February 6, 2013

Crossword puzzles likened to life challenges


So I toss the newspaper aside and wait until tomorrow for the answers. Then I feel like a dunce when some of the answers are familiar; if I had just tried a little harder ...

My disclaimer is that I do not have a “Ph.D.” after my name. However, at some time in my life, I have been a teenager, a daughter, a wife, a mother, a mother-in-law, a grandmother and a soon-to-be-great-grandmother. Let’s just say experience counts, both in crosswords and in life.

Does any of this make sense? Like I said in the beginning, “… at the risk of sounding weird.” What have I taken from this exercise in life? That even if I don’t have all the answers today, I will still try again tomorrow. I will still look forward to my cup of coffee; I will sharpen the pencil and give it my best try to come up with the right answers.

In this same frame of thought, I’d like to close this column by wishing my mother, Jean McGibbon Goddard, a happy 85th birthday. We surprised her with a birthday lunch on Sunday, but I want to publicly thank her for the years of wisdom and kindness she has shown to her family, friends and neighbors. Having grown up before and during World War II in England, she has an amazing ability to make the best of every day and make you see the brighter side of a situation. Her “can do” spirit has pushed me on in life and in solving crossword puzzles. Thank you, Mum.

The kettle is boiling, and the newspaper is here. Another day to solve another puzzle.

One last thought, as always, please be kind to each other. The world needs more kindness.

Susan Tobias lives in Plattsburgh with her husband, Toby. She has been a Press-Republican newsroom employee since 1977. The Tobiases have six children, 18 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. They enjoy traveling to Maine and Colorado, and in her spare time, Susan loves to research local history and genealogy. Reach her by email at

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