Saturday, December 16, 2023

Puzzling Community

I have a dear online friend, Laura. We've known each other for approximately 20 years.  We homeschooled our kids together, care for parents at the same time, have lost parents near the same time and she has noted we like puzzles. When Laura walked through a season of intense grief, she found puzzles to be helpful. One day a week or so ago three big boxes arrived for us at the post office. She sent some from her home and had ordered quite a few from Spilsbury.

We began by setting up a shorter puzzle on the card table. This gives Dad something to do. He doesn't really LIKE puzzles he tells us...but he does sit at the table for I think he's finding he does like them. LOL  Michael and Stacia spend quite a bit of time getting the edges together, taking out pieces that don't REALLY fit....and helping the process along. 
Started with a Ford puzzle

I'm not sure you can see this clearly...but Stacia and I awoke one morning and noticed how the pieces were all stacked by the spots where they go...look carefully. Dad could simply slide the pieces right into place when he woke up. Sometimes, he moves them all around. This day he slid them all into place! 

He called me for a picture - and this has become the norm. 
Thought the states would be easy...

I love that the table has become a gathering spot, that Dad is more engaged with us, and Laura was right...working on a puzzle allows our mind to focus on something productive, while still drifting.  There's something good about SOMETHING FITTING INTO PLACE during this chaotic season.  During one point this week I was able to tell Dad that Michael, the girls and I are still very sad.  He had wanted to go Christmas shopping and Michael and I haven't bought one gift. No energy at this point. I shared we are often in tears and he doesn't notice. He began watching and tells us he remembers Josiah was killed.  I think this is good, really. I think he needs to empathize with us and remember why we may not want to do the things he thinks we should be doing.  I suggested he go shopping with Nate and Heather when they are here. 

We're discovering there is a whole new world of puzzling out here...special catalogues, caddies, boards, tables... Jenni shared her grandmother's tip. We put all the edge pieces in a small ziploc. That will save time the next time we work the puzzle. It's NOT cheating - it's a puzzle hack. 

I like this one a lot. 

When I got home last night (Friday) Dad was quick to tell me he had finished TWO puzzles that day. Stacia reports he is getting much better at them...and he is certainly more engaged with us...we are seeing lots of benefits from the puzzles. This one had a mug, a couple of chairs, a journal, book, and easel... There are still quite a few 500-piece puzzles and I bet he'll be ready to tackle a bigger one with us by the time we work through these. 

I am thankful for the community God has blessed us with - locally and online. Laura, this has been amazing! Thanks so much.  I love most of all when I have no energy to go out and shop...there is a whole stack here for anyone to grab and do...together. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is amazing! I love puzzles as well. They are so expensive to buy. What an amazing gift!