STORIES AND JIGSAW PUZZLES – THE ‘STUFF’ OF LIFE

GOOD MORNING WORLD

I am certain that everyone reading this has stories that pass through the generations of their families.  I certainly do.  I do not remember many of my grandparent’s stories. Though there are a few.  The stories mostly deal with them as parents to my parents.

The one favorite of my paternal grandfather is when my Dad said a bad word.  I have not ever been told the word and can only imagine.  He was taken to the ‘wood shed’ figuratively.  Though not so far off the mark.

My grandfather was a lobsterman and made his own small wooden punts.  These boats were wooden boats to get to the big boat.  Rowboat may be an easier word for you to understand.  It had two oars and he would row from the dock where the punt was tied to his lobster boat in the harbor.  To make these he had a workshop above his garage.

I loved that place.  I loved everything about it.  It smelled of newly sawed wood and had a rich dusty smell.  Of course there was tons of saw dust around.  You could get there from a door off the kitchen and did not even have to go outside.  Up a set of rickety stairs and VOILA a world of wood and wood smell and creativity.  He made lawn chairs and other things as well.  Their cat would usually choose somewhere near here to hide and have her babies.  Even she liked the workshop.

My dad went to the workshop and “Grumpa” told him with a swat across the face in no uncertain terms that they could curse like sailors in the workshop and never in front of his mother or three sisters.  I rarely heard my father swear so I assume the lesson was learned.

My mother’s side has lots of stories with six children I am certain though I remember few.  Our family has a wonderful treasure in that my great-grandmother wrote a diary in 1917 and my aunt has it.  I have read it and have a copy of it.  It is full of the chores she did daily, her boarders and the times one of the six grandchildren would come visit each week.  Still it is a story of the year of my family and that makes it full of value.

Our family has tons of stories about my and my husband’s childhood.  The stories of our children’s growing up.  The stories of the people we invite to be part of us.  They are the glue that binds us to each other I believe.  Some are funny, some not so and some are downright absurd.  The time we were vacationing with friends in N.H. comes to mind.  The husband of the other family had dropped his wife’s toothbrush in the toilet by accident.  He decided to clean it by boiling it.  As he stood to watch the whole thing fell apart in the heat.  That one we were just reminded of the other day and had a big laugh all over again.

Along with stories, in our home each winter you can usually find a jigsaw puzzle on a table waiting to be assembled.  Everyone is invited by reason of being in the house to participate.  Family and guests.  My dad has been putting puzzles together as a hobby all his life and he is good at it!  At 91 he still has one set up in his home ready for completion and works on it daily.  Another one appears as soon as one is finished.  Makes for an easy great Christmas gift for him each year.

I have given him intricate pictures to keep him busy.  I think I gave him one of all marbles or balloons or some such that was full of colors not many other distinguishing details.  This year I sent up one of FenwayPark.  I found it at Costco and it was in a little suitcase box and fit the bill.

The last time I was over at Costco they had a couple left.  I got one for us that had posters and license plate in varying configurations.  The words ‘See America’ are emblazoned across the whole like a huge poster unto itself.

When I do a puzzle as Dad, I put all the borders in first to give me reference points.  I might also have spots of little pieces that I have found that fit together scattered here and there until I find their place in the whole.  It is the border that goes first.

This most recent puzzle has 1000 pieces and the border was assembled quite easily except for one piece in the bottom.  We all have looked for it.  We decided it would probably be the last one found or that this was the piece that is actually missing.  Factory production error.

A couple of nights ago we had some friends over.  I was telling the story of family puzzles and she is looking at our work in progress.  I was sharing our frustration over that one border piece and the certainty we had that it wasn’t there.

The next thing I know she reaches down and picks up a piece and finished the border.  Hooray!!!  We had spent days searching for this one piece and she stepped up and found it right off.  I am certain this will be one of the stories we tell in the future when we speak of our puzzles.  It is the good stuff.

On another note and tying this to the two previous days, isn’t it a breath of fresh air when someone is honest and truthful enough to take the time to come forward and boldly give a new perspective on what is going on right in front of us?  Even the ease of completing a border on a puzzle gives the world around us a whole new picture!

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

 

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2 comments on “STORIES AND JIGSAW PUZZLES – THE ‘STUFF’ OF LIFE

  1. Great Blog Today! It brings back many memories of being in Grampa’s workshop and the one thing I remember amount others is him singing “Big Rock Candy Mountain” to me over and over again. I loved it. Also I remember very vividly him
    telling me it was OK if I said “S T” when I was in the workshop but not to say it anywhere else!! I loved Grampa so much and to this day I miss him and his pipe.
    I,also loved to put puzzles together but haven’t done it lately as space is limited in my tiny rent. Also always had to put the frame together before filling in the spaces.

    Thanks for the memories. They will brighten up this day as I sit in my chair with a doozy of a head cold.

    Keep up the good work!!

  2. I remember some of Grumpa’s house and workshop, but not as much as you , of course. I remember a big warm kitchen and knitting lobster trap nets?? Also, when Paula was born the great lunches that Grammie Flo made for me to take to school. I have so many wonderful memories of that whole place, school, apt. fields, etc. Actually, may be some of the best!! Wonder if the workshop was where you got some of your carpentry skills??
    Love, Becky

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