Pastimes can keep mind and body fit

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Because of arthritis, I’m not as active as I used to be. However, I do what I can.

I garden a little, but I can only manage to pull weeds for a few minutes at a time.

I also do exercises from the Sit and Be Fit program on public television. I have hours of tape, so I can do exercises whenever it’s best for me. I also do exercises that the physical therapist suggested for my arthritis.

I do keep my mind active. I work the crossword puzzle in the newspaper every morning, and I read before I go to bed. I also read during the day when I sit down for a cup of coffee or a glass of iced tea.

I subscribe to a magazine that has logic problems in it. I also quilt, sew, crochet and knit to keep my mind sharp.

When company comes, we play cards. I also play in a euchre tournament once a week. When the grandchildren come over, I play board games with them.

I use my computer every day. I search for answers to any questions I may have. I look up information about prescriptions and illnesses. I also find addresses of people I want to contact.

I belong to a couple of Web sites that put out a daily magazine with letters from members, and I contribute to that as often as I can.

Writing is my greatest passion. I write letters to shut-ins and send greeting cards to people who are celebrating birthdays or anniversaries. I write stories for different magazines, and I’m now working on an autobiography for my grandchildren.

Reading is another passion. It obviously was an inherited trait. My parents and grandparents were avid readers.

My dad read the newspaper from cover to cover when he took a lunch break, then he read books and magazines at the end of the day. My mother also read when she had a few minutes to spare.

I remember my grandfather reading by the light of a kerosene lamp, and, until her eyes failed, my grandmother also loved to read.

The women in my family sewed, crocheted and knitted, in addition to raising vegetables and flowers.

My mother made many hand-quilted bed covers for her children and grandchildren. Her mother made countless quilts, sewing the tiny blocks together by hand.

The farmers in our family had no problem staying fit. The long hours they put in on the farm, with no modern conveniences, gave them more exercise than they needed.

                Monticello, Iowa