It’s the first rainy day in a long while, and all I’d like to do is curl up next to my grandpa and put together a jigsaw puzzle.

When I was little, I was only allowed to stay up really late if we were in the middle of a big puzzle. I remember sitting at the dining table at 3 a.m. with Pa, both intent on completing the puzzle, both content with the comfortable silence between us. I was probably only 6 or 7 years old, but I cherished those rare evenings. I felt so special that we had this time together, and it made me feel so grown up.

Pa and I always had a few activities that were uniquely our own. He would read the newspaper to me before I enrolled in preschool, and although I didn’t understand much, I thought he was telling a story so I always tried very hard to comprehend. He stopped reading the newspaper to me when I started to read voraciously on my own.

He also used to help me out with my math homework. When I started kindergarten, I struggled in very basic math. Something just wouldn’t click in the classroom but Pa had more patience with me than my teacher or anyone else in my family. Thanks to him I fought my way through AP Calculus.

Out of everything we did together, puzzles became my favorite activity though. For Pa and I, it was a tranquil pastime in direct contrast to the hustle and bustle of the daytime games I played with my brother and cousin.

Something about the shift in the weather brought this all back to the forefront of my memory. I should probably call Pa this week.

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