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  • Writer's pictureLeann Shamash

Jigsaw Puzzles

Susan is a regular volunteer at the Newton Food Pantry and that is where we met. As someone who has no puzzle abilities, I am in awe of people who can see how puzzle pieces

fit together. Well, that is a talent that Susan (and perhaps you?) possess. I hope that you enjoy this little journey into puzzles with Susan!!! Thank you, Susan, for encouraging people like me to keep trying to do puzzles!

One of my favorite hobbies throughout my life has been doing any kind of puzzle - word puzzles such as with Scrabble, Boggle, Wordle, crosswords, or jigsaw puzzles.

Jigsaw puzzles by Liberty Puzzles have been the main way I have gotten through this past terrible two-year period of COVID-19. Once you work on your first Liberty Puzzle, you can never go back to doing any other cardboard puzzle. You are spoiled for life! They are absolute works of art and so tricky to solve.

When you first open the box, the smell of the laser cut wood fills the room, and there are two colorful pieces of tissue paper that you have to open up to see the puzzle pieces, which are made of thick, laser-cut wood. The edges are not all flat. This was so confusing to me when I did my first Liberty Puzzle that I thought I would never complete it. Now I am an expert at solving these puzzles!

Two flat edges will connect with a pointed edge, or all pieces may even have rounded edges, such as in the old fashioned Christmas tree puzzle. They also have beautiful colors, and creative whimseys in the shapes of people, animals, and objects that tie into the puzzle theme. For instance, the Machu Picchu puzzle set in Peru has several llama whimseys. The old fashioned Chistmas tree below has teddy bears, toy planes, little fir trees, and any number of other whimseys that make up the puzzle pieces.

The pieces are very tricky to put together, so it takes my complete concentration on the shapes and colors and sizes of the pieces to do so and it is such a feeling of mastery to finish the puzzle! I’ve spent a small fortune on the twenty plus Liberty Puzzles that I own, but I love to work on them repeatedly, and hopefully I will eventually have a grandchild that inherits my passion for jigsaw puzzles!

Susan Bellerose graduated from Mt. Holyoke College with a degree in English and from Columbia Business School with a degree in Finance. Her background includes over twenty years working for various institutions as an analyst: Cambridge Associates, JP Morgan, Baring Asset Management (high yield bond analyst), and Granahan Investment Management (small cap equity analyst). She retired in 2006 and has volunteered for the Newton Food Pantry since 2015, including helping NFP launch their first newsletter. She also volunteered for the Newton Free library for several years as an ESL tutor.

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