Granddad always seemed to one-up himself year after year. On December 25th, my sisters and I would compete to see which one of us could get to the hidden enclosed money prize the fastest... winning bragging rights for the rest of the year. After we started dating, Tony also joined in on the game. Granddad would get such a kick out of our excitement and struggles with his unique inventions.
Granddad passed away earlier this year. It saddens me to know there will not be anymore puzzle boxes to add to my collection... that this chapter in my life has come to an end. The holidays will be a bit less cheery. This will be the first year he won't be at the Christmas table. I will miss our competitions, and marveling at Granddad's newest designs.
Last month, Tony and I received a special gift from my grandparents' estate: a set of unique lounge chairs. They were quite possibly Granddad's favorite possessions. My mom recounts that Granddad saved up to buy 4 of these Eames Lounge Chairs in the 1950's. For many years, they were the only furniture filling my grandparents' living room. Fitting to Granddad, their design was one-of-a-kind: the perfect marriage of comfort and ingenuity. As a kid, I appreciated their unparalleled smooth turning capability as I spun around in them for hours. And as an adult, I cherish them as a reminder of my special grandparents.
It was quite a process, moving these 80-pound chairs from NY to TX. Each had to be disassembled, packed into large boxes, shipped across country (thanks, Mom and Dad!!), and later reassembled. Tony and I spent a weekend putting them together. As we aligned shock mounts, heavy glides, and back stand-offs to wooden and metal frames, we discussed memories of my grandparents. Tony and I recalled many college weekends, traveling to Binghamton to share good food and conversation with Grandmom and Granddad in these chairs. We remembered Christmases.
After many hours, with the rust-red leather cleaned and the aged wood oiled, we finally sat down in our comfy new additions.
And, Tony remarked: It would only be fitting that your Granddad's final gift to us would be the ultimate puzzle box.