Friday, January 29, 2016

Bulldogs and National Puzzle Day

According to whoever decides these things, today is National Puzzle Day. One website says: "Whether it's a crossword, jigsaw, word searches, brain teasers or Sudoku, puzzles put our brains to work." Which is why, every day, I do the daily crossword and the daily jigsaw - the online versions.
Word searches don't do much for me, I don't even know what a brain teaser is and Sudoku - forget it. Anything with numbers and my brain goes blank - which is probably why I should try Sudoku again.

Until my daughter introduced me to online jigsaw puzzles, I enjoyed spreading out the jigsaw pieces on the dining room table and putting them together. This is one I did six years ago last October. I would still enjoy working jigsaws if I had a space I could do them other than having them on the dining room table for as long as it took to put them together. Plus, working them on the computer is so much faster. I like that I can do a complete puzzle in a short time. I believe they refer to that as 'instant gratification'.

"Studies have found that when we work on a jigsaw puzzle, we use both sides of the brain, and spending time daily working on puzzles improves memory, cognitive function and problem solving skills." (Again from the same website.)

The daily online jigsaw Wednesday was of two Boston Bulldogs, technically Boston Terriers, one white and black the other black and white. I am so often surprised when something that I have just been talking about or reading about comes up again in a different form a day or two later. This was the case when I saw Wednesday's puzzle.

In some back and forth electronic conversations with my younger brother last week the subject of the white bulldog, Trixie, we had when he was little came up. He asked me if we had once had a black bulldog too. He thought he remembered seeing a picture of our older brother with a black bulldog. I had absolutely no memory of ever having another bulldog besides Trixie. (Shown here with my little sister, Betty.) I went through all the old photos I have and no black bulldog.

Tuesday I was talking with my older brother and asked him if he remembered ever having a black bulldog. Like me, Ron worries about how forgetful he is becoming. He had no problem whatsoever of remembering that we had a brown bulldog (which would show up black in a black and white photo) for a short time.
He went on to remind me that someone gave us the brown Boston Terrier, probably thinking if we had one bulldog we'd surely like having two. Everything was fine until the two dogs were left alone and got into a fight. Trixie ended up with a leg chewed up and the other dog, named ?, had its ears chewed. Trixie's leg got infected and we had a heck of time getting her healed up. The other dog went to a new home.
As Ron was relating all this, suddenly my memories of that time began coming back. To which I say: "Funny how selective our memory can be."

Betty, Ron and me with a 'tricked out' Trixie. Les wasn't born yet. I'm thinking getting together with my brothers more often and combining our memories might benefit all of us. In the meantime I'll keep doing my daily crossword and jigsaw - and hoping this final comment from the website I'm quoting is true:

"The bottom line is, puzzles stimulate the brain, keeping it active and practicing its skills."

Happy National Puzzle Day!

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