You've seen them. They sit there for hours on end, fingering the edge of a piece of cardboard and oblivious to the world around them. Or perhaps they're sitting in a busy airport, pen in hand and inking letters into a black and white grid.
Puzzle people. They're a unique breed of determined, methodical individuals who know that sticking with something all the way to the end nets a grand reward. Oftentimes, jigsaw puzzlers start with the easy part, assembling the framework, then they work inward either by shape or color recognition or image alignment. Be forewarned though, looking at the box may be considered cheating by some serious puzzlers.
In today's high tech world, assembling a jigsaw puzzle (or a crossword puzzle or a Suduko) may seem archaic and unimportant, but the activity has diehard enthusiasts and now the medical community is onboard singing the praises of puzzles.
DIDJA KNOW: Working on a puzzle stimulates your brain. Some say it may even ward off Alzheimer's, a memory impairing disease.
I'm one of them. A puzzler, I mean, though I probably have my share of memory issues. There's nothing I like better than seeing how something fits together. I've never been much of a take-aparter, but I dearly love putting together a puzzle. I couldn't imagine starting my day without a Sudoku number puzzle. I usually tackle the crossword puzzle for lunch. In the evenings, I engage my brain with whodunits in books or on TV.
At a mystery conference I once roomed with a woman who loved doing Sudoko puzzles on a handheld device, and she was always trying to best her former times. That's serious puzzling.
With aging relatives, I've been in and out of nursing homes over the last three years. I can recognize a puzzle person on sight. And the cool thing is, they recognize me right back. No introductions are necessary. You just slip into a chair and pick up a puzzle piece and you share in a wonderful fellowship.
If only everything in life were so easy!
Death, Island Style coming in February
PS ARE YOU A PUZZLER? Be sure and leave a comment about the kind of puzzles you enjoy or tell me if your relatives enjoy puzzles. I'd love to hear from you!