Tag Archives: Puzzles

Puzzles

25 Feb

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

Puzzles. Do you like them? Enjoy working them? I’ve never been able to do crossword puzzles or any kind of word puzzles. My brain just doesn’t work that way. And especially when I’m told the crossword puzzles have a “language” all their own. Well, I have enough trouble with my native language – I don’t need any “hidden” language to trip me up!

But there is one kind of puzzle I’ve come to enjoy – jigsaw puzzles! Surprised? So am I. A few years ago, our daughter, Karen and her husband, Brian, gave us a Disney jigsaw puzzle for Christmas. We set up the card table in the family room and got to work. It was a fun thing to do, and took our minds of anything except the puzzle while working on it. Sometimes it’s a bit frustrating because that particular piece looks like it really should fit in that place – but it doesn’t! Hmmmm….why not? Oh, it fits over here instead!

I don’t remember just how long it took us to finish it, but here is the finished product.

 

 

When Fred and I were trying to sell our house in Virginia, before moving to Florida, we were a bit stressed out. So again, we set up the card table – this time in our large bedroom – and got to work on another jigsaw puzzle Karen and Brian had given us. It was of the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Working on that puzzle was a wonderful way to release that stress. All we could think of at the time, was finding just the right piece to fit in a particular spot.

Fred parents lived in a retirement facility for several years before they passed away. One of the interesting things about that facility was that puzzles were left out on tables in the hallways. Any of the residents could come and “pick up” just where the last person had left off, at any time. I thought it was a wonderful way for them to keep their minds sharp while trying to do the puzzle. It was also an entertainment for them. This facility was one of the most pleasant we had seen. It had lots of windows, was bright and airy, and smelled wonderfully clean and fresh. It was a delight to visit them, and they seemed to enjoy living there.

Karen and Brian gave us another puzzle this past Christmas. It has 21 pictures on it – all of Norman Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post covers. Norman Rockwell is one of my favorite artists, so this puzzle is a joy to work – and a bit of work with all that many pictures – some quite small. I’ve learned to use the magnifying glass a lot to help identify some of the pieces. No…that is NOT cheating!! Here’s a picture of the front of the box – the puzzle isn’t finished just yet.

 

 

So how ’bout you? Are you into jigsaw puzzles? They can be a great deal of fun – sharpens your attention span, and is just a great way to kill some time. Give it a try. You just might like it – we do!

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE BALLOON FIESTA

2 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

   

Have you ever seen a hot-air balloon floating overhead?  Really neat, huh?  We’ve been enraptured with them for quite a while.  The sister of a friend and her new husband “escaped” from their outdoor wedding reception in a hot-air balloon.  How neat is that?

 We had heard about the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta for years, but had never attended one.  It was started after we married and moved away from Albuquerque.   In talking with Fred’s parents, we all decided to head to New Mexico for that great event that year, 2001.  It was the 30th anniversary of the Fiesta.  Fred’s youngest sister and her husband thought it would be fun to join us, as well.  So we made our hotel reservations, airplane reservations, and were getting quite excited.

And then….September 11, 2001 happened.

We were scheduled to fly out in early October, 2001.  After September 11, all flights in the U.S. were grounded.  We were afraid that our flight had been cancelled, as well.  But the grounding was lifted, and we were able to fly out as scheduled.  I’ve heard so many people say they have stopped flying after September 11 – they were just too afraid.  And my thought is…where is your faith?!  Much safer than traveling long distances in a car…etc.

In any case, we flew out as planned and arrived quite safely in Albuquerque, city of my heart.  We connected with the rest of the family, and began our Balloon Fiesta adventure.  It was absolutely wonderful!   Completely fascinating to watch the balloons go from flat on the ground, to upright, to up in the air in a matter of short minutes!  Breathtaking!

But the best day was the day of the Mass Ascension.  If I recall correctly, there were over 800 balloons going up that day.  They were laid out in a pattern, and went up in planned sequence.  But they did all go up.  And that was the day they had the different “shapes” to the balloons, as well.  A cow (Creamland Dairy)…

 

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a Wells Fargo stage coach (as well as a piggy bank)…

 

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a beer stein…

 

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Mr. Potato Head

 

Mr Potato Head

Mr Potato Head

 

Smokey the Bear…

 

 

Smokey the Bear

Smokey the Bear

 

 

a Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Cone…

 

 

Ben and Jerry Ice Cream Cone

Ben and Jerry Ice Cream Cone

 

 

Tony the Tiger cereal….

 

 

Tony the Tiger

Tony the Tiger

 

 

a shoe (Famous Footwear)…

 

 

Famous Footwear

Famous Footwear

 

and a birthday cake congratulating the Fiesta on their 30th anniversary.

 

 

Happy 30th Birthday!

Happy 30th Birthday!

 

We were able to get down close to one of the balloons and watch as they readied it for take off.  Fascinating.

 

 

Getting Ready

Getting Ready

Fred has an aversion to large crowds, so it surprised him greatly to find how “uncrowded” this all felt.  As we recall, there were probably well over 100,000 people there!  Of course, it was held on one of the valley floors in Albuquerque, so that helped – lots of room to spare.

That evening, we went to one of the Indian casinos in town, and were able to watch a night-time ascension.  Really beautiful.

 

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Rising Flag

But it is one of our fondest memories – one we recall and treasure.  One year, our oldest daughter and her husband gave us a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle of that event, and we had a great deal of fun putting it together.  Brought back great memories.

 

 

 

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