Your new favorite thing.
When I say YOUR new favorite thing I really mean my MOM’s new favorite thing. Puzzles with secret messages are MY new favorite thing. I was cleaning out some boxes in the garage, a process which never ends, & I came across what appeared to be a random 100 piece Christmas puzzle. Instead of just tossing it I actually opened the box & I noticed that on the backs of most of the pieces there was blue marker like someone had written a message.
In no time at all I’d put it together & found this “secret” message. I’ve known Joy, Holly & Amber (sisters) for a good long time, probably since I was 8. My best friend Misty & I were next door neighbors & we would go up to Joy’s house in the foothills to play “night games.” I don’t know that I can even remember the names of all the games we’d play most of it was just running around in the dark. I’m sure “the geese fly over the lake by moonlight” was one of many of our hilarious private jokes that none of us can remember now.
Not long after I’d put together that puzzle, my Mom said she’d like some 500 piece puzzles & I knew I had to put some secret messages on the back. I found this great company jigsaw2order.com on the internet that will put your picture on whatever size puzzle for you.
I picked out a picture of Portland that I thought she might recognize from her visit. I sent the puzzle to myself first & then spent some frantic days piecing it together. There I am with my blanket wrapped around me to ward off the chill. I carefully slid the puzzle onto a gigantic drawing pad I bought way back in my college days. It made the flipping easier. Then I wrote that big message and I <3 U in the corners, which she thought was “HBC.” I drew lots of little pine trees & some random colored dots, anything to fill up the spaces. Then I broke up all the pieces & mailed it to my Mom for Christmas.
From what I understand she enjoyed putting it together even though the sky & the river gave her some trouble since there was so little variation. I figure if the puzzle is too easy what fun is that? I decided to give her another Portland puzzle with another secret message on the back for her birthday six months later. This time I went a little crazier on the message. Apparently she put it together on top of a glass coffee table & everyone had to crawl underneath to have a look.
This time the picture had less sky & no water. I’d taken a picture of the city when Aaron & I were riding the tram from the hospital at the top of the hill down to the bottom. Part of the 4T Trail. I hope the puzzle was just the right amount of a challenge.
I put “I <3 U” in the corners again with “Happy Birthday” Around the edges in Morse Code. “Happy Birthday Mom!” “Wow! What a huge piece” “I call these nubs” (The round parts of the pieces) “A sign not a roof peak like I thought” “I had Andre Reiu playing for this one” (A musical artist Mom likes a lot & we went to his concert together one time.) “A big honkin’ piece” “Sneak attack! It’s a car headlight” “A transformer!” (Of the electric variety.) “Insulators” “The median” (of the freeway) “This piece & this piece were together when I got the box” “Car! Game on! Game on!” “City center” “Pine trees are the best” “Sky” “Ack! Where does this go?” “Head arm arm leg leg” (Some pieces look like little people) “Last piece I put in” “It’s so tiny!” “I hope you enjoyed your puzzle” “sharp corners” “A pink bush or tree” “Such a satisfying piece when it fit” “Barbur Blvd.” (The street on the picture) “Such an odd piece” “Chim-chim chimney che-roo” (A chimney on that piece.)
How much more entertaining would a puzzle be if you knew it had a secret message on the back?