Sunday, February 25, 2007

A Puzzle


I have an incredible father. I thought that it would be fun to do something at home in the nest during his visit as the weather can be unpredictable. I have been thinking about doing a puzzle for nearly a year now and he has been nice enough to humor me.
I picked a puzzle of an old 17th century map. The box actually contains two 500 piece puzzles, one of the Americas and one of Europe, Africa, Asia and Antartica. I thought that this would be one that my father would enjoy and quite frankly didn't listen hard enough to figure out if this was actually the case.
I had no idea how difficult a 500 piece puzzle could be. Last night we started it with A. and managed to do the outer pieces. I learned a great about myself and my father that night. I tend to sort out the puzzle pieces into categories: all pieces with red together, all pieces with orange and black lines in another pile, and pieces with writing also need to be seperated. Then I started sorting them out by subcatgories as I realized that there were different types of writing. I even started putting the categories and subcategories into ziploc bags that I had saved from my trip to Lebanon. This made me laugh because I had so many ziploc bags on my trip that I ended up not even remembering what I had wanted to put in them. As my mind struggled to find order in the chaos of puzzle pieces and ziploc bags, I started getting anxious. My father did not seem to see the categories that I had devised and was trying to work on the puzzle in what I considered a haphazard manner. How were we ever going to solve the puzzle this way!
Working on the puzzle, I not only realized that I tend to to break problems down into managable pieces but also that I have a very particular way of breaking problems down that not everyone understands at first glance. I also noticed that my father started by looking at the map, whereas I would look at the individual shapes and colors of the pieces as I worked. My father was the wide angle and I was the telephoto lens. I also came to realize that while I was very much focused on solving the puzzle, my father was going with the flow. He was more concerned with spending time with his daughter than finding that one piece that fit in this rather complicated puzzle.
We are no where near being done, and may not be by the time he leaves. If we ever finish it, it will look something like the map above. No matter what, we are enjoying ourselves and my father is learning about the fine art of categories while I am trying desperately to mellow out.

6 comments:

Coffee Messiah said...

No matter about the finishing or whys, as to the puzzle.
Just to "be together" means more than anything.
Good for you and your Dad! ; )

bluegrrrrl said...

You know, you can learn so much about people's personalities by the way they put together jigsaw puzzles. Sounds like a wonderful time with your dad...

gautami tripathy said...

Have a great time with your dad. While solving that puzzle you will learn more about each other and look forward to more such times.


gautami
Puzzled

Lacithecat said...

Ah that is adorable! I want to try (or should I send my 4 year nephew who is a puzzle guru!?).

Have a lovely time and I am hoping the heart is mending slowly.

Fay said...

Your story is quite inspiring. My 10 year old daughter adores puzzles and we do put them together as a family. I will keep your story in mind especially the focus on being together. It will be a handy tip for the teenager years ahead!
Take care

margaret said...

Thanks for your comments coffee messiah, bluegrrl, guatami tripathy, lacithecat, and fay! The puzzle still isn't finished but at leats we had fun in the process! Dad's leaving tomorrow :( but it was nice seeing him. And yes, my heart is mending. Thanks lacithecat!