One piece at a time…

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Dennis Richardson

By Dennis Richardson, Magic Valley Publishing

High humidity and tremendous heat can only be tolerated briefly.
During what many refer to as the “dog days of summer” we scurry back inside under the cool air-conditioning.
Popular indoor activities at our home often see a jigsaw puzzle stretched out across the dinette table. That hexagon-shaped table seems just the right size for smaller gatherings, a game of cards or to spread out a puzzle. The 1,000-piece fits nicely.
The 1,000-piece puzzles often can be completed in an afternoon and evening – being finished just in time to toss back into the box to make room for breakfast.
Cookbooks is the theme for the particular one spread across the table today cookbooks. All kinds of cookbooks but all from Betty Crocker. This puzzle went together faster than the one before, which was a globe with mostly blue ocean and more tiny islands than one could count.
The global puzzle was educational and definitely much easier than the one with Yoda that was almost a solid color. It was one of few that was eventually abandoned. Yoda could have been completed eventually but company was coming. We needed the table space for sippy cups, glasses of tea and home-grown veggies. Not grown at our home, except for a few tomatoes, but grown at someone’s local home.
I remember another puzzle that went together well. It was a collection of the old and interesting lunch boxes. Then there was the one with the picture of a 1950’s diner with an old juke box and a couple dancing. It was fun.
I am not the biggest fan of puzzles that take so long to complete and then are chucked back into the boxes, but a few minutes here and there, especially when I can find some pieces, take my mind away for the moment.
We don’t get into the 3-D puzzles. Those are for the younger folks. They are definitely a challenge but just my cup of tea.
Puzzles are a little like life: we take one step at a time, set goals and work toward achieving those goals, gathering what information and pieces we need to reach the goal. Countless motivational speakers make a good living presenting productive practices and faster ways to get things done.
A few will apply those principals for a lifetime while others treat them like the latest fad diet or last week’s newspaper – worth the time at the moment but then discarded once read.
Persistence in life, like persistence in completing the puzzles, eventually means that we will reach the goal.
All too soon the summer heat will wane, football will begin and children will be back at school.
Life is good.
So are newspapers. Read one today. Then pass it on.
A hole where a good recipe once was but is now stuck to the fridge is okay, too.
Dennis Richardson is the CEO of Magic Valley Publishing, Inc., which owns the Chester County Independent.