Lockdown Lemonade #8- by Judy Nazemetz


Eight months ago, at the beginning of lockdown, I brought home a 1000-piece Diego Rivera puzzle entitled “Detroit Industry.” It was amazing. The colors. The details. I could feel the heat of the fire in the factory. I could hear the grunts of the men working the assembly line.

Mike and I found the corners and completed the border. But, it got harder and, as the weeks wore on, fewer and fewer pieces got added.

We’d laid it on a card table we’d brought in from the garage. Somedays I found five pieces, some days one or none. After a while, neither Mike nor I touched it.

Dust settled on it. I bought a feather duster from the hardware store; it worked great, but, eventually, I just stopped dusting. If I found a piece that fit, I’d blow the dust off and put it in.

I came home one night and found the card table moved to a dark part of the living room. I tried to light it with two little lamps, but it was too dark to tell one color from another.

Today, we decided this was it. Time to give up Diego Rivera. We looked for the feather duster to help us make a clean break, but it was nowhere to be found.

We stood at the table and performed the UNFINISHED PUZZLE RITUAL, laying hands on the puzzle, saying what it’d meant to us. We scraped the pieces into the box and improvised a Sondheim-esque dirge of remembrance. Then, we Dyson-ed off the card table and put it back in the garage.

Instantly, we felt release. And, relief. Sometimes, you just need to let go of things that aren’t working out, even if it’s a Diego Rivera masterpiece.


Judy writes and sings songs, acts, does comedy, drives a KIA Soul, plays moms basketball, has danced and sung live on stage, screen and on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, called Marcia Clark a bitch on The People vs OJ, improvised with Robin Williams and sung for Marty Stuart and Mike Stoller. Her comic personas include Smokey Lady, Miss Morella, Woodstock’s very own Sparrow, and any loudmouth lady in curlers and a housedress. Her scream is part of the NBC Library.

In an attempt to keep us connected as we continue to find our way through these often stressful times, some in our extended community have been sharing their experiences, lessons learned and hope as they’ve dealt with Covid, lockdown, boredom, lack of inspiration, etc. We are all looking for ways to make lemonade out of the many lemons! This column will continue on a weekly basis and postings will be released at 10 AM Pacific every Monday, so watch for them! For guidelines and submission details, please contact Julie Zipperer at juliez@far-west.org or Marlynn Block at marlynn@far-west.org. Submissions will be posted based on approval from the Lockdown Lemonade Committee.

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