Keeping Gray Matter Active

   Keeping our minds active as we age is very important, according to what I have been reading.  This link to CNN’s Health/Library website tells us what the Mayo Clinic says about it.

  In order to literally “grow” the brain, it has to be exercised. To exercise the mind you have to use it. When you do it “produces new connections between nerve cells that allow cells to communicate with one another.”  

  Following the recommendation about starting a new hobby, I took a course on drawing and I drew for a while and quit, but plan to get back to it. Here’s one of the things I drew with pencils. Think I should stick with it? 

Beer Mug, by Dick McMichael

Beer Stein, by Dick McMichael

  Recently, besides taking courses on Ancient Egypt, Astronomy, and the “Iliad,” I decided to take up bridge. You know that fun card game where it’s no disgrace to be the dummy. (Sorry about that…kinda.)  

Mr Alan Blackburn, Wikipedia)

Bridge declarer (Courtesy: Mr Alan Blackburn, Wikipedia)

  Those bridge lessons are indeed giving my tired old brain a workout. My late sister Betty loved bridge and taught me the basics when I was a teenager, but I didn’t stick with it, and I learned very little about the most important part of the game, bidding.

  The playing rules are pretty simple, but the bidding is anything but.  The whole idea is to communicate with your partner so that he or she has a good idea of what is in your hand in order to bid effectively. And you can’t use signals – you know, like pulling on your left ear to let your partner know you have six hearts in your hand. All you can do is bid.

  Our teacher told us there are two kinds of bridge: party bridge and cut-throat bridge. Party bridge is where you are socialiable and talk a little and play your cards in the middle of the table. Cut-throat bridge is really duplicate bridge. In duplicate bridge everybody gets to play the same hand once before the game is over. Nobody picks up tricks, instead, well, you probably really don’t care about that. By everyone playing the same hands, you really know how is the best player because everybody gets the bad hands as well as the good ones before it’s all over. Duplicate bridge people take it very seriously.  They don’t talk very much.   (If you don’t play bridge and want to learn more, go to this Wikipedia link.)

  Most people learn party bridge first and that’s what I’m doing…well, trying to do. I think it’s going to end up being a lot fun, or, on the other hand, may drive me crazy.

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One Response to “Keeping Gray Matter Active”

  1. Rick Says:

    Bridge. I’ve tried it. They make up the rules as they go.

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