Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Hometown Memories: Word Search Puzzles

Along with a notebook where I record my thoughts, I picked up a few books of word search puzzles to take with me whenever I visit hospice clients. It gives me something to do if they are sleeping while I’m there, which is quite common.

Anyhow, these books brought to mind a man I used to work with many – oh so many – years ago who used to enjoy doing these puzzles in the newspaper every day. Well, one time I beat him to it, and although he wasn’t upset that, he was upset at the way I circled my findings. With big circles around each individual letter; so big that they ended up touching each other. Some people circle entire words, I circle each letter in each word. With big circles. BIG.
Most people circle entire words. I circle each letter individually.

He said my method was distracting and confusing and annoying and that I should make very small, tight circles around each letter. And the circles must never touch. Never. Because the page becomes messier and messier as more and more circles are added, which makes it harder and harder to find words. He was also the type of person that circles each individual letter, he said, but his circles were done “the right way”. Tiny. He was visibly upset as I worked on the puzzle and I couldn’t believe how much this frustrated him. But I guess we all have our quirks.

I smiled thinking about him as I was working on some puzzles recently, wondering what ever happened to him (he’d be somewhere in his mid to late eighties now) and whether he still does these puzzles if he’s still in this world. And every time I located a word and circled each letter with big – BIG – circles, I imagined him sitting next to me shaking his head and sighing heavily.

Do you do these types of puzzles?

36 comments:

  1. Wow, that guy has some serious OCD, but I'm laughing because he reminds me of my quirky Grandmother. I circle my words just like you, big and bold.

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  2. Funny story! It's such good volunteer work you do Martha!

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    1. As i get older I really enjoy looking back at these moments.

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  3. Its been ages I tried a word search puzzle.

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    1. I only recently started after many years. Just something to keep me busy.

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  4. He had a bit of OCD I think :) My mom did these word searches all the time; I would send her books for her birthday/Christmas. She lived with my sister who had two young children so she got them interested in looking for the letters too which helped them know their letters and then words. My mom had a sharp mind and lived to her mid 80's. I think doing these puzzles helped keep her mind stimulated. I don't do these puzzles but play a lot of word games online :)

    betty

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  5. I haven't done a word search puzzle in years but when I used to, I would circle the entire word, not individual letters. No one ever criticized my circling method, LOL, but I used to get flak about doing crossword puzzles in ink instead of pencil. Sheesh!

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    1. I think this man I knew would have flipped about using ink!

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  6. I enjoyed them in school. there was a video game version I played that was cool because it was all electronic and it recognized the letters you wrote fairly well. But I doubt I'll ever do one again.

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    1. I have tried some word puzzles online. It is kind of fun.

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  7. Lets not go around it, you are one of those... ha ha ha

    I am a bit dyslexic, so words game, not my thing.

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  8. Caught up!!! Don't want to miss a post of yours; they always brighten my day, Martha!

    Third graders love word searches, and so do I; but I haven't done any since I retired. Kudos to you for volunteering with hospice patients. I don't have the guts to do that. btw, I enjoy ironing, as long as the pile isn't too high. I love the look and feel of freshly ironed clothes. I don't really enjoy household chores, but they have to be done! Supper dishes is the one that grinds me down day after day. But now that Terry has retired, he is really pitching in! :)

    I have vivid dreams every night, but I don't usually remember them: always in color with sounds and smells. I have terrifying nightmares about tidal waves and horses; I understand the origin of my horse nightmares, but not the tidal waves. Since the tidal wave nightmares have been occurring as long as I can remember, I think I must have experienced one in a past life. It's one of the things that makes me think reincarnation might actually happen. My dreams often continue after I wake up and go back to sleep.

    I'm loving your gratitude series! What a wonderful idea! We need to express more gratitude for the wonderful things we have been blessed with in our lives. I consider myself one of the luckiest females ever to have been born. If I ever catch up with all the blog posts limed up in my head, I may borrow your idea ~ If that's okay!

    Have a happy, happy day!

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    1. I always enjoy your comments, Louise. They are always so enthusiastic. And by all means, borrow away the gratitude idea. I would love to see what you share............

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  9. We can all be so different in our ideas on the way we do things ... but it's doing them that is more important ?

    For some they enjoy number puzzles rather than word puzzles.

    Perhaps there is nor right or wrong ...???

    All the best Jan

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    1. Yes, we certainly all have our own way of doing things. I was not really bothered by him. He was a nice maan. This was just one of his quirks. And don't we all have some of those?

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  10. Word searches are a staple in our household, and mostly entirely for my benefit! I usually do a straight line through each word, unless it's a "reveal the phrase" type and then I loop the entire word or do the individual circles. I've emptied pens of ink doing puzzles so I think I started doing the straight line through to try and conserve ink.... and it makes it a bit more challenging when some letters are kinda obstructed.

    Total puzzle nerd here :) Love my Penny Press puzzle books with all types of puzzles too!

    So funny what can remind us of people we may have other wise completely forgotten!

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    1. It's true! The most unusual things will trigger interesting memories. I enjoy puzzles, too. I like the challenge.

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  11. That's a good story, Martha. I can see him shaking his head at you.

    Haven't done a paper puzzle in a lonnnnng time. Mostly on tablet and even that's jigsaw.

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    1. And he'd be shaking his head that I wrote about this!

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    2. True.

      Got your comment. And one of my favorite phrases is paid in FULL, as well. But things like cars and houses, well, what can I do? I can get zero interest and truck along with payments on the car, but the house, well, thatll bemsome interest. Along with a rash, I'm sure.

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    3. I'd be thrilled if we didn't have the mortgage but at least there's nothing else. Things could always be worse, I always say, so no complaining from my end.

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  12. You circle each letter individually? You might be the first person that I know who does it that way. But hey, if it works for you, keep it up! :-)

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    1. Well, I certainly like to walk to the beat of my own drum :)

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  13. Great memory. This guy sounded a bit obsessive. I used to do word searches but not anymore. I really like crosswords.

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    1. Crosswords are great. And much more challenging!

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  14. When I was little my grandma taught me "the proper way" to fold fitted sheets. Now whenever I fold fitted sheets I think of her. Sometimes I do them how she taught me and other times I couldn't be bothered.

    Martha, are you emplyed outside the home and if so what kind of work do you do?

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    1. I think we've all had lessons from people who are like your grandma. They teach us how to do things "the proper way". :) And these memories can be quite entertaining.

      I used to do computer programming for a few years; worked in companies and then ventured out on my own. When we moved here, I slowly moved away from that. I got tired of it, tired of trying to keep up with the fast pace of technology. Then I didn't know what to do next, so I spent a few years being a homemaker and taking care of us. That made me restless, so I decided to do what I enjoy best: humanitarian work. It took me awhile to decide which organization to join with and I finally chose hospice work. So now I volunteer with this amazing organization. Where will I go from here? I don't know. I may or may not return to full or part time work. Or I may continue with volunteering and maybe add more hours to it as time goes on. I will know next year because for the next few months a lot of things are going on and a lot of changes are coming our way. Once the dust settled, I will see.

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    2. You remind me of me. Still don't know what to do when we grow up. ;-)

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    3. That's me! And you know what, I hope I never truly grow up. Much more fun this way :)

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  15. Never heard of circling each letter, Martha, in this puzzle. I do the whole word and careful to keep it tight and not touching any other letter!! lol
    Aren't we a crazy bunch!!

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  16. Maybe because I'm French and do English Words but I circle each one, can't think of a better place for you to be. You are Empathy personafied...(s?) people ask me all the time why don't I volunteer, they don't understand the meaning of agoraphobia or social phobia, if I could volunteer , I could work and I'd still be a Career Advisor. No one gets it...expect you, and you are in the best possible place because your middle name is Empathy and Caring, and for that I bless you everyday of your life, you are a wonder, and I'ts a pleasure knowing you, knowing I'll never be judged here, Thank you girl , so much xoxoxxo

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    1. Thank you, my sweet friend; you are filled with kindness. I know exactly what agoraphobia is and I am sorry you are dealing with this. It is very difficult to contend with. I would definitely never judge you on this or on anything else. xo

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