Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

September 22, 2013

09/22/2013 — Lee Ward: Coming to jigsaw puzzles late in life

Lee Ward
The Independent

ASHLAND — So many experiences to catch up on. When I was a child, there was no game playing at my house. Not only did I have no siblings to play with, my parents didn’t play with me often.

I wanted to play Monopoly, Battleship, Risk, Life or Cooties. I really did.

Setting up a card table to play Old Maid, Go Fish or Gin Rummy sounded fine to me.

Jigsaw puzzles would be great, too.

These things never happened at my house. Sometimes, when I was at a friend’s house, a game would break out. While it was fun for me, I knew it wasn’t fun for other people because they spent most of their time try to teach me the game.

I didn’t know what Chutes and Ladders or Candyland were until I was too old to play.

WhenII got older, I had the thrill of playing Pitt and Uno. It was so much fun and these card games were easy enough that I could remember between long stretches of not playing.

Unfortunately, the last time I played Uno or Pitt was in the 1980s.

The first time I saw Trivial Pursuit, I was working at my first real, full-time job at a newspaper in West Virginia. I had heard of it but I had never been in a room where it was played. Unfortunately, I didn’t try to play. I had a fear of games because I had never played enough to be confident about playing, especially one that required my thinking under pressure

One night at a friend’s house, I got a little bit of jigsaw puzzle experience.

The family had a difficult 1,000 piece puzzle spread across the dining room table.

“Come help us with this puzzle,” my friend said.

“Oh, I can’t do puzzles,” I said, but in a minute, someone handed me a piece of the puzzle and said, “See if you can figure out what this piece is to” and soon I found where that piece belonged and someone else found exactly where it fit. I looked at another piece, narrowed down where it belonged, and someone placed it. I even placed a few myself.

I learned I can do puzzles. Maybe I don’t want to very often, but like many things I don’t have much experience at, I can do it. If I keep trying new things, surely I’ll find a few things I do want to do.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661l.