Jigsaw puzzles have a special place in my heart. I have fond childhood memories of putting together puzzles with my family. I grew up in Southern California during the 1980s with my mother, grandfather and two siblings. It was usually during holidays and extended family get-togethers, that we’d pick out a puzzle to do. We’d set up in the rarely-used-for-eating formal dining room. My grandpa had painted the large, oval table white and blue to match his displayed collection of Jasperware Wedgwood and its smooth and shiny surface was perfect for puzzle time. There was, however, a clear division in my family. Those who raced to the puzzle table and those who did not. The “boring group” (as I thought of them), chose to play complicated and confusing (to me) games such as “Battleship” or “Risk” instead. These players were typically my uncles and older male cousins. I did not understand these family members. Who cares about sinking submarines or world domination when there are 1,000 random picture pieces to try to fit together? The puzzle crew consisted of my mom, aunts, my sole girl cousin and my little brother and sister.

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