Jigsaw Puzzle: Part One

I love jigsaw puzzles; the simple act of puzzle building can be so many things – void filler, diversion, therapy, compulsion, control issue, etc. Recently, I was fortunate enough to take a weekend near Lake Mille Lacs with the women of the bookclub I attend. It was absolutely wonderful in so many ways, but I am going to write about building the jigsaw puzzle.

We stayed in the friend Sarah’s family, up-north home, a perfect puzzle place and time, particularly the first morning when only half of us were there. We were warm and cozy on a snowy, blowing, frigid morning, with no where to go, no kids to parent, no husbands to wife, nothing to stop serious puzzling. Friends, coffee, bars (as in “pans of”), and the puzzle.

This puzzle was a lovely circular bird puzzle that was Sarah’s grandmother’s; she’d labeled it with her critique “good interlock”. Two of us, Laurie and I, went to work on this puzzle.

People have little habits when engaged in activities. I like to watch the bowling habits of people on their approach. Puzzles too elicit a behavior around certain “events”, particularly when making a significant connection. Some people say something, like “got it” or “there it is“. Laurie made a monkey sound – oo oo ee ee ah ah -not too loud. not too soft. I noticed I do a little tap-tap-tap on the piece making the connection. (It was starting to bother me. I hope I stop.)

Another part of our group arrived Saturday afternoon, so the puzzle work subsided as we slipped into other fun; the puzzle could wait until later. A few of us were driving to get groceries (Laurie Monkey included), and it suddenly occurred to me that the puzzle was just laying there, unfinished, with other women at the house. What if they finish it while we’re gone? What kind of person am I? But… what if they finish it while we’re gone. So I turned to Laurie and said, “I hope they don’t touch our puzzle.”, serious and knowing it’s a joke to say this. I was waiting for a “you’re kidding”, but I got a laugh and a “I was thinking the same thing but didn’t want to say it.”. Bless you Laurie Monkey Gal.

As it turned out, no one finished the puzzle while we were getting groceries. I think everyone helped a bit and it was finished in the wee hours of the morning. And, another circular puzzle was started after we woke, even though we had to leave the day we started it.

It was really hard to leave it unfinished.

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