Jigsaw Puzzle Fun

Jigsaw puzzles was just the game to play when we lived in Coleharbor, North Dakota as the prairie blizzard wind howled and Jack Frost painting designs on our windowpanes. Twenty below zero and twenty foot drifts of snow outside with no electricity, running water or toilet inside. So we gathered around the warmth of the kitchen stove and would find a spot on the floor or table to put together a thick 500 piece jigsaw puzzle.

We would say 1-2-3 go and we would race to see who could put together their puzzle the fastest. We had put these together so many times that we didn’t have to look at the picture anymore. We were a big family of seven and couldn’t afford a variety of puzzles but we sure enjoyed what we had.

We each had our own strategy plan on how to beat the other sister or brother. I liked putting the border pieces together first. Then I would separate the sky blue color, green grass, peoples faces, brown house etc. in their own color pile. I would place in the spot in the middle, side, or center where they belonged by looking at the picture on the box. It was really hard when we had a puzzle of many colors and more sky or water.

We would talk and try and distract the others so we could win the race. Putting puzzles together kept us out of mom and dad’s hair for a long time. If two of us tied for first place they had to start over to see who would be the winner.

One year our son gave me a puzzle with the same picture on each side but it was also turned at a right angle on the other side. So now I have two pictures and have to decide which piece goes on which side. This was really tricky and took me several days to complete it. I was going to get it framed in glass so you could see both sides but my husband accidentally tipped the table over and all the pieces were all over the place. I will have to try again to get it put together.

You can find jigsaw puzzles on coffee tables in some nursing homes for all to fit a piece in. Real jigsaw puzzlers cannot walk by without putting a few pieces in. I worked nights as a nurse in a variety of nursing homes and on quiet nights I took my break and slipped a few pieces of puzzle in several jigsaw puzzles.

My older sister always had a jigsaw puzzle set up on a card table in a room. It helped her pass the time and gave her something to do in her spare time now that she had retired from teaching school. Sometimes she would see a piece as she passed by and would stop and put it in. Other times she would sit there and never find a piece. So she would get up and walk away and come back later and she would find many pieces in an instant. I guess she was saw a fresh look and her mind wasn’t as tired.

Putting puzzles together is great for eye coordination, mind control, patience and gives you something to do that is fun for the whole family. Fun and laughter that keeps a family together. Laughing when you try to make a puzzle piece fit and you swear it is the right piece. Enjoy a new jigsaw puzzle day at your house. Keep a card table set up with a puzzle on for those boring days and show the kids there is some fun to be had by fitting in a puzzle piece or two.