Another quick North Dakota weather update: at 6am this morning, it was 40 degrees outside. The wind is howling, and they predict it will reach 70 degrees by about 1pm. The average high this time of the year should be in the 40s, so besides the wind, it should be a great day. Tomorrow, however, the high temp is expected to be around 30 degrees, so it’s always interesting to have a 40 degree drop overnight. That, coupled with a full moon ought to make things interesting today!
So, over the weekend, as has been our practice (and I’ve written about a few times before….), Cheri and I cracked open a new jigsaw puzzle to put together. 1000 piece, with a pseudo picture of New Orleans – at least there was someone playing a saxophone, and St. Louis Cathedral was in the background, and a horse carriage was going down the street. Not a bad puzzle, with plenty of challenges to it…
As we moved through the puzzle, we were able to fill in most all the holes – except for one. The piece was kind of pinkish-red, with a light glowing on one end of it. Pretty distinctive, and able to be picked out among the other pieces around. Unfortunately, though, we couldn’t find it. We kept building the puzzle, still looking at the pieces to try to find the one we couldn’t find. Now, that’s not unusual, if you have ever done jigsaws – the piece you are looking for could be sitting right in front of you, and your eyes and your mind just sort of gloss over it, until finally what should be familiar becomes evident before you.
We kept putting the pieces together, and Cheri remarked, “Do you think it fell on the floor?” That’s also not usual, because the table we use is best suited for a 500 piece puzzle, and working on a 1000 piece tends to have all the unplaced pieces spread out to the very edges of the table, until we get it under control. That, and the fact that cat Hermes likes to come up and see what we are doing, and sits on the chair eye level to the puzzle, and then slowly reaches up a little paw, and gently knocks a piece onto the floor, and then another, and another…
So, we are used to having to pick up wandering pieces. Also, if you have ever dropped a piece off a table, you know that the manufacturers of jigsaw puzzles have built into each piece the special ability to not just fall, but bounce and roll just beyond your reach, or under the table itself, so that you have to get down on hands and knees, or move the chairs all out from the area, in order to retrieve the escaped piece.
Well, we put together perhaps five or six search parties for the missing piece, figuring it may have rolled behind the crocks or under the mat by the back door, or some other mysterious action. We’d put pieces together, and then look for the missing one, then put others together, and then get out the flashlight…
When we finally put the last pieces in place on the horse-drawn carriage, we looked over the table – and it was empty of all ala carte pieces. We even checked to see if maybe the piece had ended up under the puzzle itself, or had trapped itself in the box when we dumped all the others onto the table a few hours before. Finally we came to the disturbing realization: our friends at Springbok puzzles had failed in their mission to put all the puzzle pieces in the box when they were assembling it. As the popular saying goes nowadays: “You had ONE job…”
Now, Cheri and I are not of the category of some folks I’ve heard of, where one person will quietly sneak a puzzle piece off the table, and slip it into their pocket, and then when all is done, they pull out the piece and pop the final one into place in the puzzle. I’ve been with some folks where we will have four or five pieces missing at the end, where everyone around the table has pilfered a piece so they can put in the last one. Kind of dumb, I know.
It’s an unusual sense of unfinished business to put together a 1000 piece puzzle, and actually only end up putting together a 999 piece challenge, with a hole in it. So, I went on the Springbok website, where we first purchased the puzzle and had it sent to us, to see what they might do to either remedy or reimburse us for the sad occurrence of an unfinished puzzle.
Now, don’t ask me why I was surprised, but I found that Springbok must expect this to happen from time to time, so they have developed a whole procedure for filing a lost piece grievance. I thought I could just say, “We bought one of your puzzles, put it together, and it was missing a piece – what are you going to do about it?” But no… apparently in order to file a missing piece report, and alert the puzzle police, they need a lot of information. They needed the title of the puzzle, and the size. Ok, fine. And then how much it cost (it’s their puzzle for crying out loud!), and when we ordered it, and when it was delivered. You’d think they might have that info in their card file or something… Then, they needed the product code, found on the box under a bunch of other numbers. Then, they needed the lot number, and the date it was put into the box. You could only find those numbers on the inside of the bottom part of the box, which would only be available to you after you tore off the plastic wrapper, which I guess would then prove that you actually own the puzzle in question. I was just glad they didn’t need a blood sample, or an essay written in long-hand about my feelings over not having the one piece of the puzzle…
So after a few minutes, we found all the numbers and information, and I sent the email to their company. What I next discovered was that their guarantee was that they would send a replacement puzzle. Now, the problem with that is that we just finished taking a few hours of our life putting the puzzle together already. It’s kind of like eating a big meal, or reading a book, and at the very end, there’s a problem, and so the people in charge give you the very same meal, or book, which by that time, you really aren’t interested in it. I don’t want to do the same puzzle again… and what do I do with the 999 piece thing sitting in the corner of the room? Do I throw it away? I guess I could sent it to a brother or sister, and not tell them there is a piece missing… heh, heh…
So, I expect we will have a couple of weeks to think about things, since it takes that long to send a puzzle all the way from Kansas City to Fargo. Those 602 miles are long, if you are going by stagecoach, I guess. In the meantime, we do have a couple more puzzles waiting for next weekend. Hope they are more than 999 piece…
Word for the day: dormiveglia. Pronounced door-mi-VAGUE-lee-ah. It’s actually an Italian word that has not English equivalent. From two words, dormire, meaning “to sleep,” and veglia, “wake,” the word describes that soft kind of space that exists between sleeping and waking, especially on a day when you don’t have to jump out of bed and get to your tasks. It’s a word of luxury, because it feels so good to “wake up slowly,” and drift back and forth for just a little while. It’s partner word is actually hypnogogic, which contains two Greek words, hypnos, “sleep,” and agogos, which is “leading.” This describes the experience of just before you fall asleep – that delicious, body-resting, drifting off time.
It’s reported that only 8% of American adults get adequate sleep these days, with the average of 5 hours being the norm. We have to do better – let’s get hypnogogical, and dormiveglian for a bit, eh?
After 43 years of ministry, Randy Cross lived his "fourth life" and shared about retirement, living boldly and intentionally in our world. To be sure, there was some North Dakota thrown in.