Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Completing the Puzzle

Every morning, for as long as I can remember, my mother has started the day with "her puzzle." Mom lives for the daily crossword. She is one of those who insists on filling in the blanks with a pen, even if a suitable pencil lies nearby. She rebukes the lowly lead, and will search diligently for the inking implement of experts, before she settles down to begin.

The family knows not to interrupt mother once the ritual has begun. She times herself, you see, so it is important that we all respect her quest, and run interference on any potential distractions.

She is good, folks. A real pro. If there were a national crossword championship, I am quite certain that mom would have the Heisman.

"I minored in Latin." she quips, when she trumps a particularly challenging curmudgeon.

My brother and I have taken after her, and adopted the ritual too, both trying so hard to scribe as neatly as the girl who was famous in her small town for such beautiful handwriting. We have oft heard the story of her elementary days, and the teachers who asked Her to write the lessons on the board, because her script was so lovely to behold.

My brothers handwriting is much neater than mine, though not even in par with mom's. We both use her style of "E" and "Y"

Yes, I have adopted mom's penchant for puzzles. I like to figure things out, to play with words, to test myself, and challenge my skills. That's a gift from my mother, I cherish.

Maybe I'll call her and tell her, but not yet, she is still working that puzzle right now.

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