“Puzzling is a wonderful way to get to know your neighbors and meet new people. We are fortunate to puzzle at an entrance area with people coming and going all day.” Eunice, a Springmoor Puzzler, says everyone loves to stop, take a peek and join the conversation. “There’s always lots of laughter at our table,” says Judy Beal.
Judy and Eunice are among the many residents at Springmoor who enjoy puzzling. On almost every floor of every wing, there is a puzzle table with a 500 – 2000 piece puzzle in the works. Friends and family often give residents new puzzles for their floor. Residents purchase a few and they are often traded from floor to floor. After the Creedmoor puzzlers finished Robert Silvers’ Photomosaics, they challenged North Village to see how quickly they could complete the puzzle.
Photomosaics have been the focus of national media attention. They have been the subject of a best selling book, high profile ad campaigns, specially commissioned portraits and dozens of national magazine covers. Robert Silvers created this digital art while a student at M.I.T. Each puzzle contains thousands of miniature photographs that blend together to form a larger image. When completed, the Creedmoor puzzlers were thrilled to tear it apart, box it up and send it across the street to see if any floor could put all of the tiny photo pieces together faster than they did.
A puzzle table is like a magnet. “It is tempting to stop and engage,” says Harry Holladay. Most puzzle enthusiast will tell you they stop for one piece and stay for an hour. Some will stay for as long as three hours. There may only be one resident working on a puzzle in the early morning hours but walk by in the late afternoon or early evening and you may find as many as five or six. The puzzle draws you in and the conversation keeps you engaged.
Harry’s table was missing a dark colored piece in the center of a section for many days. No one could find this small single piece of the jigsaw puzzle. The group went on to complete the lighter colored areas and sift through the many shapes spread around the table’s edges. As he was working in the new corner, Harry noticed a dark puzzle piece that was stuck to his hand. With a laugh, he said, the mystery piece had been on top of the almost completed puzzle. The colors had camouflaged the hidden piece in plain site. “Oh, the irony,” he said.
As you walk from table to table, you will see each group has a method to their puzzle process. Some sort the pieces by shape, others by color. Eunice thinks it’s probably the way the brain is wired as to which method is easiest. You will find cookie sheets, cardboard boxes, plastic puzzle shaped boxes and corners of the table used for sorting. Some groups work on the puzzle in one piece while others may put sections together first and then add them together at the end.
Asked if there has ever been one you couldn’t complete, Judy says, “Yes!” as she points to the box on the table. They started it but the 1000 piece Bubble Trouble was definitely (as the box says) wicked! This one will be saved for a rainy day or passed along to another group.
Some puzzles have been so much fun to complete that the group has kept them together and had them framed. You will find a few of these proudly displayed over the tables. The butterfly shaped puzzle in Valley is a mosaic of many shapes and colors of smaller butterflies. If you haven’t seen this one, it’s worth the trip to walk by and see it.
Those who haven’t joined a puzzle table are always welcome. Janece Causseaux says, because of her busy schedule, she hasn’t jumped in yet even though she loves working on puzzles. She does stop by for a short visit and enjoys the neighborhood conversation. The table near her apartment also has a group playing pool. The conversations can get lively and, as Judy said, “They are always filled with laughter.”
A Group Challenge
From puzzles to pool, the Springmoor residents have found many activities providing a friendly challenge. The golfers can be found on The Springmoor Green competing for the Low Score, Most Holes in One and Closest to the Pin. Check the blog soon to find out more about this competitive group and their Monday morning putts. And Creedmoor puzzlers are still waiting for someone to accept their photomosaic challenge!
We invite you to visit soon for a tour of the Springmoor community and join our neighborhood of friendly competitors.