Sunday, July 09, 2017

Seven Deadly Sins - Jigsaw Puzzle and Memory Lane

Jigsaw puzzles.  We don't do many of them in our home because our cats  always want to participate more than is practical.  But, we always had a puzzle going when I was growing up. I recently remembered a specific jigsaw puzzle from my childhood.  The phrase "Seven Deadly Sins" jumped into my head as I was listening to the latest inexplicable political grandstanding.  Then I remembered a beautiful puzzle we had as children on the topic.  It was a Springbok puzzle with a circular design for each of the 7 sins... and easy to find on the web.  Turns out it was illustrated by Christopher Hobbs.  I looked him up and didn't find any illustrations similar to those in the luscious puzzle. So, I thought I'd share my trip down memory lane. I added a few of the "sins" below.  Check out those great designs!!  Apologize for their quality... best I could find.

 I grew up in a big Victorian house with two living rooms arranged end-to-end.  We always had a sturdy card table set up between the two rooms and a jigsaw puzzle in process.  The puzzles were always beautifully designed and challenging. Sometimes my mom would pick them up at yard sales in small, unmarked cardboard boxes.  Often, those puzzles had wooden pieces that did not interlock, no picture to indicate what the puzzle depicted, and no guarantee that pieces weren't missing.  We attacked them enthusiastically none the less.  We developed an unspoken family protocol for working on a jigsaw puzzle that was cooperative and effective.    If someone was working on the sky or the boat, or the parrot, or "fill in the blank", then others would put those pieces on front of them and usually wouldn't work on that area at the same time. 

 I used to challenge myself, after all the pieces were turned over and the edge was constructed, not to touch a piece unless I knew where it went.  It was a visual exercise in understanding the shape I was looking for as well as the subtleties of the color arrangement.  In my head I would describe the pieces to myself "looking for two sticky-out things, one rust-colored and one larger innie thing on the opposite side, with blue then mostly greeny grass stuff".   I would look at the pieces until I found one fitting that description.  Interesting to remember now.  It was probably great for my SAT scores, or whatever standardized test shows shapes and patterns and expects you to extrapolate that pattern to the next series of shapes.  


I love when one thought triggers a deep memory, and I love the internet because it helps me flesh out those memories with more complete images of what I have tucked away in the corners of my brain.   Thanks for reminiscing with me.

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