I have a good friend who gets very frustrated when she can't immediately recall every little detail of something or the name of a book or movie or some other relatively un-important fact. I try to console her that all of us begin to lose our instant recall as we age and that it doesn't mean anything except that we are getting older.
My friend developed a couple of "memory recall tests" and when she can't remember something or a word does not come immediately to mind, she uses one of the tests to make certain her mind is still functioning well. Never a fan of the BeeGees, she decided to use the four first names of the Gibb brothers as one of her memory tests. An especially good example since only three of them were part of the singing group.
It is of note that this friend is a crossword puzzle expert. She does several complex puzzles every morning with her first cup of coffee. She subscribes to the weekend NY Times in order to do the crosswords. (She says the Monday through Thursday ones are too simple.) BTW: she does them in ink, not pencil.
The last time my daughter visited, she and I were laughing at the friend's latest lament. She had forgotten the name of one of our old bosses. About ten minutes after the call, she called again to tell me the name. My daughter and I decided it would be fun to provide her with a visual of one of her memory tests. The two of us thought about a cross-stitch piece since my daughter is quite skilled at this. We thought first of little bees surrounding the names. Then we thought of a finger with a knot tied around it. Finally my daughter thought of making a crossword puzzle. She scribbled the names and realized there were several ways to make them intersect. So the design was born. Perfect for a crossword junkie.
My daughter did the cross-stitch and I had it framed. The color in the photograph is not true. The matting is actually more of a newspaper gray. Incidentally, the white border is part of the canvas. The framer was blown away by how perfectly square it was.
The Gibb brothers crossword.
It was not my friend's birthday or any special occasion when I mailed it to her. I did not even tell her something was coming.
It was a total surprise, made even more fun because her daughter was visiting at the time and had no idea what on earth it meant. My friend was delighted. Sometimes the smallest things can mean the most to your friends. The crossword is hanging in her kitchen and she delights in telling visitors where it came from and what it means.
Special thanks to my daughter, my frequent partner in schemes for helping me give the perfect gift.