Our family tradition of putting together a Christmas puzzle resulted in some frustration.  First, the puzzle we decided to tackle was huge.  Second, it had an inordinate amount of pieces in multiple hues of blue.  Third, some pieces fit with more than one interlocking partner!  As a result, we managed to finish only the border and a few inner images before giving in and tucking it away for a more likely year.

Although the project was unsuccessful, there were fringe benefits.  We all contributed some time to the effort, working separately or in teams.    It was mindless and mesmerizing work, relieving stress rather than creating it like the 9-to-5 jobs we would soon return to.    Together, we celebrated the union of each piece formerly lost and then found…   Like a puzzle, it is the little pieces of our family lives that come together to make the big picture.


About Sharon L. Clemens

Sharon and husband Merle and their children owned and operated a specialty shop and restaurant in a restored dairy barn for thirteen years in a village in Illinois. After closing their restaurant, they converted the barn into the family home and moved their shop to the garden level. They operated a collectable shop as a home-based business for another thirteen years before retiring to the country life. Sharon has been a special feature guest on the local NBC telelvision affiliate and has spoken professionally on topics relating to herb gardening and cottage lifestyle. In addition to conducting workshops and programs, Sharon writes a weekly cottage lifestyle e-newsletter called “Cottage Chat” and a Word Press blog: Seasons of Farm Grove. She has written five novels, The Younger Girl, Door County Cottage, Timeless-A Door County Love Story, Door County Cabin and Door County Escape, love stories with traditional values set in Door County, Wisconsin.
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