Confession time. I love puzzles. Love ’em. When I was a kid, we used to go visit my Grandparents who lived in a retirement community in Sun City, Arizona. Now, if you are a kid in a retirement area, it can be a bit slow. Luckily, my grandparents had two things going for them. One, a community pool. And two, a library that rented out puzzles. Every visit, my grandmother would go and get a puzzle for us. I remember pouring over the pieces on her dining room table waiting out the hot Arizona afternoon. I think that’s when my puzzle love began in earnest.
You open the box and are faced with a jamble of pieces, colors and shapes. It all seems impossible but every child knows that the trick is to start small. Find the corners. Pick out the edge pieces. Once that frame is assembled you have a toe hold on the beast and suddenly the impossible seems within reach.
There are different techniques after the beginning frame out is over. You can sort by color or unique image. From there expand into grouping by shape. And the satisfaction of finding that one last piece to complete a section! Ummmmm. Makes me tingly happy just thinking about it.
So every summer I pick a new puzzle and set it out. Most days it is just me fingering the cardboard shapes but every once in a while Kevin or the girls will join me for a bit. It’s so easy to talk over a puzzle. But it’s equally acceptable to sit in silence and slowly sift through the pieces or study the box art.
Oddly enough, I don’t like to do a puzzle more than once. Instead, I grab my ModPodge and glue the finished piece together and hang it up. A reminder that no matter how broken something is, if you frame it carefully and work on it bit by bit, you can make it whole again.