It seems everything I am doing is coming up just a little short.

You know, I have been working on my New Hampshire puzzle...honestly, by now you're probably a little sick of hearing about it. I can't blame you at all.

Well, the last three nights I have been determined to get the darned thing done. One thousand pieces is an awful lot. Since I started my puzzle a week ago, my friend Lisa texted me a picture of her 1,000-piece Wonder Woman puzzle that she also got for Christmas, looking perfect and complete. My friend Alex completed his Doggy Puzzle, no problem at all. Meanwhile, I keep forging along trying my best to not be envious of their great accomplishments.

The second night in, Meredith decided to jump on board to help me. We worked until 12:30 a.m. and we did put a big dent in it. 

On the third day, Meredith and her boyfriend Matt decided to give me a hand too. It really does get addictive. You think you will just do a couple of pieces and then walk away, but then all of a sudden you can't. Meredith and I decided having a glass of wine while working made it even more interesting.

Well, you have to picture what just happened, it is 10:55 p.m. and Mere's glass was at the edge of the puzzle on our coffee table. Matt was lying on the floor scouring through pieces that were in a box on the floor.

Somehow Meredith swiped her arm just the right way and knocked her glass of wine into the air. The glass went up and fell onto the carpet, but somehow and I'm not sure how, all the wine went up into a fountain pattern, missed my puzzle, flew over it completely, but landed like rain all over poor Matt's backside. Meredith and I just watched in shock.

We started to laugh and couldn't stop. Matt didn't think it was that funny.

Rather quickly we pulled it together and continued on with our job of finally completing the puzzle.

Finally were down to six pieces, five, four...everything was clicking into place.

Suddenly we realized there were no more pieces left. No!

Matt started scurrying around the floor saying they had to be here somewhere. Almost as though he was diving for treasure in the ocean, he found one piece. Meredith and I sighed in relief and Matt placed it in the puzzle. Now two were missing, more crawling around. He found another.

I still cannot believe, as I am typing to you now, we have placed 999 puzzle pieces together perfectly but one piece is still missing.

I forgot to tell you that during the week I had all the colors separated in little custard cups on the floor in our family room. First, Meredith stepped on them by mistake and then God bless Bart, he did the same thing. Puzzle pieces were tossed about each time but I really thought we found them all.

I also hate to think about this part. For whatever reason Johnny got the urge to vacuum a couple days earlier around the room where I first started the puzzle and then in the family room where it ended up.

Long story short, I can't believe I am missing one puzzle piece. It's a bright orange piece at that. Well, as with all my stories, there is usually just a little more to each story we don't always know.

Remember last week I told you my neighbor Sara had surprised me with my new puzzle I had been searching for at Christmas. She had read it in my story, too.

Well, what I hadn't told anyone was that I bought myself a very special present for Christmas this year. Can you guess what it was?

I bought myself my own puzzle before Christmas, something just for me and I wrapped it up and put it under the tree.

Poor Matt just could not let it go that we were short one puzzle piece.

God bless him, he checked each section of carpet and looked under anything he could find.

Finally, I had to come clean and I said no worries, I had another puzzle. We could just open it up and hunt for that one orange piece. I think something about it just didn't seem right to him, but we all agreed we would let it go for tonight and then open the new box tomorrow!

Maybe it was just the principle.

Sherry Farrell is Londonderry town clerk and a lifelong resident of New Hampshire.

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