Intro: For Father’s Day this year, we decided to do something a little different. One of our customers Susanna S., shared a heartwarming story about doing puzzles with her father both as a child and later in life as he battled cancer. Thank you for sharing your story, and we hope to hear more like this from other puzzles fans out there. Enjoy!
“I remember my dad showing me how to do jigsaw puzzles when I was really young. Sometimes he’d sit and work with me a bit but for the most part they were a solitary activity. Somehow over the years they became an occasional activity.
When my dad was undergoing cancer treatments at MD Anderson, we would see puzzles in nearly every waiting area. Occasionally I’d work on one alone, with another patient,or their family. My dad wasn’t able to sit or lean forward for long periods of time but he enjoyed being a ‘backseat driver’ saying ‘why don’t you try that one there’ or ‘no, over there, turn it around – there!’
This is my 2nd Fathers Day without my dad. He passed in December 2011, about 9 months after my mom. I found myself buying a lot of puzzles last year as the fall and winter holidays approached. I needed something to focus my mind and remembered puzzles had been a great escape yet still kept my mind focused on a challenge. I started buying quilt themed puzzles since I loved quilting, then wandered to landscapes and nostalgic scenes, then to puzzles that just reminded me of my family and simpler times. I had forgotten how great puzzles were!
Since June means Father’s Day, I started going through my puzzle stash and pulling out ones that remind me of my dad. I started early since most of my puzzles are 1000 and 500 pieces with a few at 300 pieces. 1000 and 500 pieces are great sizes for a couple or family to work on together but for just one person it’s a lot of puzzle for one day! I’m probably doing a month of Father’s Day!
(Here are some of the puzzles Susanna shared with us)
Just looking at them brought back memories. My dad loved country music, old cars(1950′s mostly), and building stuff with wood in his shop. Country music is the only interest of these 3 that we share!
These are the 5 puzzles I initially pulled out:
This is a puzzle they had out in a waiting room at MD Anderson. My dad loved the picture so we got online and bought the print for his Christmas that year. I bought the puzzle last year and sorted out the edge pieces thinking I might attempt it. The pieces have nice colors but are small and 1000 pieces -still a bit intimidating. I want to think about my dad fondly and squinting at 1000 little bitty pieces of car parts might not be the answer right now! For a car lover with good eyes and patience – they’d be thrilled!
The other car puzzle is also 1000 pieces and is Eric Dowdle’s Classic Car Show (out of stock until 7/1). I sure wish he’d done this in 500 pieces! I like this one because the cars remind me of Daddy but there are also other things in the scene so it’s not just a bunch of cars. I also like the colors he uses in his puzzles – they’re all beautiful. The pieces are still smallish but colorful enough I think they’re worth the effort. They also include a folded poster of the puzzle so 2 people can do this one together easily with one using the poster and another the smaller picture on the box. (Fancy boxes too – the picture is on a sleeve that fits over the box and the box has a flap with velcro to close.) This scene also reminds me of a trip I made with my parents to Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas. They were doing a car show and flea market type thing and my dad enjoyed walking around and looking at the cars and all the parts and my mom and I liked the scenery and the weather was nice so it wasn’t so bad! Of these 2 I’d probably enjoy Dowdle’s more since I’m not a car enthusiast like my dad!
This 500 piece puzzle doesn’t look exactly like my dad’s shop but it’s close enough! I found this one while looking for some larger pieced puzzles. Ravensburger is a nice brand with sturdy pieces that ‘click’ into place and the larger pieces are bigger and easier to handle. I also found another large piece Ravensburger called Down Home Music that’s 300 pieces.( I couldn’t wait on this one and already finished!) It reminds me so much of the trips my parents and I took to Branson, Missouri. This scene was common at Silver Dollar City during their music festival. We loved these groups!
This puzzle I bought more recently . I had done another collage puzzle from White Mountain and loved it. Their 1000 piece puzzles have slightly larger pieces than most – not large size but just a little bigger that what seems to be the standard - and they are made well. White Mountain is one of my favorite brands.
While trying to pick a puzzle I remembered I had bought a couple of car puzzles for my dad’s Christmas the year he passed. I found them and thought at 500 pieces they might be something I’d enjoy.
These 2 are from Masterpieces and I decided to do the one on the left – my dad loved these old cars (the puzzle pic is on the bottom of the tin and has more to the scene that what is shown on the cover) plus it has a church and family along with trees! I figured I could start this one and be done around Father’s Day since most 500 piece puzzles take me about week or two to finish. This one may take longer – the pieces are small – similar to the standard 1000 piece puzzle size pieces.(the coins in the pic are a quarter and dime). The colors are nice and they fit together nicely (once I find the right pieces LOL!).
These are the interests my dad had – but here are some puzzles I’ve seen while browsing that might fit someone else’s memories of their dad or be a good puzzle to do WITH your dad if you’re blessed to still have him with you. Puzzles are great too if you’re with someone who doesn’t talk much- sometimes conversations can start while working on a scene or just the companionship and working together can be nice.
Here are some I saw while browsing ‘guy themes’ but there are so many more..it was hard to narrow them down!”
Have a great Father’s Day and enjoy your dad in person or thought!