For my second winter adventure, I figured I needed something indoors and warm.
Sure, the day 1 polar plunge was exciting, but dude, the whole point of this 30 days is that I don’t like cold and I need a way to make winter more enjoyable.
So what can I do to enjoy winter, without getting out of the glow of my wood stove?
A jigsaw puzzle!
When I was growing up, my family didn’t do a lot of things together voluntarily (“voluntarily” being the key word), but one of the few together-activities that we enjoyed was periodically getting out a jigsaw puzzle, laying it out on the dining room table, and putting it together over the course of the next couple of days.
People would drift by, put a few pieces into place, and drift away.
I would intend to only place a few pieces, but instead get totally engrossed, and spend the next hour working on the puzzle, having totally forgotten what I originally was supposed to be doing.
So puzzling seemed perfect.
Darius and I were going to be in town anyway for a 3 mile trail run, so we popped by Walmart afterward to pick out a puzzle.
Now I don’t normally walk through Walmart in baggy oversized running clothes, but I was on a mission. I was going to recreate a happy memory from my childhood!
Thankfully I didn’t run into anyone I know.
Picking it out was a question though.
First, what number of pieces?
Well we have four adult puzzlers in the house, so that should make things easy. 1000 pieces seemed about right. I was sure that we can do more, but it seemed prudent to choose modestly.
Next, what picture?
Our choices seemed to be child movie themed, Thomas Kinkade paintings, and imitation Thomas Kinkade-esque paintings. 😒
I ended up with this one, since it seemed rather charming, and relatively low on the obnoxious-o-meter.
Excellent! Things were going swimmingly!
At home, I got the kitchen table cleared off and dumped it out.
My family members’ enthusiasm lasted maybe 10 minutes.
It wasn’t long before I found myself working a puzzle all by myself.
For the record, 1000 pieces is a lot more than it seemed like in the store. Maybe I should have been a little more modest about our abilities.
Also, it didn’t take very long to realize that that ever-so-charming painting seemed to be done in approximately five colors, and any given piece could fit into three or four completely separate parts of the painting. 🤦
That night, I realized another difference between our household and that of my childhood.
We have two Maine Coon mix cats, who consider lights-out to be the starting gun for party time.
All civilized daytime rules about not getting on tables is completely out the window as soon as the family goes to bed.
And I have 1000 itty bitty utterly identical little pieces of cardboard to have to protect.
In the end, the kids helped me cover the entire table with a blanket, to protect it from the predations of our party animals.
It’s a good thing too, because there was cat hair all over the blanket the next morning.
The crime scene evidence was very clear. We are going to have to be very very careful.
It’s been a few days now, and we’ve been covering it each night, and discovering cat hair every morning.
The issue now is that the family really isn’t doing a lot on the puzzle, and it seems to be mostly me.
The number of pieces seem to be multiplying like loaves and fishes, and I am very aware that I need to get it finished by Friday night, when everybody want to sit down at that table for Sabbath dinner.
We’ll see if we make it.
Anyone want to come over and help me put together a puzzle?