*Or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the lockdown
(Note: this is from a letter of husband John to brother-in-law Larry, which I thought too good to hoard.)
Neither of us do jigsaw puzzles, except those we attempt to assemble while entertaining our six year old granddaughter, Danica. Those would be your 30 piece puzzlers. The one offered to us in various shades of dark brown, medium brown, light brown and the same assortment of blues, all rocks and water and sky, contains one thousand five hundred pieces.
Seven weeks ago we gamely dumped it out onto the dining room table, for which we have no other need at present what with it being summertime and the eating is in our summer dining room, i.e., the front porch. And, of course, no one can come to join us. Would you believe that I put the last piece in place Sunday afternoon?
It was not an easy puzzle. In order to complete it, I had to dig up the 1.5 kilogram rubber mallet that I purchased several years ago to help me with a ceramic tile project. Even with a rubber mallet, you have to be rather circumspect when working with ceramic tile. But that is not the case with jigsaw puzzle pieces. It took only three blows delivered with all the power I could muster from my admittedly somewhat enfeebled frame, to drive in that sucker. All that is left to do is touch it up with the appropriately coloured felt pens.
You must disabuse yourself of any musings you are entertaining about the sort of idiots who pass their time in this way for I have discovered that jigsaw puzzles are an ideal method for maintaining physical fitness. By three o’clock in the afternoon I am usually overtaken by lethargy. I have had breakfast and coffee and a nap and a stick of celery for lunch and am ready for some demanding physical activity to re-energize me. Voila! There it is. The Puzzle.
My pajama sleeve brushes a puzzle piece onto the floor: a knee bend is required.
Cecelia’s hand hovers over a piece I have been seeking for days: a horizontal lunge will take care of it.
My elbow knocks three pieces onto the floor: a forward crawl under the table is in order.
The piece in my hand looks to fit perfectly on the other side of the puzzle which is about three feet away (one thousand five hundred pieces makes a bloody big puzzle): a lateral stretch does the trick.
Subtle colour shades can be discerned only by squatting down until the puzzle surface is viewed from its edge. Warning. People over eighty should not attempt this while holding a martini.
I could go on and on.
*I have not been keeping up my end of the blog scene this last while due to becoming thoroughly immersed in my new novel, which I call my Pandemic novel even though it has nothing to do with pandemics. I trust you all enjoy hearing from John.)