We Showalters are one wild and crazy family. When we all get together, there’s no telling what kind of rowdiness might ensue.
We all got together a few weeks ago when daughter Katie came to visit for a week, bringing granddaughters Brooke and Erin along. For much of that week, daughter Kelly, son-in-law Chris and grandson Justin were also “in the house.”
Let the rowdiness begin!
Grandma Brenda, a rabble-rouser from way back, brought the excitement to a whole new level when she came home from a shopping trip and tossed a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle on the dining room table.
We all looked at the box, then gave Brenda our best “what were you thinking?” looks.
“C’mon, it will be fun,” she assured us.
OK, it was a Beatles puzzle, but still, a puzzle? For the past 25 years or so my involvement with puzzles has been limited to occasionally helping a grandchild finish a 12-piece puzzle picturing farm animals.
I should mention that Brenda now considers herself a professional when it comes to jigsaw puzzles. As an activities director at a nursing home, one of the many things she does is help her residents do puzzles. Since she’s getting paid at the time, I guess that does, indeed, make her a pro.
Working on puzzles as part of her job has rekindled her interest in all things jigsaw. So she decided a puzzle would be the perfect way for the entire family to get wild and crazy during Katie’s visit.
Turns out she was right, as she nearly always is.
We all pretty much ignored her the first evening while she sat quietly at the dining room table, finding all the edge pieces and assembling the frame on a large piece of foam board. Then one night I looked into the dining room, and there sat Katie, working on the puzzle.
I looked again and her sister, Kelly, had joined her. Slowly the puzzle began to take shape.
Another night I saw Kelly and Chris working on the puzzle together, soon joined by Brenda and Katie.
It seemed like every time anyone passed through the dining room on their way to the kitchen, they would stop and find a piece or two.
Next thing I knew even I was out in the dining room looking over shoulders and saying, “Try that piece.” Eventually, though, I got too excited and had to go back to the living room to calm down.
When Katie’s visit was over and it was time for everyone to go home, the puzzle was only half-done. Brenda and I carried it into the spare bedroom.
About a week ago we carried it back to the dining room table. Over the course of a couple of evenings, we finished it. Brenda then posted a photograph of it on Facebook.
Judging from the reaction to the photo, the rowdiness is hardly over. Katie asked Brenda where she bought the puzzle because she has “caught the puzzle bug.” Kelly said she and Chris had each purchased a 500-piece puzzle and were going to race to complete them.
“I’m going to smoke him,” she told me. Spoken like a true Showalter.
As for our completed Beatles puzzle, after I put the last piece in place I asked Brenda, “What do we do with it now?”
“I don’t know,” she said. “I guess we look at it for a few days then tear it apart.”
“Whoa there, woman,” I said, “that sounds way too rowdy, even for a Showalter.”
“Well, then I guess you could glue it together and hang it on the wall,” she said.
“Start tearing,” I replied.