On a cold winter’s night, my idea of a good time is a Merlot bottle and a thousand piece puzzle. However, telling someone that you’re a puzzler is like telling them that you collect limited edition Elvis plates. It’s puzzling…unless you’re eighty.
So, I don’t talk about it. I don’t tell my colleagues that I can’t wait to go home from work so I can find that darn corner piece. I hide my puzzle tray in the guest room when friends drop by for dinner. And I limit myself to puzzles ONLY during the winter months.
I live in the same town where the world famous Stave Puzzles are cut. So, it’s natural that I love a good jig-saw. (I am not a puzzle snob though, since I also love a plain ol’ drugstore puzzle in a box.) And during the winter when the weather outside is frightful, but red wine is so delightful, puzzling is a decent way to spend time while I wait for the outdoors to defrost.
My husband and I have even snuck away to The Rabbit Hill Inn for a fun weekend of skiing by day and puzzling by night. The Rabbit Hill Inn is a fabulous Vermont bed and breakfast known for its lobby-full-of-puzzles. (But I already live in Vermont, and I already have a bed and box of Thomas’ English Muffins in my fridge, so let’s be honest. I only go there for the puzzles.) I even started puzzle smack talking last year when another couple (who were completely jerky) boasted that they were half-finished with a particularly difficult puzzle of the city of Boston. “Good for you,” I smirked. “We finished that one in an hour, but it’s cute that you’re still trying.” (Trust me, they were horrible people.)
Yet, as soon as the snow starts to melt, I box up my puzzles. I crush them back to their original pile of chaotic pieces and stack them in storage. When the wind turns warm, it’s time to open the windows, step away from my living room, and move on to yet another hobby beloved by the elderly: metal detecting. I’ll spend my spring hours secretly walking around my woods with a detector… looking for treasures of coins and jewelry the same way I previously looked for corner pieces.
Clearly, I’m eighty at heart. And it’s darn good fun. Now, pass the edge piece with the speck of green…