7 Days — Jigsaw puzzles

Jeanne pulled out the first of many wintry jigsaw puzzles that we put together during the Christmas season.  We’ve had most of these puzzles for many years, but we do look out for new ones when we’re in the States.  We’ve come to the conclusion that if the puzzle doesn’t have 1000 or more pieces, or some other unusual aspect to it, we need to leave it alone.  Fewer-piece puzzles are done in one evening!

I think my addiction to jigsaw puzzles began on family vacations when everyone would stay up until the wee hours of the morning looking for just one more piece.  I remember my dad (who didn’t particularly enjoy the puzzles, but definitely enjoyed the fellowship around the table) would occasionally put one piece in his shirt pocket and wait for us to search everywhere for that last piece.  He’d have the satisfaction of adding the last piece.

I certainly carried on the puzzle torch — and have spent many an evening around a table conversing with my own children.  Actually I highly recommend that parents get in this habit — some very relaxed and interesting conversations took place over the years simply because we were all up, not reading or watching a movie (which we do quite often), but talking about our days or our dreams or our fears.  Being available.

I remember one of the first puzzles we put out while in Ukraine.  It took many many evenings, covering two card tables (thanks, Gary and Karen!), and our Ukrainian friends were so surprised that after all that effort,  we simply took the puzzle apart to do another year!  I’ve seen many a puzzle glued together and hanging on walls here.

It’s just not Christmas until we’ve stood around the old card table…



Yulia is back!

Per CNNInternational, Ukraine now has a prime minister:  Yulia Timoshenko.

Pray with us that Ukraine will be able to stabilize the government and actually accomplish some of the goals that were set forth during the Orange Revolution — when Timoshenko and President Yushchenko were allies in their fight against the corruption that ran rampant throughout Ukraine.

A recent article in the Guardian Weekly addresses this reunion of sorts.