-By Rebekah Cagle
This summer has brought arguably more than its fair share of rainy days along with it. While it’s an undeniable bummer to see storm clouds roll in when you had plans for a pool day or a hike through the woods, it’s easy to overlook the simple pleasures that can take place right in your living room despite any weather condition. Like puzzles.
There’s a good chance you have some preconceived notions about puzzles, but if you think you’re not a fan, I urge you to give them another shot. When I was a kid, I thought they were the epitome of boredom, but now, I find them totally captivating (kind of like furniture shopping and crosswords). Not only are puzzles a great task to use to decompress on your own but I also love the way they encourage conversation when you work on them with a group of friends over a beer or glass of wine on a night in. We’ve stocked up our puzzle section to include simple, 70-piece puzzles that only take around 20 minutes to complete, to more challenging 500-piece puzzles that will take a good chunk of time (probably a few hours with a group, or more than 6 alone) to finish.
Instead of spending a Sunday afternoon plugged into your phone, scrolling through social media on the couch all day, pull out one of our 500-piece gradient or double sided puzzles, grab a cup of coffee, and get out of your head. Bringing organization and structure to a giant jumble of puzzle pieces has such a calming effect on our minds. The countless “aha!” moments contained within each puzzle can fill us with such unexpected pride and satisfaction. There are so many complex issues we have to deal with every day, so there’s something so oddly satisfying about being presented with a task that is challenging, but one that you know you will be able to solve.
The array of straightforward, 70-piece food themed puzzles we have range from cake to hotdogs. The cake puzzle is a creative way to send a piece of birthday cake to a friend across the country to let them know you’re thinking of them on their day, and your ramen-obsessed friend will undoubtedly love to piece together their favorite bowl of noodles. We also have some endearing “secret message” jigsaws that you can throw in with a gift in place of a card to show your love.
Last year I brought home a puzzle that I started on a weekday night by myself, didn’t get any further than finishing the border, and then let sit on my coffee table for the duration of the next 3 weeks, being slowly completed. Every time a friend would come over, I would inevitably find them hunched over the puzzle, searching for the next missing piece. I would mindlessly piece it together bit by bit while watching tv, petting my dog, or eating cereal on the couch. When it was finally finished, I felt so accomplished and quickly found a frame to stick it in and hang in my bedroom. Every time it catches my eye it brings me a little bit of joy and satisfaction.
The gradient puzzles we have in stock would add a great splash of color to one of your walls when it’s done, or even just to your coffee table while you’re working on it (and probably a while after because come on, you worked hard on that). So take a break from the screens and grab a puzzle to unwind on your next lazy Sunday or Friday night in.
Ohio Native Rebekah Cagle is a freelance writer residing in Columbus whose work can be read in various print and digital outlets throughout the state.