Jan Risher -

Last week, my daughters and I started and put together a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle in two days. It was a blast. The pieces were rather big and colorful and fun. The whole experience was joyful. Sitting with my daughters working on a jigsaw puzzle is just about as close to perfect as life can get for me.
We all enjoyed it so much that we decided, “Why not start the other puzzle we have?”
I couldn’t remember what it looked like, but I remembered I had another puzzle in our cabinet dedicated to jigsaws, napkin rings, board games and old silverware (we like to keep things logical in our house).
We pulled the new puzzle out and all three of us realized, before we tore the plastic off the box, that this puzzle would be on a whole different level than the one we had just completed. For one thing, it was muted — not bright colors. For another, it was a thousand pieces — not that measly 500 job. And lastly, this is an image made up of frogs. Lots and lots of frogs.

This last puzzle was one triumph after another — and within two days, the big beautiful scene was done, and we all felt so good about ourselves. With this new one, we struggle to even find a single piece that’s in the same design or color scheme as another piece. There are long spells with no victories — big or little. But if we really focus and pay attention, we’re able to find matching pieces. From there, we just have to be deliberate and sometimes try every nodule from every angle.
This puzzle is not exactly joyful. In fact, I don’t know if it’s teaching my daughters perseverance or paving a road toward insanity. Either way, we’re in it together.
And that’s a good way to go.