Being the uber-geeks we are, we just covered the puzzle at mealtimes and removed the tablecloth again after dinner.
We worked on it for hours.
There was a nice rhythm to it, too.
Sometimes one of us would be "feeling it" and just sit for an uninterrupted portion of time in The Zone. Until we'd inevitably get stumped and not be able to find the next piece or we hit a wall. (No, we didn't actually "hit a wall" - oh, you know...)
For days we worked on this one thousand piece puzzle.
Work on it.
Eat a meal.
Work some more.
We even took extra care in the cover-uncover stages to make sure no pieces hit the ground or were swept up in any way.
Our neighbors came over and worked on it with us.
It turns out that this is one of those activities that you can actually engage in and carry on an enjoyable conversation while doing it. But your mind can't really be anywhere else. It's so relaxing. And engaging. Who knew?
Anyway... days and hours of this. One thousand pieces. (And it was this Haunted Mansion Maze thing with hidden messages and little scribbles. Very cool, but hello! one thousand pieces is still one thousand pieces.)
My mom came over and wanted to join in the fun.
Victory was close.... until....
we found we were missing one piece! AAAAHHH!!! Nooooo....
We carefully searched the dining area and living room (my house is small!) and moved furniture and shook out tablecloths and checked the box the puzzle came in.
So we had 999 pieces of our labor mocking us. We despaired a little. One piece made all the difference! (There's a spiritual lesson in here somewhere. I just know it.)
The only place we hadn't checked was in my mom's pocket. Because, who would be so evil as to...???
Yep. She thought it would be hilarious to watch us squirm while we searched for the last piece of the puzzle.
And indeed, she laughed long and hard as she triumphantly pushed the stolen piece into place while we all sat there with our mouths agape.
My husband looked me straight in the eye and said: "The acorn does not fall far from the tree."
What do you suppose he meant by that? =D