Penguins at the Beach

Travel back to the 1990s to see a young Lina sitting on the floor of her bedroom assembling a puzzle. I think I really started to like puzzling on a trip back to Ontario for the summer when I was 8 or 9 years old. I stayed with my grandparents, and I remember there was a puzzle on the kitchen table. It was a Milton Bradley puzzle, 1000 pieces of Buckingham Palace.

I remember working on it a bit with my Aunt, my Grandma and maybe even my Uncle? We didn’t finish it before I had to go back to Vancouver, but I received it in the mail not too long after my trip. It must have been for my birthday or Christmas. I spilled out the pieces and finished the puzzle, and then, I was hooked!

Soon after that, I started receiving puzzles for birthdays and Christmas’s. I remember having a 500 piecer of a photo of a fawn in a forest with purple lupin flowers all around it, a 2000 piece puzzle of two tigers, one orange and one white, and then I remember my two puzzles with the random cut – manufactured by the Great American Puzzle Factory.

Marine Mammals of the Northwestern Hemisphere and Penguins at the Beach.

I can not tell you how many times I did these puzzles! It must have been about once a month for a couple of years at least. I loved them. Then, my teen years, I either got too busy or too cool, so I slowed down. I moved out of the house and left them all behind. My parents were going to move next, downsizing from a two bedroom to a studio, so they asked me to go through my remaining childhood things.

I set my puzzles aside to be donated!

I started buying puzzles from the thrift store when I was about 25, fully embracing my puzzle passion once again. And it wasn’t until about 2 years ago that I started thinking about my two puzzles by the Great American Puzzle Factory. Especially the Penguin puzzle.

I remembered the random cut pieces, the penguins falling in love with the lifeguard, the volleyball game, penguins cooking their fish over a fire, a penguin eating a banana! It was all too cute and I really wanted to assemble the puzzle again.

I found the puzzle, still sealed on eBay, I don’t ever really shop on eBay, but this one was special to me. I didn’t mind the price (I have my limits though!)

I finally cracked open this puzzle and got started earlier this week. There is a vintage vibes puzzle along happening on Instagram and what could be more vintage than revisiting your puzzle origins? I had so much fun, I couldn’t stop grinning when I saw my familiar penguins and put them into place.

I will never donate this puzzle again, I’m not sure that I’ll do it once a month but I will definitely be pulling this out again! This is a 550 piece puzzle that I bought on eBay still shrink wrapped, it was complete and in absolutely perfect condition from it’s release date, 1987.The artist’s name is Susan Sturgill and I actually puzzled another one of her creations Alligator Alley released by the Great American Puzzle Factory not too long ago!