Monday, November 23, 2009

Its Puzzling

Out comes the table, a place for the children to sit. Once the meal was over, the eating table was transformed into a puzzle table. Not everyone in the family puzzled. Dad would once in awhile would place a few pieces, Mom puttered in the kitchen or crocheted most of the day conversing with the puzzlers. Cousin Betty, my sisters and I would be glued to our seats puzzling.

Puzzles are addictive, especially if you are the addictee. (I wonder if that's a word?) Working together to complete a picture was only part of this puzzle ritual. We spent time together. I was much younger than the rest yet was treated as an equal. I joined in adult conversations or just listened learning what it was to be an adult. I grew up on puzzles.

Now we learn that our memory improves with puzzling. Not puzzling considering the fact that you sit for hours determined to locate a piece of puzzle either by shape or by color. We aren't easily deterred refusing to relinquish power to 1000 pieces of challenge a puzzle presents. I have no idea if my memory is better, since I don't have any idea what it would be like if I didn't do puzzles. Hm. Are you still with me?

A few weeks ago my granddaughter brought with her a puzzle that she had received from her grandpa last Christmas. 1000 pieces of Labrador retrievers standing in a grassy marsh. 1000 pieces of grass and black dogs. My thought was that she should have taken it to her grandpa to complete since he bought a puzzle that was entirely too difficult for this child. Each time Sydney walked through the door, "How are you doing on the puzzle, Grammy?" Argh! Determined not to back down from this broken up picture, not to allow my granddaughter to think her grandma is a failure, I finished the puzzle marveling at what I had accomplished alone.

Last night my future daughter-in-law and I sat before a new puzzle. Her family lays the puzzle pieces out differently than my family. They stack the pieces around the side instead of laying them out so each piece if visible. Not one to rock the boat, I pretend to look for pieces and spread out the pieces on her side as I look. Ah, sneaky and kind at the same time.

This is a puzzling blog. Most people look to skiing and winter fun when fall comes on. I look forward to staying inside with a puzzle on the table and justifying the time I sit at that table as memory building exercising.

Tomorrow the girls will walk through the door, maybe look at the finished puzzle and once more the pieces will go back into the box. My memory may not be better, but my determination is impressive.

1 comment:

  1. For many years, my parents would give my sister and I a new puzzle for Christmas. In the lull of the holiday afternoon, the family would work on one of the new puzzles and talk. Working on a puzzle leads to interesting conversations. You are half paying attention to the conversation and half working on the puzzle, so the conversation is sort of free-form and quirky. We abandoned the tradition when our children and then our grandchildren were babies and toddlers, but have been enjoying it again now that all of the grandkids are school-age or older.

    My daughter married into a family of puzzlers. You know how some people slip a piece of puzzle into their pockets, so they can put in the last piece? My daughter knew that she had married into an interesting family the first time she did a puzzle with them, and the puzzle came up three pieces short. All three of the others had secreted a puzzle piece!