Monday, June 28, 2010


"Ok, they close in 11 minutes." Craig's blue eyes track oncoming traffic, "Do you want me to just run in?" He makes a left, then lobs over two lanes.

"Sure," I crunch a roasted almond, "3.6 miles and then a right onto 99."

"A right?" he flips the blinker. "I still can't believe there were 12 at the last place." He grins and noses us into the right lane. 12. Puzzles.

"Now you want to look for Aurora." We wade through more dot-to-dot directions. Craig squeezes our big car through traffic and into a front row parking spot.

"Love ya, bye," he calls and sprints under big red letters into another thrift store. I grab my book, bent open still to page 88, and savor a few more paragraphs. It's a treasure hunt.

Now and then I spot him tall and giddy through the store windows. He scans shelves bulged with games and puzzles. Puzzles. Yes, there he is; he bobs back to the car plunder under arm, opens the back and calls, "Guess how many."

Between doctor visits and big city traffic snarls, we weave thrift store to thrift store. 93. We've collected 93 since last winter. Puzzles. Springbok, of course. We spill our inbetween-evenings in puzzles and chatter and the quiet pressing of pieces into place. The good life.


65. Mint chocolate and coffee, roasted almonds.

66. Sweaty curls around Lulie's face after nap.

67. Expositional comentaries on line for free.

68. Family gathered around barbecued meat, beans, watermelon.

68. Black beans simmered in cumin.

69. Strawberries, leaves and all.

70. Lucy's hug for the surgeon who still checks her eye.

71. Boy hair bleached red in the summer sun.

72. Burnt hot dogs my children ate anyway.

73. Popsicles dripped down their chins.

74. Tomato plants stretched tall toward the sun.

75. Hands of love that sprouted them for me. All 29.

76. Marigolds and cosmos and trailing planter that came with them.

77. Cool night air.

78. Soft bed sheets.

79. Bare feet on wood floors.

80. Tired shoulders that sigh into bed.

81. Cherry ice cream Janie ate on our date.

82. Lulie's swimsuit on backwards. Three times.

83. Baby fat.

84. Baby smiles.

85. Stinky baby feet.

holy     experience


Olson Family said...

Inspiration. Gifts of encouragement. Blessings. Your writing invites me to linger long in moments that fill my spirit and raise the bar on the simplest and most romantic of pursuits.

misslenbuster said...

puzzle hunting! you make it sound so enticing :) blessings.

Goat said...

The untold story: Puzzling is not just a hunter gatherer sport and a quiet way to spend evenings. It is COMPETITION: Peter vs Craig. Our basement is full of puzzles. FULLLLLL of them. (Peter's stash). Daniel takes his lunch early to slip over to Value Village to snag the latest out from under their noses. No this is not all quietness and comfort. This is about winning hahaha.

Misty said...

I love this! We are always on the hunt for puzzles too. My kids listen to audiobooks and work on them for hours. Life's simple pleasures.

Fun list started - full of summer. I laughed at the "swimsuit on backwards". My 3 year old is so funny putting hers on as well. Also with the shoes. ALWAYS on the wrong feet.

deb said...

your posts are just so lovely,

and I laughed re the backwards bathing suit. My oldest daughter has a couple of photos like that. But I was the one who messed up ! She had some serious dip in the bodice .

Heather said...

Oh, this is so familiar and fun! I loooove thrift store shopping... probably the only kind I truly enjoy... the thrill of the hunt... the diamond in the rough :) I made my husband (not a thrift store shopper) pick up a chair at the end of someone's driveway a couple of days ago... in his business truck. With much trepidation and slight embarrassment, he did it. Oh the joy that thrilled my heart that he went out of his comfort zone for me! Even funnier (to me, not to him) is that I didn't end up wanting the chair. Oops.
Enjoy your puzzles! How lovely you make it sound to just sit and chat and press the pieces in place. :)

Ben and Rachelle said...

I'm going to start referring to you guys as our crazy puzzle friends! Just kiddin'! I think it sounds like a blast. It's such a joy to have something you all can get a kick out of!

Tamara said...

What a beautiful blog! I followed you from Holy Experience and so glad I did.


Daiquiri said...

531Is Springbok the brand that's good? I always get crummy puzzles that won't lie flat when I shop the dollar store. Have to try that brand...