A “Puzzling” Dilemma …


I was the youngest of 5 girls and, in 1942, when I was 9 we moved from New Jersey to Massachusetts. Our house was very large and, although it was far from elegant, it was a fun and comfortable place and I remember that we always had at least two jigsaw puzzles in progress.

In those days the fully interlocking puzzles were new and fairly expensive so it would be birthdays or Christmas when we got new ones. We would stock up and then trade with our friends and if that wasn’t available we’d just repeat a favorite one of our own.

Over the years my interest in jigsaw puzzles has never abated but recently an odd and discomforting thing happened. I was given the lovely 1,000 piece puzzle of Monet’s Garden at Giverny that you see in the picture.

Assembling the four edges was fairly easy but the monochromatic coloration and the small puzzle pieces made it near impossible for me. When my daughter and her husband came by they didn’t seem to have the same limitations and I had to finally admit to myself that old age was taking a toll on my eyes, not to mention my concentration and patience!

It wasn’t long after that that they presented me with the puzzle that is pictured here and I think I made some sort of derogatory remark such as “I’m not in kindergarten, you know” … only to find out that a good friend of theirs, a 90 year old retired judge, had given it to them to pass on to me.


I was embarrassed because I know the judge to be a brilliant man who had led a distinguished career and I figured if he enjoys the large piece puzzles who am I to turn up my nose at them.

I swallowed my pride and gave them a meek “thank you” … and, guess what?  I found out that the puzzle was fun to assemble, the picture was lovely and I didn‘t have a headache when it was all put together!

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