Summer Puzzles

Summer feels summery—and not. I’ve been working a little too hard, shuttling kids lots, and affirming to the four year-old now in the Upstairs Group at preschool that indeed, her fingers must have grown longer and that’s why she’s an Upstairs Grouper.

Big hearts to cool carrot in mouth on a really warm but not impossibly hot day and nights are cool enough to turn off the fan (as well as some of the heat, because, well, it’s summer).

Photo courtesy of Tuesday Market

And it’s zooming by, this summer. A few weeks ago, Tina and her Pony—a band out of Taos, New Mexico—sang at Tuesday Market. Already, they have returned to Tuesday Market (next Wednesday—in Amherst). You’ve probably never heard of this duo until right now this second. The moment I heard the music this afternoon, I was more than psyched: love! I love them; I got the CD during their first (I thought only) visit to Tuesday. I’ve been listening to it bunches.


At my house summer seems to be a very screen-happy season. This is why, a few days ago, I suggested to my hubby that we take a puzzle out. A 500-piece puzzle of Glinda is done; now, we’re onto the 1,000-piece Edward Gorey. Problem solved (I refrained from saying puzzle solved).

Okay not solved as in solved; ours remains a very screen-happy household in a screen-happy season. Solved, as in there’s less screen time with this newfound puzzle time. There’s also reading and hitting the tennis ball against the barn door.

Not to be outdone by 500 or 1,000 impossibly small pieces, the current puzzle-mania spurred the little girl to practice her puzzle skills. This puzzle first belonged to someone now into her twenties.


For all we’re doing right, glimmers’ worth it sometimes feels like, we are falling down all over the place. Some nights, bedtime works; other nights, we just let it happen. Last night, this is how it happened. I call the photograph: Inadvertent Family Bed, July 2012.


One more seasonal observation is this, via Saskia’s pal, Henry: chocolate fudgsicles are to be worn as much as ingested. At least, Saskia says, this is the case when you’re two. At four, as an Upstairs Grouper, she has moved beyond the wearing of chocolate fudgsicles.

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Author: Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser's work has appeared on the New York Times, Salon, and the Manifest Station amongst other places. Find her on Twitter @standshadows

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