Almost every morning I sit down at my computer with a cup of coffee and solve the Daily Jumble with my family.

We had each done the Jumble from time to time. (I did it occasionally until we quit getting the local paper.) But at some point a few years ago my brother must have mentioned in a chat session that he and my mom were working on the Jumble, and I must have asked if I could help, and he must have sent me a scrambled word.

Since then we’ve worked out a whole procedure for jointly working on the Jumble. My mom wields the pencil and reads off the clues to my brother, who types them into a chat session for me. Then we all work to unscramble the letters until one of us gets it. We continue until we have all the words. (Sometimes we’ll give up on one word or another.) At that point my mom goes through our answers to produce the list of letters available to use, counts the letters in the words of the answer, describes the cartoon and reads all the text from it, up to the prompt to finish. Once again, my brother types all that into the chat session. Then we solve it.

We’ve gotten pretty good at this whole process, and can usually knock of a Jumble in just a few minutes.

It has turned out to be a wonderful way to stay connected with my brother and my mom (and occasionally my nephews when they feel like participating).

Mornings hardly seem complete when I don’t get in some family time with the Jumble—to the point that, when I visit Steven in person, we still do the Jumble the exact same way, with him typing to me in a chat session, even though I’m sitting right next to my mom. (I’m way better at solving a Jumble with a keyboard than I am with pencil and paper.)

(Posting this mainly because I’m working on a post about my daily routine and I didn’t want to excise this important piece, even though my description of it had exploded out of all bounds.)

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