Sharpening your mental skills

How sharp are your powers of observation?
Research tells us that you can keep your mental skills sharp by using them. Here’s a little exercise you can try.
When out strolling the town, look closely at the properties and then guess how old or what generation the folks are that live there.
It helps if you do this in an unfamiliar neighbourhood, but it really doesn’t matter because your memory so bad, you don’t remember what you had for breakfast let alone who lives on your street.
However, I’ll warn you to be prepared to answer questions from suspicious peace officers should you be reported as a vagrant.
A stout cane to ward off free-roaming ankle and butt biters also is not a bad idea (I’ve noticed Robert, a.k.a. the Old Boy, roaming the town swinging his cane, not because he’s lame but because he’s terrified of dogs).
Toys scattered over the yard and the walk indicate a family with young children, of course. A larger collection of children’s toys neatly parked or stacked in the garage is a sure sign of over-indulgent grandparents.
A front entrance with a polished hand rail is, of course, a senior’s residence. We like to keep a grip as the balance and the knees aren’t what they used to be.
A storm door much the worse for wear or tied open—a sure sign of rampaging, door-slamming teenagers.
If you could gain entrance to the joint without getting arrested for break-and-enter, great. Otherwise, a quick peek through the back door will have to suffice.
I’m not sure what the Peeping Tom consequences are but come on, a little risk might spice up your boring existence.
Three or four quick observations will confirm the occupants are seniors. First, there will be a chair near the door where you can sit and put on your footwear (we don’t bend anymore).
Secondly, the footwear will be mostly the slip-on sort, including permanently-tied sneakers with stomped down heels. Probably a long-handled shoe horn, as well.
There even might be a pair of polished shoes—something no teenager would be caught dead wearing.
Thirdly, a bar for hanging an assortment of sweaters of various weights for indoor use, depending if it is a cold, chilly, or hot day (nothing to do with room or outdoor temperature, but personal body thermostat).
Fourth, if you can glimpse the fridge plastered with school work and pictures, it doesn’t really tell you if it’s parents or grandparents. The only telling clue will be the one side covered with medical appointments—surely a “seniors live here” sign.
Final signs are the “cute” wall hanging that adorn the entrance like the one my wife, The Pearl of the Orient, displays and sighs deeply at each time she passes. It reads:
“I pray for wisdom to understand a man,
Love to give him, and patience for his moods.
If I pray for strength, I’ll just beat him to death.”

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