Thursday, July 13, 2006
I like jigsaw puzzles, but not all the time. I'll do some puzzles for a while, then I'll be done and won't do them again for a long time. It's been several years since the last time my daughter and I worked on a puzzle. She's like me about jigsaw puzzles. My son doesn't do them at all.
I'm the type of jigsaw-doer who takes them apart when I'm done, so I can do them again later. I'm not the type who puts them together then glues them to something and hangs them on the wall. I don't care how great the picture is, gluing puzzles and hanging them is just wrong.
One year my son gave me this puzzle, above, for Christmas. When I read all the fine print on the box ("World's most difficult puzzle" and "Double-sided"), I turned to him and told him he was an evil child. He appreciated the compliment.
So when the kids were with their dad over New Year's, I worked on the puzzle. The box didn't lie. It was difficult. The same picture is on both sides, but the "back" is turned 90 degrees from the "front" and it's all dalmations. And some of the dalmations are really the same dog but with slight variations in the spots. Only an evil child would do this to his mom.
I figured out a couple tricks that helped a little. Since the pictures front and back were turned, that meant that all the pieces on a diagonal line from the upper right corner to the lower left corner had the same part of the puzzle on both sides, so I went piece-by-piece until I got all the center diagonal pieces. Then I got as many matched pairs (same dog front and back) as I could find and set the twins with each other. That way, when I knew I needed a particular piece, I could see which of the two pieces was the one that fit. Then I also knew to turn the other piece over and use the front side.
I mention the puzzles because I'm going to unload them. Once I decided to tour the country with my mom in her motorhome (we decided that would be better than towing a fifth-wheel), I got practical. I've gone from wondering what I need to make the house more pleasant to live in to wondering what I need to do to get the house ready to sell.
I'll need to put my stuff in a storage unit while we drive around the country (and Canada--we need to visit New Brunswick at least and drive across the world's longest covered bridge), and the less stuff I have, the cheaper the storage unit will be.
Jigsaw puzzles take up a lot of space. I won't need them, and I can get new ones the next time I get the hankering to start on them again. So they're outta here. I have a friend who likes puzzles more than I do, so I'll give her first dibs. For the ones she doesn't want, I might even venture into Ebay and see if I can figure out how to sell them.
I'll probably keep the dalmations, though, to remind me of the vast potential for wickedness in the heart of very own child.