Photo courtesy of unsplash.


I passed a car on the interstate sportin’ a California license-plate.

Actually, they passed by ME speedily, which is probably what drew my attention to their plate.

What the fritoes!

Traveling along the Northwestern Pennsylvania highway a CA plate is not a common site in our neck of the woods!

After my initial shout-out I paused, offering a prayer for the occupants inside the blurr now long ahead of me, that they be protected given the speed they were currently traveling.


Personal note: You never know what someone else may be going through, which is why we should be mindful to pass around the fritoes, sparingly!

Then I marveled at the distance of travel they’d made from out west all the way up north.

Then I remembered a favorite childhood game my sister, uncle, and I always played during our annual trips to the Garden State.

The license plate game!

Photo courtesy of unsplash, Nicholas Byrne.

Does anyone else remember playing this game?

It WAS the silliest game to play! But, I absolutely loved playing!

My FAVORITE personal detail of our game happened even before we began playing because we were always allowed to pick out a brand new miniature notebook to place our license plate recordings in, prior to each trip.

(I have always loved picking out school & office supplies!!)

Photo courtesy of unsplash, Julia Joppien.

Then after the round-trip was completed the winners were determined in the following categories:

The person who collected… #1 – the most states observed. Did anyone have all 50? #2 – the greatest quantity of plate-recordings collected (promoting a good reason to stay awake the entire trip) #3 – quantity of alphabet letters. Did anyone have the ENTIRE alphabet recorded? And there were special applause for any names, titles, or phonetic phrases discovered on a plate! As well as, #4-6 – these were the special “numerical collection categories” but I won’t over-whelm you with too many numbers today…

Truth be told the only real prizes awarded were “bragging-rights,” which is definitely a sign of the times!


All of this reminiscing then made me remember a favorite car game of our own children’s.


Each person picks a side of the road to count cows on, and whichever side counts the most cows wins! BUT if either side passes a cemetery, they lose all of their cows.

*You can play this game in the city too – where there aren’t usually any cows – just pick something else to count. And instead of cemeteries, passing a police car would cause that side to lose all their points!

After awhile, our kids added all sorts of their own “made-up” rules to the game such as

capturing their opponent’s cows!

However, the game eventually got to the point where new rules were being made-up each time they played…then no one remembered the real-rules anymore; causing all sorts of disagreements & dilemmas. Which is why the game was officially declared off limits.


Nonetheless, I still yell out – to my own self – every time I pass a cow pasture…


Then, I am certain I can hear them moo back,

What the fritoes!”

Personal note to all Bouvines: You never know what someone else may be going through, which is why you should be mindful to moo the fritoes, sparingly!

What childhood games do you fondly remember playing?

hugs n’ blessings for all the times when just having fun is far greater than winning a prize!

4 thoughts on “a-cownting

  1. Oh, the memories you just stirred up. We always played the alphabet game…letters could be from license plates or signs, just nothing in our car. We played as a team though, it was not a competition. I suppose because I was usually the only kid in the car, as I was 9 years younger than my closest sibling. And my kids always had their own little box of activities which always held the traveling bingo card. 😊. Thanks Dawn…love reading your stories! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jo! The alphabet games sounds like great fun and I simply adore that you played as a team!! I remember having drawstring bags for each of our kids in our van with various car activities in them with things for them to do – but the traveling bingo cards were always on of their FAVORITES. (And so much easier to keep track of than some of the other tiny toys I’d find stuck under the van seats, giggles!) Please stroll through my site ANYtime. You are always welcomed and taking the time to share with me is most cherished!! Hugs to you!!💕


  2. Dawn, I love your blog. I remember the I Spy game, also the license plate game. Being the 8th of 9 children, you can imagine that we didn’t travel far very often. To the peninsula was the main trip, but I remember one BIG trip 🤣 to Cleveland to visit my aunt. What I remembered more than the games was arguing in the back seat with my brothers; my father threatening to pull over if we didn’t settle down; settling down; goofing around an laughing with my brothers; and my father, once again threatening to pull over! We weren’t arguing anymore, we were getting along!! It wasn’t till I was a parent of 3 little kids in the back seat that I finally understood that it wasn’t so much what we were doing, but the volume that we did it!! Oh, NOW I get it! So, I too made up games, sang songs, purchased audiobooks and anything else that would help to keep the volume down to a low roar, even when they were happy. I find that I can tolerate a lot more volume from my grandkids than I could with their parents🤣. Again, I so enjoy your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww! Thank you Cyndy! I am so tickled you strolled through my site & especially that this topic stirred up some wonderful memories for you! I think many of us have heard those same words shouted in the direction of our youthful ears, as you heard from your own dad, giggles! And yes, I agree – we always understand so much more as we grow in age & wisdom!! It is amazing how much more sweeter our grandchildren seem to be, isn’t it?? Giggles. I do hope you’ll continue to stop by when you are able and warm hugs for taking the time to share your wonderful thoughts too! 💕


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