How Things Work

The Meetings:
Meetings are always at the Winona Grange Hall in Tualatin.  Which day we meet varies from month to month. See the When and Where page for all the details. We have arranged for a rotation of days that we hope will work the best for the most people.  We will need to be flexible enough as a group to re-schedule our meeting occasionally if the Grange needs one of our dates for a more important event. You can always check the website to find out when the next meeting is scheduled.

What Are the Meetings Like:
We are very informal.  And while puzzles are obviously the thing that brought us all together, we have a grand time visiting with our friends, old and new alike. We don’t work puzzles at the meetings; we just swap puzzles.

How Does Trading Work:
At least for now, we have a straightforward approach.  Hopefully it can stay that way, even as we get larger.  Right now, everyone brings their puzzles in, they all get set out, everyone browses through them, finds the ones that look interesting to them, and everyone goes home with a different set of puzzles than they arrived with.  We also aren’t very concerned with who brought how many and who takes how many.  They all circulate from month to month, and the main key is that everyone finds something new and interesting every month.  We’ve been doing this for about 10 years now, so we may have to grow and adapt as the group gets bigger.  We are improvising as we go.

Preventing Escapees:
We found that the more we move puzzles around, coming to and from meetings, the more pieces we seem to have escaping from their boxes.  The solution we all agreed upon is to use zip lock baggies. When you are ready to put the puzzle back in the box, put the pieces into a zip lock bag first, then in the box.  The gallon size easily holds the pieces for most puzzles, and the investment of about a dime per puzzle significantly increases the life of a puzzle.

Missing Pieces? Most people don’t like to work puzzles with missing pieces, and we already have soooo many puzzles to store, that we have decided to ask that if you work a puzzle and discover that it has missing pieces, to please recycle it. Thanks! We used to maintain an Orphanage for found pieces, but it had very limited success in re-uniting pieces with their puzzles, so we abandoned it.

Puzzle Tracking Sheets:
We have developed a puzzle history sheet that we include in the box with each puzzle.  As each person completes a given puzzle, they can date it, give the state of the puzzle (intact, missing pieces, etc.) and add any comments they want to share about that puzzle. It’s Puzzle Feedback, and is appreciated by many of us.

Donations:
Times have changed. With our Founder’s passing came twin realities: One, that if we want to avoid hauling all the puzzles back and forth to a meeting each month, we need to meet someplace that will also store them all, and Two: it will cost us something to use a facility suitable for our group meetings.  The Grange Hall in Tualatin costs $50 per month. Currently, we ask for a $20 annual donation per household, to cover the meeting rental & storage, and the miscellaneous supplies. Some may find the added expense more of a burden than others, and may opt to contribute a little each time they attend a meeting. As we aren’t the Puzzle Police, we don’t intend to keep meticulous records on who gives how much and when, only whether we have enough to pay the rent. We’ll use the honor system; whatever you want to contribute, we will honor. 30 contributors of $20 each, per year, will cover our rental & storage costs at the Grange Hall. Any extra funds will go toward the supplies we use, and perhaps a newer puzzle or two from time to time. The Donation Can will be out at the meetings.

How many puzzles do we have? We’ve never attempted to count them. We have enough to cover 4 or 5 large tables with puzzles stacked 2 deep, and still have the other 2/3rds or 3/4ths of the puzzles in storage. We rotate the puzzles we bring out each month.

The Email List:
We maintain an “anonymous” email distribution list for sending out meeting reminders and group up-dates. There are currently over 80 of us on the list, and we have decided to use an “Undisclosed Recipients” mode of messaging in order to further protect your privacy. We don’t share or disclose our email list with anyone else, as we value your privacy as highly as we do our own.