Saturday, April 21, 2007

Old Dog, New Trick

I'm not that old, really, but I feel like an old dog who's learned a new trick.
When I was young, a traditional part of Christmas was the puzzle. It was placed on a card table, near the piano, and anyone who came in was invited to sit down and put in a piece. Some years there would even be two puzzles, one at our house and one at my aunt's. I liked the idea of it. I liked the thought of gathering around the table, chatting, sifting through pieces, working together to create order from chaos. However, no matter how long I sat and stared, I never, well, almost never, found a piece that fit. I just didn't have the knack for it. Eventually, I gave up even trying, but I still liked the idea of it.
I guess it was that idea that spurred me into buying a puzzle for our family this Christmas. It was a "mystery" puzzle, one that had a story with it, and putting together the puzzle was supposed to help solve the mystery. I figured that since this would be the kids' first experience of putting together a 1000 piece puzzle, the mystery part of it would entice them to stick with it.
The mystery part of that puzzle turned out to be a bust. It was so badly written that putting the puzzle together didn't help one bit. However, the bigger mystery turned out to be how puzzle-challenged me had turned into someone who could actually put together multiple pieces. And, even more amazing, it was fun. So much fun that I got another puzzle for Easter.
This puzzle was also a mystery, "Da Vinci Code Quest," it was called and when I bought it I had the feeling it was of better quality than the last. When we opened it, we found out that not only was it better written, it really was a mystery. There was no picture to show us what the puzzle should look like when completed. Just a few hints in the story. EEEK!. Was I ready for that?
I guess I was, because we completed the puzzle. We solved the mystery. And I'm looking for an excuse to go out and buy a new one. Not only has this old dog learned a new trick, she's hooked.

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