I finally finished the puzzle I began a few weeks ago. I lost only four pieces out of 1000, which is a miracle considering the thing has been sitting on the kitchen table all this time. I have thrown groceries on it, rolled pie crust on it, prepared meals, folded laundry, and generally treated the table as I would if the puzzle weren't there. It's possible I will find the missing pieces on the floor, though I doubt it. The dogs probably chewed them up.
I'm letting the puzzle live overnight, and then will pull it apart and put it all back in its box. I ought to throw it away, since there are missing pieces, but I probably won't. It's hard to part with something you've spent so much time with, even though it has outlived its usefulness.
I have quite a few more puzzles that I bought at a second-hand store. Second hand ones are always an adventure because there are bound to be pieces missing. You never know if you can't find the piece or it just isn't there. It ads another element to the challenge, and sends one's mind struggling after metaphors for the process of living.
I don't hink I want to do another one right away, although I may feel lost without something to do while I wait for the coffee to drip, or my bread to toast..........