Is This You? Puzzled |

Is This You? Puzzled

Trina Machacek

February. Holidays have gone into the history books. Well, the big holidays. Spring is on the horizon. Well, the far, far horizon. TV shows are reruns of reruns showing promises of the new episodes to come later in the year. So, with all this goodness of the dog days of winter, what is there to do to pass the long winter nights and the short, too-cold-to-go-outside days? Well, jigsaw puzzles, of course.

On first thought of “doing” a jigsaw puzzle, there’s a quiet excitement and the anticipation of doing something, anything, to pass the time. But as in most highly anticipated things, there’s a kick in the pants time, too. Like finding a puzzle. You know you have puzzles in your hidden past. There’s the one of Venice and the boats and water and buildings. You can see the box of the one of the purple mountain majesty above the fruited plains. You remember the one of the puppies playing in the grass with like a hundred different colored balls. All of which you have, but you can’t remember where you put them. And that’s how more puzzles come into my home. Because I know there are some here somewhere, but it’s easier to buy a new one. Well, I thought it was …

It has been some time since I bought a jigsaw puzzle. I have been busy in past winters and no time was allotted for puzzling entertainment. But this year for some reason, (like more snow than usual, more cold than usual, more winter than usual) things have slowed a bit and we have found we have time for some evening entertainment. You can only watch Mike and Frank American Picker their way through just so many barns across the country or see how broke Two Broke Girls can be, before you start looking for some other mindless entertainment to fill your time and, in my case, short attention span!

So I thought picking a puzzle would be a snap. Of course I thought that like 10 bucks would be plenty to buy a puzzle, too. FYI — take a 20. I thought there would be the usual suspects of mountains, valleys, kittens or fields of flowers pictured to jigsaw through. Think again, Machacek.

So when was the last time you’ve looked at a puzzle display? Oh my stars. You have to go look. Not only are there puzzles that lay flat, there are puzzles that are 3-D. There are puzzles that are different shapes. There are puzzle boards to put your puzzle on. Why not just put it on table like everyone does? Moving on because some things are just unexplainable.

I saw puzzle rugs to roll your puzzle up in when you need to move your puzzle. There’s puzzle glue to glue your puzzle together when you’re finished, making a work of art to hang on your wall next to the picture of the dogs playing poker. Oh, and there’s a puzzle of dogs playing poker, too!

Puzzles that are 500 pieces seem to be the most popular. But for the hard-core puzzlers, there are 1,500, 2,000 and up to and more than 2,500 piece puzzles. I assume these monster puzzles are for puzzle parties where the tables are big, seating at least six people at a time and can hold a picture that’s like three by four feet. Kind of like the old-time quilting bee where the finished product is a wonderful warm stitch-in-time quilt. But now it’s a puzzle bee. Might be a bit hard to sleep under a finished jigsaw puzzle, though. Could that be another reason to glue them together?

There are puzzles of piles of bright colorful candy, hamburgers piled with all the fixins’, fairy tale cottages surrounded by the misty unknown, and I even saw one of hair. Yeah, just hair!

There are puzzles that are all the same color. Talk about driving you insane. There are puzzles in which all the pieces are cut the same shape. Puzzles that have no two pieces cut the same in any shape. Puzzles with pieces that are different sizes. Picking just one was getting to be a real — wait for it — a real puzzle!

So I picked two, and now they’re sitting on the living room floor propped up against a floor pillow, waiting and taunting me to open them. Open them and sort them, picking out the edge pieces first and start the build. Open them and sort the colors. Open them and begin the journey of placing pieces and building a picture of — nope I’m not going to tell you what the picture is. Just like any good puzzler knows, you have to look at the box!

Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share your thoughts with her at