Don't know where you stand on the topic of jigsaw puzzles but over the weekend Tim and I finished this one. We stand firmly in the pro-puzzle camp. You already knew I was a nerd, now the rest of the secret is out, I'm a geek too. I originally bought this puzzle for a Thanksgiving activity since there was lots of family here. And we all worked on it that day but this is a 1,000 piece puzzle and the sky and roof were at least 1/3 of the pieces. Needless to say, it wasn't finished that day. The puzzle stayed on the table in the family room until I needed to dust the table even though I hated to do it, the puzzle went, unfinished, back into the box. It drove me crazy knowing that it wasn't completed before it was put away, which is why it came back out last week. I have to be honest, if Tim hadn't tackled hardest part, I would probably still be working on it.
Puzzles have been around, well probably since people have been around. Exercises of mental acuity are truly very good for us and jigsaw puzzles definitely will provide some brain work.
Jigsaw puzzles have only been around for a few hundred years or so. The first ones on record are from the mid 1700's. Back then they were made from maps that were pasted onto wood and then painstakingly cut into small pieces. Interestingly (to me) the first puzzle that I recall owning as a child was of a map and it was wooden. And no, I'm not quite 300 years old, it wasn't one of the originals, wiseguy.
If I remember correctly, mine was a Christmas gift. It was a wooden puzzle of the United States, all the states were different colours with little stars where the capitals were, the capitol city name printed in black. I loved that puzzle and was careful to not lose any pieces. In fact, I still had it when my own children were small. I believe they learned their US geography primarily through that puzzle. I still remember the three of them working on it together and the youngest referring to Minnesota as "Outtasoda".
MIddle son and his wife sent us the above puzzle as a Christmas Gift this year. He sent a photograph of us all together and sent it off to some company that makes photos into puzzles. Wow! What a great gift. Also a very difficult puzzle. One shirt, the sofa and the floor are all the same colour; the other three men are wearing blue shirts; all the women are wearing similarly coloured flowered dresses etc. Jigsaw puzzles also teach us great patience!
I think the issue some people have with jigsaw puzzles is the assumption that the only folks doing puzzles are people who have nothing else to do, sort of a last option activity. Dork-work in the vernacular. Nothing could be farther from the truth. When youngest son and his wife were here recently, they did three puzzles on top of all the other go, go, going that we did. In fact, they had a contest. Two puzzles of the same size, who will finish first?
The fact that one puzzle was missing a piece means that we will never know the answer to that question as the top puzzle cannot ever be finished.
Before they left on their most recent trip, my sister and I finished a really tricky puzzle. It wasn't very big but it was a hard one. The pressure was on because there was a time limitation on it. They had a date when they were hitting the road and by God, she was going to finish that puzzle. We did.
Youngest son also did this puzzle while they were visiting and finish it is one sitting. He has always been a bit of a show off. Also, clearly, a puzzle master. Even more impressive since he is a bit colour blind. Which means, I'm not quite certain how he is so good at puzzles. I primarily find the pieces I'm looking for by subtle colour variations. He must be finding them by shape?
When our friends from Colorado were here, she and I started a puzzle that we didn't have time to finish together before she left. She has mad puzzle skills and quite honestly, did most of the hard work. We finished it up for her (except for the two missing pieces of course) after they left because, well, it's just got to be done. Cannot walk away from an unfinished puzzle. Bad luck or something, I'm sure. And only just a tiny bit OCD.
When I was a teenager, a jigsaw puzzle was for most people, at best, a rainy day activity and even then if someone found out that a person voluntarily was doing puzzles they were endlessly teased. But since colouring is a traditionally childhood "toy" now redirected into an accepted and currently very popular adult activity, maybe jigsaw puzzles will soon have a re-emergence as well.
Puzzles are great fun, good brain activities and suitable for an individual or as a group of almost any size. They can be completed in one long sitting or worked on little by little over a long period of time. You can buy expensive puzzles or get them at the Dollar Store. I know of at least one catalogue, Bits & Pieces, that is wholly dedicated to puzzles. I think a lending library of puzzles is a terrific idea.
And the best part is that feeling of satisfaction when it's done. Ahhhhhh. Accomplishment, thy puzzle is sweet ;) Must be time to start a new one.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.