I am an addict. I’m addicted to the finer things in life…books, chocolate, pretty journals, puzzles.
I inherited my puzzle addiction from Mom. Few things from my teen years stand out clearly in my mind but puzzles on the dining room table? Those mark the years for me.
Mom would open up a new puzzle and spread the pieces out on the dining room table. It was an ideal place for a puzzle as the puzzle only took up a small space (our dining room table could easily have been considered for The Last Supper) on a table we only occasionally used (we had both a kitchen and dining room table) so we didn’t have to move it at the end of the day. The dining room table was always in the center of the house, a passing point for wherever I was going or wherever I’d been (and I have never been able to pass by a puzzle without trying to put in at least one piece).
The puzzle just sat, inviting each of us to join in. Friends would come over and pitch in. It was a meeting point that allowed us to chat with Mom without feeling the pressure of a formal conversation. Talk was easy, the puzzle was challenging. It’s not easy being a teen. Somehow the symbolism of the puzzle made life seem less confusing. As if all the things I was working out in my head just needed to be twisted and turned until it all fit just right. Having a place to sit and chat made life feel less stressful. Sometimes just being present with one another, even if in silence, made the world seem just right…even if only for a moment.
I remember one Christmas Mom and Dad rented a cabin in Burnet for us all to meet at. Bet you can’t guess what was set up in the middle of the room? A puzzle, of course. And we all sat around it, jostling pieces from side to side, chatting, laughing, sometimes just enjoying the silence of the company around us. It’s not the cabin I remember. Or the delicious food served. Or even the presents waiting under the tree that I remember. It’s that puzzle. And the time we all spent in front of it.
I want to breed that some atmosphere in my house, so the dining room table is now home to a puzzle. Let’s hope the boys get sucked in just as I did.
One thought on “Puzzled?”
Stacie, I am so glad and honored that my puzzle addiction was helpful to your teen years and made such a lasting impression. I remember having puzzles when I was growing up but I remember being the only one who worked on them. I loved and still love it. As you know there is almost always one out here just waiting for someone to help with it. Your children will sooner or later find the joy in puzzles. Joe and Kate already do and I am sure the Bill and Roo will too if they haven’t already. Just think we have even had the husband (who say they don’t do puzzles-all of them) also put a piece or two in. Don’t remind them of that though. I love your blogs and sharing thoughts.