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Building piece by piece

Puzzle-making becomes loved hobby in pandemic

Last March when the COVID-19 pandemic began, Albert Lean LaVerne Seberson, 92, moved in with his daughter Pam McClary and her husband, Mick, in Emmons.

To help pass the time and give them something to do while indoors, they took up putting together puzzles — finishing at least one puzzle a week since then.

As of this week, they have completed 62 puzzles — picturing everything from antique cars to wildlife and ranging in size from 500 to 1,000 pieces. They’ve done mostly 2-D puzzles but have also tried a 3-D puzzle that was over 500 pieces and are now considering starting a 2,000-piece 2-D puzzle.

Seberson and his daughter said they typically start with the border — separating the edge pieces and putting those in place. Then, he said, they work on something interesting in the puzzle — such as a barn or a car. In the puzzle he’s currently working on, that interesting part is an antique pickup.  Once that’s done, they expand from there.

The 3-D puzzle, which Seberson mostly completed with his son-in-law, was made up of tiny pieces. Pam McClary said each of the wheels had five layers of puzzle pieces.

The family said once each puzzle is complete, they take a picture of it and then send the picture off to family members.

“We have a running gallery of all the puzzles,” McClary said. “It’s nice to have something to do other than watching TV.”

Some of the completed puzzles they have framed; others are taken apart and put back in boxes. Several of the puzzles of classic cars are hanging in Mick McClary’s garage.

Seberson said they received some of the puzzles as gifts, and they’ve bought some, too. The Emmons Public Library also has puzzles people can check out, which they have taken advantage of.

A Korean War veteran, Seberson said his favorite puzzle is one that was made from a picture of him and his daughter during an Honor Flight trip to Washington, D.C.

Seberson, who has lived with McClary off and on since the pandemic started, said he most enjoys creating puzzles to see the finished product.

“To finally get it done,” he said.