The Puzzle Gene

I am so happy that my son has inherited my love for jigsaw puzzles.  No matter the difficulty he always wants to try.  I used to do puzzles all the time.  As a teacher I found it to be a HUGE relaxation technique for my Christmas Breaks.  My parents bought me puzzles to do over school breaks; they were great date night activities with Lance.  After we were married, they made great Christmas presents.

I have worked up to 5,000 piece puzzles.  I have worked extremely difficult ones, ones that were more for fun, ones that presented an exciting challenge.  I worked FOREVER on one that was the same picture front and back just turned 90 degrees.  My favorite of all I have ever done was a Winnie the Pooh profile shot that was made up of teeny tiny scenes from all the classic Winnie the Pooh stories.

My love for puzzle making started at 2 years old (according my mother).  My great grandfather was an amazing woodworker, and to add to that he loved to do puzzles and then build frames for them.  He instilled in me the love for them in the hours he would spend teaching me how to create the outer edge and work methodically from one piece of the scene to another.  I don’t remember all the way back to two years old, but I do remember his visits to Florida.  He would stay with my Grandma, and mom would drop me off for time with him while my sisters were in school.  Grandma would make me waffles in the toaster and Great Grandpa would have the card table all set up with his newest puzzle.  He loved scenery.  One of the more difficult I remember working with him was  a picture of an autumn landscape…trees, leaves, a blend of oranges, red, yellows, and browns.  He never got frustrated with me.  Always took my hand and guided me to gently lay the pieces together.  “Never force them, ”  he’d tell me.  He taught me how to flip them over if I wasn’t sure to truly be able to tell if they interlocked correctly.

So glad for the love he gave me of a good puzzle, and I am soo happy to be enjoying them with Asher.  To hear his excitement as he gets two pieces together, reminds me of the days when I was that excited.  Great Grandpa always took a moment to stop his own to work to get excited with me.  I pray one day Asher will also look back at the quiet puzzle moments and love the time we had.  I am sure that there will be puzzles in heaven, and I can’t wait to sit down with my Great Grandpa and work on one together again.

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