Still Puzzling

We’ve been working on this one for a few weeks now, and there’s an ambiance to this scene, stories that draw me, waiting to be told.

See the woman carrying her Christmas gifts to the wagon?

She looks so young, yet manages a household back on the farm or ranch. I like the way her husband holds their daughter’s hand . . . or maybe it’s his daughter and he lost his first wife, and this young bride is getting used to being a stepmother, as in the Oke series.

Or . . . well, any number of scenarios could be playing out. What we do see is the general store front and center, a place where folks search for ways to brighten the cold days of winter in their stark cabins.

The artist included a boy helping his father load a big present onto their wagon. Another mother holding a baby follows her young child and husband inside. What quiet expectations does she cherish? Some yard goods for new curtains? A little something special to add to the Christmas meal–perhaps some nuts or raisins the storekeeper ordered in?

Plenty of room here to brainstorm about theme. What focus propelled the artist? What life concepts did he wish to portray?

Ah…it’s all about story, and imagination plays a huge role. It’s fun to speculate…and may even motivate me to start writing!

13 thoughts on “Still Puzzling

  1. My husband loves jigsaw puzzles, but I don’t have the patience. Many years ago, I had a friend who kept a puzzle going at all times on the bar between her kitchen and dining room. She insisted that anyone visiting her must be in at least one piece before leaving. Fortunately, I learned about this soon after we met and avoided going to her house! Have a great day, Gail!

  2. to each his/her own! My husband’s much better at puzzles than I am, but this one has grown on me. Trying to keep my mind open to the NEW!

  3. Beautiful puzzle. I agree many, many scenarios that could be developed from a glance at your puzzle. I enjoy putting puzzles together, but, I don’t want to quit before it’s completely done. That puts my other responsibilities on hold which is not good. I hope you two are having a wonderful time. I so enjoy Lance’s photos. Take care, both of you.💗🤗

    • I hear you…hard to cease and desist. But if I didn’t, it would drive me crazier. Glad you like L’s photos-he’s a wizard at it!

  4. many times photos spark stories. I am a bit of a photographer. I take photos of old houses, barns and most anything that appears to be abandoned. I often see stories in the photos when I either look at them later on the computer of print them. This puzzle for sure tells many stories.

      • Not quite sure how to share photos with you. I am on Facebook if you would like to find me there. I have one page with my photos and stories and one that is just a personal page.

  5. Love your puzzle, Gail. Looking for pieces certainly gives lots of time to weave stories and I love yours.
    I am a puzzle fanatic and have one going most of the time-at least in winter. It was something we did when I was a kid on the farm. I often see ‘puzzle’ scenes too, as I’m traveling. That old abandoned barn, was once a dream for a family

  6. Oh, that’s cool. Maybe I’ll start seeing scenes like you…haven’t yet, but there’s always a possibility! Thanks for the idea. I don’t recall us doing puzzles on the farm in childhood, but we SHOULD HAVE, maybe we wouldn’t have fought so much. (:

  7. You have me thinking this morning Ms. Gail. Apologies for my tardiness, been a might busy lately. I thought about how long it’s been since I looked at something and was moved to create a story around it. Then I considered that it hasn’t been that long at all. Perhaps each day we do this in our minds with the scenes before us. I see a cow where she doesn’t belong. My mind says, “Lulu’s calf has wandered off again, she’s hunting that rascal again.” In a few moments, I hear a longing cry; or did I imagine it.” Next thing you know, I’m in my UTV riding the fence line to find the missing calf. As I’m driving along, my mind tells me that I must have a broke wire that created the space for “Rocky” to get through. Ahh, there it is. One and two wires are broke. Rusty old wire, it seems you breath on it and it breaks these days. Gonna have to replace this fencing soon. What’s a 1500-foot span going to cost me these days. Oh Lord, I’m gonna need more spending money. Into the neighboring pasture I go. It’s getting late in the day, so listen closely and that little steer will give himself away if he’s here. Shutting off the engine, the old rancher listens intently. Nothing. A few minutes go by and he here’s a faint call. Aha! I’ve got him. Behind the shoulder of the pond, Rocky is crying out for a mama that can’t reach him. His empty stomach gave him away. Smiling, the old rancher dismounts and walks up to the wayward calf. “Your sense of adventure has left you alone and hungry again you rascal.” As he cradles the calf in his arms, he lifts it to carry back to the UTV. He remembers that he can’t putting him in the back because last time this calf leaped out while it was moving. “You’re riding with me this time you stinker”, he said with a laughter in his voice. Trying to drive while cradling a fidgity calf isn’t easy. He thought, “I think it’d be easier on horseback.” As he nears the pasture gate, the calf cries out. His mama hearing him, she begins loudly calling him in response. Soon, the calf cannot be contained; supper’s waitin! Stopping the UTV, the calf near bout tears his arm off struggling to get free. The strands of barbed wire separating them, the loud calling between the two bring the herd mates running. Soon, the world erupts in loud bellowing as everyone joins in. Opening the gate, the rancher knows he’ll have to force the calf up the fence line. “Better grab the butt bat”, he thinks. Making a wide circle to get behind the nervous calf, he begins herding it to the open gate. “Darned calf keeps circling back to mama. Doesn’t he realize I’m trying to take him there?” After two failed attempts, the rancher returns to his buggy and whistles for his trusty farmhand. Soon, Bubba the chocolate lab is running across the pasture to his master’s call. Standing at the open gate, the rancher points and calls out his “Bring her” command. Bubba instinctively runs and singles out the forlorn mama from the crowd of bellowing cows. As he chases her up the fenceline, her calf on the other side pursues them. With one word, “Off”, Bubba ends the task and the mama is standing near the open gate. The calf hightails it through the opening and is soon reaching for mama’s udder. Not before a verbal scolding. “Lulu” fusses at her calf for what seems two good minutes. Then, with a lick of his head, she nudges him back to nourish him.

    All from a single scene in the mind’s eye. Great post sweet friend.

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