There I was, minding my own business, enjoying retired life, when jigsaw puzzles began to invade our home. This was not a new phenomenon, puzzles have come and gone around these parts for several years now. But recently a crazy thing happened: my wife asked for a puzzle table. “What do you mean? What kind of table do you want?” I asked. She replied, “You know, a card table.” Well it couldn’t be just any card table, and rightly so. Why? Because it was to occupy a small section of our great room, and would probably remain for several years. So we went hunting online and found a pretty nice table made right here in the USA by the Stanhope company. Nice pretty wood, and we found some chairs that matched pretty nicely.
The first puzzle to grace the surface of the table was a 300 piece drawing of a fox. Not too bad as far as difficulty, I actually got sucked in several times and was able to find homes for some pieces and pop them in. We discovered that jigsaw puzzles can be rather habit forming… when one walks past a partially completed puzzle, gravity appears to change and you get inexplicably drawn to the project. Since the arrival of the puzzle table, there have been more than one occasion when I’d have to urge my Lovely Bride to “come away from there!!”
While my Beautiful Honey Pie has always been the Puzzler In Chief (PIC?), lately I’ve been helping out at times. After the fox picture was completed, yet another puzzle came in the door. This one had 500 pieces, and was a nice photo of a quart of strawberries. Much more challenging than the 300 piece puzzle. At times, each of us would spend several minutes before finding mating pieces. Nothing wrong with that, it’s not like we are in a hurry to put the puzzle together. But hey, when I get pulled into the puzzle due to all that table gravity, I’d like to at least get a couple of successes. After a few minutes of searching the pile, I announced, “This puzzle is broken.” My Sweetheart knew I was being silly, but she replied, “No, it’s not broken. You just have to look.” “I’m gonna go get my hammer.” I countered. She calmly reacted with a subdued “Oh really? Well OK.”
I took a short break, and when I returned I noticed she had made quite a bit of progress. I’m talking like 7 pieces out of this 500 piece monstrosity!! I examined her achievement, and blurted, “Oh fine!! Now you’re cheating!!” “No, no, I’m not cheating. You can’t cheat with puzzles.” she rebutted with a smirk. “No,” I said, “this puzzle is broken.” I continued, “I have a hammer and also a drill. If this puzzle doesn’t start working I’m gonna go get those!!” I stared at the whelming pile of pieces. Yes, I said whelming. I mean, hey, it can’t really be overwhelming; it’s just a puzzle right??
Eventually, I was able to help fill some empty spaces. As the strawberries became whole, our puzzle adventure moved along more rapidly of course. There was a silent race to see who could find the right pieces the quickest. Maybe she wasn’t aware of this race, but I was trying my hardest. Finally, she put in the last one, and we both gave out a subdued “Yay!” followed by an equally subdued high-five. The 500 piece recreational time burner gave us a mellow feeling of accomplishment.
I guess the puzzle wasn’t broken after all.
The first video has nothing to do with putting a puzzle together, but it’s fun in a weird sort of way. The others are the result of doing a search on songs with the word “puzzle” in the lyrics.