Monday, January 21, 2008

It's a Puzzle

It is puzzling to me that one of my favorite (although not frequent) ways to entertain myself is by working puzzles...often while watching a sentimental movie I have memorized going in the background. I usually find time for it on holidays or when members of my family are visiting who share my fetish for the sport. I suppose I love it because I have such happy memories of working puzzles with my mother, sisters, and children... perhaps my love for spending time with them spilled over into the puzzle box. And most of my children love puzzles because my mother spent hours with them working puzzles nearly every time they were together. It is such a nice time to indulge in small talk and for sharing good laughs. I love to buy a new puzzle, but they are getting harder to find. I'm picky about my puzzles, you see. They have to have a lot of different things going on...none of this half the picture being blue water and the other half being blue sky nonsense. Not too small, not too big, not too ugly, not too "all the same," not too hard, not too easy. Hmmm, no wonder they are hard to find. My niece, Amy, recently bought me a wonderful was a picture of many kinds of could we improve upon that?

We have some funny memories of Eric hiding one puzzle piece in his room so he could put in the last piece, Grandma lifting her arm and having five pieces stuck to it, looking up and realizing it was indeed 2 a.m., and recently, having Mark find a piece in the garage that belonged in the puzzle we were working.

I've decided there are two kinds of puzzle workers. The first type works mostly by shape and color. These are usually the puzzlers who like to complete the outside edge first and work on little sections of the puzzle that eventually flow together.

Then there is the "big picture" puzzle worker who picks up a piece, examines the picture on the box, and finds the minuscule hole to drop it into.

I am a shape/color person. My husband is a big picture person. You know, we approach nearly everything in life from those perspectives. I work on life one ridiculous detail at a time...and he sees nearly everything from a more global perspective. That is why he is so good at planning solution strategies for large telecom companies, and I'm good at knowing which socks belong to whom.

We make a great team. That isn't much of a puzzle at all.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Vicki Jeanne Porter

I guess people come into our lives for a reason. Vicki came into mine for lots of reasons, I think. She was just what I needed, just when I needed it.

We emailed. My husband thought it was hilarious that we lived about 1/4 of a mile apart, but did we pick up the phone? No. Did we run over to each other's house for a chat? No. We sat down at the computer and quietly supported each other. She was so much better at all the technological computer stuff, but she was so patient with my ignorance. I never did get the hang of attachments...

We went to lunch. What is it about going to lunch with a friend? It was...priceless. So many good times and happy memories. And coupons for new places out of the newspaper.

We laughed. Almost every one of her entries had at least one comment that made me *LOL*. And sometimes I really needed that after a long day.

We rolled our eyes. Life is just ridiculous sometimes and we made the most of that. It is funny when you know somebody well, how a little roll of the eyes in their direction across the room can communicate volumes. It makes me giggle just thinking about it.

We learned new things. Like she taught me the meaning of the word *shattered.* (That is when you are really, really tired.) And *scattered* is just a little bit before you are shattered. And she taught me that the VF Mall is called the VF Mall because it is the Very Far Mall.

She liked Bashas. I like Frys. She loved computer games. I don't. (Probably because she could beat them and I can't.) She liked Victorian, I like Traditional. She liked beige. I like red. Did it matter? No.

We kept in touch. I'm so grateful.

VJ left me a great friend's legacy. She was a dedicated mother. Nothing came before her family. She taught me about keeping on keeping on and hanging in there. She taught me about doing hard things. She taught me about love unfeigned and unconditional acceptance. She called me Clee. Nobody else on earth calls me Clee.

I'm not ready to let her go. Do you think there is email in heaven?