A Thousand Little Celebrations

imageThrough this winter season we have almost constantly had a jigsaw puzzle in progress.  We have traditional puzzles for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I like these old favorites because they are family puzzles, meaning they consist of three different sized pieces in the same box.  We would line up the children on one side with the big pieces and the parents on the other side with the small pieces.  The middle ground was a compromise between the two.

Now that I wear bifocals, my favorite side is the one with the big pieces.  In this age of instant gratification I enjoy finding pieces quickly, especially after you work the puzzle for a while.  I want my puzzles to be like my life – more fun than work.

During the after-Christmas sales, I found a puzzle with an enticing picture.  Macaroons.  Yum.  Makes me think of Paris…..  I guess I was so busy thinking about Paris that I failed to give a second thought to the fact that the puzzle had a thousand pieces.  A thousand little pieces.  A thousand little pieces that did not have my preferred distinct variations in pattern or color.  It also would take more than a day or two to complete, all the while sending subliminal messages activating my sweet tooth and releasing my inner cookie monster.


The frame had been complete for several days and we were at the point where it typically starts to come together a little easier.  Only it wasn’t.  I begged Bob to let me put it away.  He was relentless.  I wasn’t having fun.  My back hurt.  My eyes were drying out.  My laundry was piling up.  I hadn’t brushed my teeth in days.  I was consuming massive amounts of cookies and coffee.

I thought about the frame.  We had picked through all thousand pieces to put it together first.  Unfortunately we had missed two pieces as the cruel puzzle maker had somehow managed to craft those pieces to look nothing like an edge.  So wrong.  But we had enough to work with.  We could begin to fill it in.

Bob continued to remain steadfast and refused to let me throw the puzzle back in the box and burn it.  I watched him work diligently, happily placing one or two pieces and giving each a triumphant tap as the picture began to come together.  He not only didn’t mind the challenge, he liked it.  That has always amazed me about him, I thought as I rifled through the box wondering if maybe I was color blind.

I needed an adjustment (not chiropractic, though that wouldn’t have been a bad idea after several days bent over a table).  So with the next piece that I found I celebrated.  Not just a little tap on the piece, but a hip, hip hooray.  Completing this puzzle was going to take commitment and a thousand little celebrations.

I’m happy to tell you that we did complete it.  Then I quickly gave it away.

There is something else that I have completed recently.  It started out as a bunch of characters, mental pictures and words in that brain box of mine.  Slowly the edges began to come together and then the picture started to gain focus.  There were a couple of key missing elements to the frame but with the help of my friends and family I was able to discover them.  Soon I had a completed work.  My book.  I completed the middle-grade novel that I have been working on for the last nine years.  After a few minor edits, I’ll attempt to enter the world of published authors.  I plan on starting that process in May.  This is one big celebration for me.  It’s even better than placing a puzzle piece.

Previous Post
Leave a comment


  1. Love the commitment Bonnie. If it makes you feel any better, I also have a work of art that took nine years to complete. I started the lettering when Devin was born. I finished the lettering years later. Later still I added the fruit matt around the lettering. And finally I had a frame made and painted it. You may have a copy of the fruit of the spirit. I feel it is my best creation and worth the wait. I hope yours is too!

    • I love the comparison. I do have a copy of the fruit of the spirit. It’s hanging on my living room wall. I love it. Thank you for the encouragement.

  2. Danny

     /  March 6, 2015

    Congratulations! We are so excited for you and can’t wait to get a copy to read!

    • Thank you, Danny. I’m not sure when that’s going to happen. I plan on trying to go the traditional publishing route at first. If that doesn’t meet with success then I’ll self publish.

  3. Leslie Richardson

     /  March 6, 2015

    I, too, understand projects started with intentions to complete something wonderful. I started a beautiful baby quilt when my sister was pregnant with her son. He is now 35. I believe the needle is still in the quilt. Can’t wait to read your book!

    • It’s always fun to laugh with you, Leslie. Maybe you can finish the quilt for a grandbaby. Can’t wait until you’re a Floridian.

  4. I loved the “triumphant tap” … can just see him doing that! Might have gotten that from Mom, she loved to do jigsaw puzzles (especially around the holidays).

  5. Most awesome our friend. We are also excited to get our copy we can hardly wait..Julie is a very good word editor and she would be glad to check it for punctuation and spelling..

    • Thank you, Paul. I will tuck that info about Julie away for potential future use. I have had several friends edit it for me. It’s very helpful. One cannot always find their own mistakes. See how we need each other! I’ll keep you posted as to the publication.

  6. You inspired me, Bonnie (about the puzzling — you always inspire me about the writing). I ordered a Wizard of Oz (of course) 1000-piece puzzle from Amazon and was looking forward to digging into it when I got home from work. My fingers were a-tingle! I walked into the house… and my daughter had completed a third of it, assembling Dorothy, Lion, Tinman and most of Scarecrow and the Witch. And the Yellow Brick road. Which leaves sky and the Emerald City. Except by the time I’d washed up, the Emerald City was mostly done.


    Fortunately there are TWO Wizard of Oz puzzles (leave that box alone, Charli!)

    • Ah. Disappointment is a hard thing to come home to. I’m glad you have a second puzzle. Perhaps you can allow Charli to do the sky on that one.

  7. Angela Dockter

     /  November 18, 2019

    This may seem a little strange, but my family had the same Garfield puzzle when I was growing up.
    Now that I’m grown, and my parents are getting on in years, I was thinking it would be fun to bring back some old traditions.

    Would you happen to still have that puzzle? If so, would you be willing to provide some details so I could try to find it again? Thanks in advance!

    • That is pretty cool, Angela. We are grandparents now and my mom lives with us, so these kind of puzzles have a new life. I think it’s about 30 years old. My mom and the youngest grandchildren do the large pieces and the rest of us do the other sizes. I do still have the puzzle. It is missing a piece, but I can’t bring myself to get rid of it. Originally I bought it at The Hallmark Store, but that was many years ago. Maybe you could find it on ebay. It’s official name is Garfield’s Turkey Day. It is made by springbok by Hallmark. Thank you for your sweet comment. Good luck and happy Thanksgiving.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: