Monday, October 28, 2013

1,000 Piece Puzzle

Bill, my brother-in-law, gave my husband a 1,000 piece puzzle for us to do when we were bored or finding ourselves with a ton of free time on our hands.  Bored?  We personally don't know the meaning of the word.  Free time?  Although we have a fairly accurate understanding of this concept, we actually have little of it in our daily lives.

But, out of curiosity, we decided to take a stab at the 1,000 piece puzzle of doors.  Doors?  If for no other reason perhaps we could get a handle on the true meaning of being "bored" by doing a 1000 piece puzzle of doors!

So we started out by dumping all the pieces on the kitchen table.  Next we began investing some of our precious "free time" in separating the straight-edged pieces from the irregular ones.  We probably spent an hour or so before taking our dog for a walk became the priority.

Upon returning, without consulting each other, we both sat down at the table and continued puzzling.  And, in fact, it was puzzling to both of us for being so drawn to puzzling!  Again we continued at this task for another 2 or 3 hours.

The next day was Saturday. Instead of my husband gluing himself to the college football games, he was stuck in the kitchen trying to find matches for the blues, browns, greens, reds, organges, etc. You get the picture.  Of course I was right beside him in the search competing for bragging rights when one of the matches was found. 

Without any conscious awareness of the amount of time that had passed, we were making great strides in formulating an actual image reproduction.  Taking bathroom breaks for ourselves or the dog or ourselves and the dog eating something out of the fridge were the only two necessities that took us away from the puzzle.  Daylight gave way to darkness. We were surprised at the amount of "free time" we had spent on what we originally deemed to be a "boring" waste of time.

As our success continued, we continued to work obsessively now towards finishing the puzzle in less than the time it took brother Bill and his wife to complete.  It took them a full week, seven whole days.  We were determined to beat their time no matter what. 

On Sunday morning we were faced with a dilemma, go to Mass or stay home and puzzle.  Being the good Christians that we profess to be, we attended Mass, stopped for a quick breakfast, and then raced home to do the real work of the day.  We changed into jeans and a tee and took our respective spots at the table now covered with doors of various design and color. 

At four o'clock our Pittsburgh Steelers were playing the Oakland Raiders.  We missed the kick-off; we watched the Raiders score first, and then migrated back to the kitchen never returning to what was the most important thing in our lives for the last 40 years, Pittsburgh Steeler football!

At ten o'clock , feeling extremely proud of how close we were to finishing the 1,000 piece puzzle of doors in only 2 and a half days, we called it a night. But first we checked to see what we had already believed was the case, the Oakland Raiders beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 21-18. 

Today is Monday and the first thing I did when I awoke was to turn on the coffee pot, grab a yogurt and sit down at the table.  I found 4 matches in less time than it took to drink my coffee and eat my yogurt.  My hubby reluctantly went to the gym, but only stayed an hour.  As we speak, we are both madly searching for the remaining pieces.  We plan to have the puzzle finished by late afternoon which would make our time 3 days from beginning to end.  I'd say we soundly crushed team Bill&Irene!

What perplexes us about this whole puzzle thing is how we found all this "free time" for an activity that we initially thought would be "boring."  What surprised us about this whole puzzle thing is how much fun we had and how the time just simply seemed to fly by!  We plan to puzzle all winter.

Our advice to all of you is to start puzzling.  You won't be bored and you will have all the time in the world to finish what you start.  Only we're sure you won't beat team Barry&Flo.  We won't let you!