I can’t remember the last time I sat down to do a real puzzle. Not a 10-piece puzzle with a toddler while babysitting, but a real puzzle. Tina doesn’t have too many activities on board, so I thought she might enjoy doing a puzzle or playing a board game. She went to the shelf of games and chose a nature puzzle, and then we started to work. Within the first few moments of sorting these tiny pieces, I could already tell, this was going to take a while. For those of you that actually do puzzles, I am sure a measly 500-piece puzzle is child’s play. However, Tina, Oscar, and I sat there for almost 4 hours putting together this nature puzzle. (It’s always me against nature!)

Tina had to leave to get ready for dinner, so O and I were the last 2 standing. Well, sitting, actually we were sitting and standing. We realized that every 10 minutes we would need to switch places and get a new perspective on the puzzle. We would need to switch color sections and look at a different section in order to solve it. Down to the final hour, we were achy, irritated, and out of time because we had to get ready for dinner. (Those of you that know O… being late for dinner and being hungry is a bad combo) We only had about 20 pieces left, and could not find the right pieces to fit! We were frustrated, nauseous, and ready to scream. We were in the library on board, so we felt that throwing the entire thing against the wall and shouting expletives would probably be a bad idea. For those of you who know anything about cruising, you might know it is often an older crowd. And, those of you how know anything about Holland America, know that the average age is about 60. Being on a 24+ day cruise where most of the guests have been here 40+ days…. Well, the average might be even higher.  On a side note: O and I LOVE Holland America and love being with a seasoned crowd. We have met so many interesting people that have traveled the world and really lived.

On with the puzzle. We took a deep breath and started to find a method. We sorted the remaining pieces and then figured it out little by little. Slowly but surely, we finally got to the final 3 pieces. And then, low and behold, the final piece of the puzzle was placed. We did shout out loud and got a few looks, but we didn’t care at that point. We were victors in a long battle. Looking at the finished puzzle was satisfying. Not so satisfying that we will ever do one again, but we left it there for all to revel in amazement at our puzzle. Ha-ha. So, I learned that after perseverance and constantly changing my perspective, we solved the puzzle. I can’t take the finished puzzle home, but perhaps I can at least take the lessons with me.

Honestly, the main lesson I learned? Puzzles suck.

Our lame nature puzzle

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