Friday, February 07, 2014

Color in a Box

It had been a long time since I'd worked a jigsaw puzzle, but I bought one recently when I knew we were going to be iced in for a few days. I was at the store to buy soup ingredients and other food to tide us over for the duration. A shortcut from the dog-food section to the grocery aisles took me past the toy department, where puzzle boxes were stacked at the end of an aisle. The colors in this one just reached out and grabbed me:


The after-effects of working a jigsaw puzzle never fail to delight me. While I'm putting it together, and for a day or two after I finish, I see the world differently. Instead of trees, I see the varied colors and shapes of leaves. I notice individual shingles on neighbors' rooftops, smaller ones at the peaks, larger (closer) ones near the eaves. I see shadows, grasses, flowers, woodgrain, chips in paint, spots of rust--all the little details needed to properly place a single, small piece of scenery into its surroundings. It's magical for a brief time, then it fades, and I go back to seeing only the big picture.

Right now the big picture outside my home is mostly shades of beige and gray, some drab greens clinging to the live oaks and long-needle pines, and the sky such a faded shade of blue that it looks as though it isn't even trying. If this scenery were a puzzle, there would be no joy in working it.

That'll change. I browse through my photo files and see pictures of beautiful, bright-colored flowers, shots I snapped in late January and early February in previous years, and they give me hope. They're there, I know, ready to break through the soil as soon as the time is right. All we need is a little stretch of typical Louisiana weather, a few days in a row of warmer temperatures. I think I can wait.

In the meantime, I'll find my color in a box, one piece at a time.

4 comments:

  1. I love doing jigsaw puzzles! The most difficult one I ever did was a huge one of a wall in an antiques store that was floor-to-ceiling shelves of coca cola memorabilia. Large and small. Oh that was hard! All that red and the white swirled lines of the Cs. My tulip tree has little buds all over it and one brave flower is just blooming. Like you, I am tired of the gray and drab and I look forward to a stretch of warm days to get all this beauty in bloom again!

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    1. Alison, I do puzzles for relaxation. I'm afraid the challenge of the Coca-Cola one you describe would have pushed me well into the stress zone. Good for you for sticking with it. The mental image of your buds and the single bloom make my heart happy.

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  2. I like doing jigsaw puzzles too. I use to have one going all the time but got out of the habit a long time ago. My daughter and I did Charlie Brown puzzle this Christmas season and it was very relaxing. I decided I need to do one more often. I'm watching for a Mary Englebreit puzzle to do next.

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    1. Betsy, I wasn't familiar with Mary Englebreit puzzles and had to Google some images. I see that they're very colorful and some are enormously expensive--as in one selling for $120. Would those costly ones be collectibles, do you think?

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