Sometimes we need a little something to remind us of what’s really important in our lives. Is it having a spotless house or taking an amazing vacation? Losing the extra 10 pounds you’ve been hanging onto? As I sit in this awful hospital recliner, watching my dear friend recovering from surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, I feel like I’ve been knocked right in the face with a reality check. Suddenly, the little ding in my less than a year old car door doesn’t seem so important. The back-ordered item I thought I needed right now is long forgotten. “That’s the little stuff,” the voice in my head is saying. “Listen up!” And so I do. I realize what’s important right now is reassuring my friend that she is strong; that she will rise up to face whatever is thrown at her with a fierce intensity she’s never felt before. What’s important is making sure she knows her family and friends will be here for her through every twist and turn in the road that she may encounter. We’ll offer to help with the little things like errands and walking the dogs, we’ll be by her side to offer encouragement and companionship when she’s feeling down and doesn’t want to be alone. This night at the hospital has reminded me of how much I value our friendship and am so glad we take the time to kayak, shop, and travel together. I’m sure you’re wondering how all of this ties in with puzzling. Well, it does. My time at the hospital reminded me of how lucky I am to be able to create something that helps people to slow down and take time to catch their breath. Puzzling brings people together, creating time to spend with one another without the distractions of the outside world. But it’s just a puzzle - how can it make a difference? I know this is true because our puzzlers share their stories and appreciation with us. See for yourself!
Here’s a quick note that popped up in my email box just the other day. Dear Jennifer, My mother, Betty, recently gave me your information. She and her friends have endless joy from working on your puzzles. After her open-heart surgery two years ago, your puzzles were a positive outlet for her in her recovery. Sincerely, Jenny There’s nothing better than mother/daughter time. “My daughter and I had the time of our puzzling lives!” -K.G., Arlington Heights, IL
And a little more quality time spent at the puzzle table together. “Thank you for your skills which have brought joy to our lives. Please carry on with your talents!” -J.M., Manchester, NH Here’s another note we received with a Christmas card. Dear Ones, Please know that it serves the world well to entertain people and engage them mentally and physically with puzzling. You may not be solving world hunger, but you are contributing to a feeling of satisfaction that connects people of all ages and persuasions. Take pride in that! Fondly, Carol
Just a couple more and then I’ll stop. “Such pleasure to wonder what I am working on and the joy of finding that elusive piece, oh the joy you bring to our lives.” -G.K. Ridgewood, NJ “The little touches you incorporate never ceases to amaze us and really make the puzzles special...like putting a bee in the middle of a flower and a caterpillar on a leaf. And, since we didn’t pick any of the silhouettes this time, a surprise was waiting around every corner! Your choices were perfect. Thank you for all you do to brighten our lives.” - K.B., Gilbert, AZ Now you know what I mean! Is it time to make your family and friends a priority? Make a list of the people who are most important to you and make the time to spend with them. Plan that visit to see your folks, a special date with your spouse, or a fun day out with your kids or grandkids. If it’s time spent around a puzzle table, all the better, but any time together is good time.
Thanks for being a part of our puzzling world.
Jennifer and all the rest of the entire Stave crew.