite and Lovina’s brother-in-law Jacob makes these beautiful homemade versions.  The late Elizabeth Coblentz wrote about the game often. I found references to it in her column as early as 1993 and almost 10 years later 10 months before her untimely passing she wrote: ”this Sunday in January has now ended.   The boys had a good time today playing a board game called Aggravation.”

Another game she wrote about often is called Carrom, anyone heard of that?

So if you would like to watch me do a little demo of the game Aggravation using a homemade board at Lovina’s house, click here.  It really is a fun game. I think board games sort of bring people together in a way that everyone at their individual electronic stations doesn’t.  Does your family play board games? If so, which ones are favorites?

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The Discussion


  1. we play board games every week. Sorry is our favorite, then chinese checkers. We also play cards, Uno, Skipbo and poker.

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  2. On the rare occasion we do play a board game, it is always Aggravation. Love it!

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  3. I grew up playing aggravation with my grandmother on a board made by my uncle while he was in school. Such fond memories. My husband and I play cards or yahtzee every night after supper and enjoy the time to unwind from our day.

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    • Kris, good to see you on here! And that is so nice that you and your husband do that every evening…I sometimes feel that society has become so wired, so internet-driven…time spent playing games like that with one another has to be great for a relationship!

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  4. Jill Stratman says:


    I grew up playing Aggravation as well. We had a board for 4 players and one for 6. I have one of the boards and I believe my brother has the other. It’s a great game because even fairly young children can understand and play. What great memories it brings back! Hundreds and hundreds of hours trying to “aggravate” one another lol

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  5. Heather Mitchell says:


    With my youngest granddaughter now living with me…she’s 8….she loves to play board games. For Christmas she got a slew of them. Sorry, Yahtzee, Monopoly, Scrabble, Uno Attack just to name a few. Her favorite? Scrabble! Every night we play a game of Scrabble. She loves word games….and so do I. She’s also learning the game of Chess from her Uncle.

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  6. Sequence, and Scattergories

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  7. Mary Ellen Hemenway says:


    Carroms is an old board game we played many many years ago. The board fit over the top of a card table, with net pockets in the corners. Playing pieces were ring circles you tried to get into the corner pockets. I feel like this is really showing my age even knowing about this game. I still have the board my parents had.

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    • Mary Ellen, welcome to Amish Cook online and thanks for sharing! Your description matches what the Eichers and Coblentzes always told me they played…sounds fun!

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