jigsawJean read an article online about keeping your brain active. It suggested that one might ward off simple mindedness with brain challenging games such as working a jigsaw puzzle with ones mate.

She came into the dining area with four boxes of puzzles and said, “Choose one.” I figured I would humor her for a few moments.  I chose one with lots of pink – 1,000 pieces. I dumped it all out on the table. That was six days ago. The only thing we’ve managed since we started other than working on that puzzle is Jean has been taking a few phone calls. The length of her phone conversations has dropped ninety percent. Friday we both remained in our sleeping wear all day. We get to bed around 1 a.m. each night.  Then we did manage to eat and take a break to attend church on Sunday.  It is Monday and we are down to just 55 pieces. They are all waves and trees. They all look exactly alike. When I take a fist full and try to just find one slot where one will fit I swear my eyes blur and I can hear the remaining pieces joining together in a chorus sneering,  “La La Lala La La!”

Two and a half hours later we had slots for only two pieces, but the sad fact was we had run out of pieces. Jean got out her broom and swept the floor. She found a red piece that we hadn’t noticed was missing.  We were still down to two pieces.  She found another but when she put it in she discovered another piece that was missing so we still had two pieces missing.  Those darn yard sale women! I can distinctly remember that lady saying she was pretty sure that all the pieces were in the box. If I had known some pieces were missing I never would have paid her the fifty cents she demanded.  I looked in my nightshirt pocket just in case a piece had fallen in there but it was empty.

Jean found a nickel under the table. Well we can put that to the fifty cents we wasted on a useless partial jigsaw puzzle. Later she found a piece in our living room.  “I guess they can stick to your clothes,” she suggested. “Well in that case,” I responded, “that can open up our search to include the whole world.”

I’m tearing the puzzle down now and putting the pieces back in the box. I finally got done and back to my Lazy Boy and my TV control. When Jean came back into the living room I confronted her. “Jean, why did we start working on that crazy puzzle in the first place?” She smiled. “Because of that article I read online, Dear, remember? It was supposed to ward off simple mindedness. To keep our aging minds nimble.”

I frowned. “Well my mind does not feel nimble. My mind, my eyes and my patience feel all worn out; I’m six days behind on the stuff I wanted to get done and I’m sure you are too and ya know, I think that working on the puzzle was sort of simple minded to start with for both of us.”  The instant I said it I regretted it when I remembered that she likes puzzles. Jean smiled her loving smile. “Honey, at least we tried something different. I believe that is the secret for both of us to reach our nineties with a full deck.”

God, how I love that woman. I think I’ll burn all those puzzles.

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