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June 2021

Q&A with Darrell Davis Edmond Mayor talks infrastructure, economic generators and revitalization

Dream Team of Arcadia Lake Yanet’s Citizenship Journey Puzzling Through the Pandemic


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For me, Father’s Day is a time to reflect on the men that raised me and helped shape who I am today. There were 3, I’ll go in order of appearance. First there was Winfield, my adopted dad. My mom and Winfield adopted me as an infant. Winfield loved music and was a very talented musician. He worked as a law clerk during the day and did what he loved, play music, in the evenings and weekends. The marriage didn’t last, and they divorced when I was very young. My memories of him are mostly weekend visits. He taught me how to throw a frisbee, how to box, how to hit a baseball. We’d read comics, build models and hike nature trails. The second father to enter my life was Horst. He married my mom when I was in first grade. He immigrated from Germany when he was 16 and had a thick german accent. Horst was a brilliant engineer that could fix most anything. And he was a wonderful provider. Growing up, I would say we didn’t have the closest relationship, but in my adulthood, we grew closer. The next father was my biological father. I had always felt like something was missing in my life. In my late twenties, I made the decision to search for and connect with Denny, my birth father. Spending time with someone who was genetically linked to me fulfilled some part of me. Denny was a successful lawyer with his own firm in Ohio. We met several times over the years, and he eventually introduced me to his family. They are all gone now, but I’m grateful for each of my fathers who helped me become the man I am today. Winfield gave me the gift of play. Horst taught me perseverance, and Denny connected me to my heritage. On this Father’s Day, Alison and I will visit her dad. He’s like my bonus dad, a wonderful father to Alison and a touchstone for my memories. Dave Miller Publisher & Back40 Design President

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Features 10

Local Eats: Health Nut Cafe

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Dream Team of Arcadia Lake

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Yanet’s Citizenship Journey

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Mayor Davis Q&A

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Puzzling Through the Pandemic

Business 22

Miller Private Wealth

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Action Roofing & Windows

Columns 8

Ask Edmond

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Louise Tucker Jones

Advertorials 16

Nelson Landscaping

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JMR Realty

Cover Photography by Marshall Hawkins

ADVERTISING l 405-301-3926 l sales@edmondoutlook.com MAILED MONTHLY TO 50,000 HOMES IN THE EDMOND AREA 1024 W Covell, Edmond, OK 73003 l 405-341-5599 l edmondoutlook.com l info@edmondoutlook.com June 2021 Volume 17, Number 6

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Edmond Outlook is a publication of Back40 Design, Inc.

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© 2021 Back40 Design, Inc.

PUBLISHER Dave Miller l EDITOR Jennay Wangen l ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Angie Clemens Byers l GRAPHIC DESIGN Adrian Townsend, Anne Richardson PHOTOGRAPHY Marshall Hawkins www.sundancephotographyokc.com l DISTRIBUTION Edmond Outlook is delivered FREE by direct-mail to 50,000 Edmond area homes. Articles and advertisements in the Outlook do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Back40 Design. Back40 Design does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. The acceptance of advertising by the Outlook does not constitute endorsement of the products, services or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service that is fraudulent or misleading in nature. The Outlook assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials.


LOCALLOOK

Ask Edmond

Why is your dad the best dad?

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Joseph Dad: Andrew Jech

Landri Dad: Cole Bowen

Sonoma Dad: Craig Gutierrez

“My Dad is the best, because I love him and he gives me snacks.”

“He is silly and fun. He has a good voice and he coaches my basketball and t-ball team. I like to watch Star Wars with him and play legos with him.”

“Because daddy loves me and daddy plays with me and takes me camping and takes me to school. And he gives me candy and snacks.”

Vonn and Sloan Dad: Tyler Meier

Corrie Dad: David Nichols

Abram Dad: Kenny Reinbold

“Our dad is the best dad ever! He makes us pancakes and eggs for breakfast. We go on bike rides but sometimes, we have to tell him to slow down! He takes us fishing and he likes to take naps. He gives us hugs and kisses and takes us to school. Our hearts love our daddy!”

“My daddy is the best because he rides bikes with me. He holds me while I watch my shows and he sings to me at night. His name is David and he works downtown.”

“Don’t know. Because he plays with me.”

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FOODLOOK FEATURELOOK

By Maggie Murdock Nichols

Health Nut Cafe: Easy to Eat Healthy Health Nut Cafe delivers on the promise of making it easy to eat healthy. Edmond called for nutritious and convenient options, and Health Nut answered with made-to-order wraps, salads, sandwiches, quinoa bowls, smoothies, breakfast and coffee. The pandemic gave a taste of the convenience of take out, and the demand is not letting up. Health Nut Cafe has a drive through and offers user friendly online ordering, convenient and compostable take out packaging, and a free rewards program that frequently treats members to discounts. With ample seating, Health Nut is the ideal choice for a meal with family or a meeting with friends. Health Conscious In the 13 years since Health Nut Cafe was founded, the brand has undergone changes but remains rooted in values that prioritize health and family. Amir Alavi opened the first Health Nut Cafe when his wife Cindy received a health diagnosis that caused the family to evaluate their lifestyle, particularly their food choices. He wanted to make healthy food approachable, affordable and easily accessible. The first location has now grown to five additional locations. The newest Health Nut Cafe is located on Santa Fe, just north of Danforth. This location has been opened in partnership with Cody and Leila Pepper, another health conscious Edmond family who has brought a new perspective and efficiencies to the already thriving Health Nut Cafe brand. Simply Nutritious and Delicious Keeping it simple, Health Nut follows a three step ordering system. First, choose what goes inside with flavorful options like Wild Alaskan Salmon, Spicy Black Bean Burger, Pecan 10

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Chicken, Greek, Quesadilla and more. Next, choose the outside, either a salad, quinoa bowl, wrap, melt or sandwich. Finally pick what goes on the side. You can’t go wrong with chips and salsa, hemp heart queso, quinoa tabouli, pasta salad or fresh cut fruit and veggies. Everyone in the family will be pleased with nutritious and affordable options for kids like the Hummus Feast, Wrap, Quesadilla and Sandwich. Each kid’s meal is served with fruit and veggies. Eaters of all varieties will be pleased with gluten free, dairy free, vegan or vegetarian options. For those in need of a boost, Health Nut serves locally roasted coffee and offers a variety of plant based milks and house made syrups. Smoothies are blended with fresh fruit and feature booster options like whey or plant protein, matcha, hemp hearts, collagen and turmeric. Health Nut’s breakfast menu can’t be beat. The Greek Yogurt Parfait, Garden Breakfast Melt, Breakfast Sandwich and Wraps are available all day. Healthy Options, Easy Access Health Nut Cafe has select, premade offerings available for purchase in Downtown Edmond. Urban Agrarian customers can grab a meal to eat right away and another to save for later. Health Amir Alavi, owner Nut Cafe has a thriving catering business. The team will happily accommodate dietary preferences and food allergies. They’re committed to ensuring orders are accurate, on time and within budget. The team at Health Nut Cafe asks, “What’s keeping you from eating healthy?”, listens to feedback, and finds solutions. What’s keeping you from eating at Health Nut Cafe? Visit them today at 1501 N. Santa Fe, and find them online at www.healthnutcafe.net.


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FEATURELOOK

By Amy Dee Stephens

Dream Team of Arcadia Lake Arcadia Lake is relatively young, having been constructed just 34 years ago, extending the Deep Fork River and supplying water to Edmond. During Covid, many local citizens rediscovered Arcadia Lake for its recreational activities, but feedback has made it clear that Arcadia needs a facelift. “When I was campaigning for City Council two years ago,” said City Councilman Josh Moore, “I was hearing a common theme that people would like to see the lake updated to the ‘Edmond Standard.’ There’s a lot of opportunity we can tap into at Arcadia.” Moore, whose family often bikes and fishes at Arcadia, was instrumental in spearheading a series of facilitated ‘dreaming sessions’ to address the desires of citizens. “And 99% of this process is including stakeholders for every activity that exists at Arcadia and bringing them all together into the same discussion room,” Moore said. Recreation Represented Each major recreation at the park is represented, including camping, horseback riding, boating, biking, hunting, fishing and even bird watching. Additionally, city leaders, park employees, wildlife representatives, lodging experts, members of the UCO Boathouse, plus any interested members of the public, are involved in the process. They call themselves the Dream Team. “Our goal is to envision the future of Arcadia from all perspectives,” said Jennifer Seaton, director of Visit Edmond. “It’s been inspirational to see the lake from each group’s point of view. Ultimately, they all want whatever is best for Edmond. Even if they are passionate about their own piece, they’ve still come to the table in the spirit of collaboration.” On May 7, the Dream Team’s third meeting was held at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife building at Arcadia. 12

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Individuals were asked to report which of their brainstorm ideas best resonated with colleagues and friends. Across the board, there is consensus that camping and RV sites need upgrading. Other broad discussion points covered topics such as creating child-friendly fishing areas, how to best accommodate equestrian campers, and whether cabins or a lodge might draw audiences. Priority projects began to emerge. Quality of Life Projects “I think this task force has been pleased by how many of their ideas are already being done at the lake. We obviously need to promote those activities more effectively,” said Craig Dishman, director of Edmond Parks and Recreation. “We are fortunate that Edmond can spend money for quality-of-life projects, such as the recent Edmond Center Court Tennis facility, Mitch Park and the splash pad.” “Of course, we want to improve everything at Arcadia, but we have to move forward with projects in the most appropriate order,” Moore said. “My goal as council member is to finish this visioning process, and then propose a master planning phase to the City Council.” At each Dream Team meeting, attendees find themselves trying to compare aspects of Arcadia Lake to similar sites— only to find that Arcadia’s location in relation to a large city and its many recreational opportunities are unlike any other lake in Oklahoma. “Where else can you go literally two minutes outside of town to see bald eagles, go horseback riding, go mountain biking or go camping?” Moore asked. “That really justifies why we should invest in Arcadia Lake further, to make it better for local recreation and attract more visitors. In a way, we have our own, unique, urban state park.”


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FEATURELOOK

Yanet’s Citizenship Journey By Amy Dee Stephens

In April, an Edmond video went viral. School children making tentative celebration plans. But Yanet was worried. “I were cheering for their cafeteria manager for gaining wasn’t sure I could pass the test. My English, it’s not so good, citizenship. Yanet Lopez was surprised and tearful as she but we studied hard. My son tells me every day, ‘Mom, work walked through the Prairie Vale Elementary hallways, on your verbs.’” Yanet laughed. “I took classes and watched lined with 250 students waving American flags and giving videos. I loved learning about American history. The history her hugs. here is amazing.” “Everybody was clapping and chanting U.S.A.,” Yanet said. The day after the test, Yanet told Anderson that she’d “They made me feel so good.” done great, and she had passed. “So, I got some other The principal, Michelle Anderson, said, “We posted the staff to distract her while I made a schoolwide intercom video, and things went crazy. All the major news stations announcement, and within two minutes, the students were in called. I thought I’d have to quit my job and become her press the halls celebrating,” Anderson said. agent!” “And that’s when my principal--my friend When Yanet was 14, she knew she Michelle-- she gave me my first American “We did it. We are fine wanted to come to America. Out of fear, flag,” Yanet said. “That means so much to her parents never criticized the Cuban now. We are citizens. I feel me. I hold it to my heart. It is on a special government in front of their daughter, shelf in my house.” like part of this country but one of Yanet’s friends was more Afterward, Anderson reached out to see now. And the whole forthcoming about communism. Yanet if the school could host the naturalization decided, “I don’t want to live in this ceremony for Yanet. Nine days later, country knows it!” country. There’s no freedom. I need to go Yanet’s husband and sons and eight other to the United States and be free.” people were also sworn in at Prairie Vale. As an adult, Yanet moved to Mexico, but eight years later, The presiding officer wrote a letter to the school, stating violence forced her further north. She and her husband, how “incredibly touched” she was to see the new citizens three children, and her mother became refugees, requesting celebrating together, talking like old friends. Yanet’s husband asylum at the U.S. border in 2015. The Lopezes became expressed his gratitude to the school for “loving his wife so legal residents, with her husband continuing his career as a much.” mechanical engineer, and Yanet and her mother becoming Yanet’s enthusiasm for her new status as an American cafeteria workers at Prairie Vale in Deer Creek. citizen is infectious. “I love the expression, ‘I have a dream,’ “I’m really happy working here. My mom and I feel happy from Dr. Martin Luther King. For my family, I had a dream,” every day because the students smile and tell us that our Yanet said, smiling happily. “We did it. We are fine now. We food is amazing!” Yanet said. are citizens. I feel like part of this country now. And the whole “Yanet makes our day every day,” said Anderson. “She country knows it!” walks through the office every morning and says, ‘Hello, Search “Yanet Lopez Edmond” on YouTube to view national pretty ladies!’” news coverage. When Yanet asked for a few hours off to take the citizenship test with her family, Anderson was excited for her and began 14

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FEATURELOOK

Mayor Davis Q&A Mayor Darrell Davis, the first black mayor in Edmond history, is no stranger to Edmond management. With 9 years of experience on the city council, he is already knowledgeable about the topics that citizens care about. Many of the improvements that are now coming to fruition are, in fact, initiatives that he began working on years ago. Mayor Davis shares his vision for the city now that he is in his new role: Q: What do you see as our city’s biggest challenges? Let me address two challenges the city is currently facing. One, how do we continue to attract business opportunities for companies and families to move here? A majority of people move to Edmond for our schools, safe community, and the overall hometown feel. Two, how do we capitalize off the economic generators of I-35 and Route 66? This action will help sustain our sales tax base that goes into our general fund. Edmond is becoming a destination location for Art, Music and Entertainment. Q: What do you foresee being the impact of the city’s growth east of I-35? We have an opportunity to strategically plan the growth east of I-35 and the overall impact to the city and surrounding communities. The creation of the East Edmond 2050 Plan is being developed to address our future needs. We can address the challenges before they become a reality. As we expand the city, we must communicate the need for balanced growth that is financially sustainable. Q: You served on the Parks Board for 15 years, it must be a topic that is important to you. What is the state of Edmond parks? I still have a passion for our parks and trails throughout Edmond. It is great to hear citizens who have visited our community and enjoy the mobility enhancements that we are starting to put into place. We are evaluating our park system to determine where refurbishments need to take place and plan accordingly. As we continue to grow, we need to plan for our next regional park.

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Q: How do you plan to address Edmond’s growing transportation problems? Edmond’s growing transportation needs are under constant evaluation to create viable solutions. Currently we are working with ODOT on improving traffic on the I-35 service roads. We’re looking at solutions for I-35 exits at Covell and Danforth to minimize traffic backing up on the highway. Major road enhancements are coming to Danforth & Kelly and 2nd & Bryant to name a few. I ask the citizens to be patient as there are road improvements being accomplished throughout the city. Q: Are there any revitalization projects or other projects that you’d like to talk about? I love how we are revitalizing downtown Edmond and the surrounding area. With the quiet zone being in place and infrastructure improvements, we are seeing an increase in residential and commercial activity. Our downtown is becoming a destination location with the increase in food, entertainment and art opportunities. I look forward as more opportunities become available for people to eat, work, and play in Edmond. Q: What are your goals for the upcoming year? Ultimately, my goal is that I continue to give of myself to help our community become an even better and a safer community in which families can live, work and play. I am humbly honored to serve this community. I will be working on the following initiatives: • Improving our fundamental core services, including streets, infrastructure, expanded transit opportunities, police and fire protection • Supporting and partnering with Edmond Public Schools • Enhancing quality of life opportunities Q: What are some of your long-term dreams and visions for Edmond’s future? Our partnerships with our public schools and YMCA have been greatly beneficial to our community. I would like to look for other potential partnerships in the future. Additionally, let us keep our strategic planning and development momentum going in a positive direction.


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BIZLOOK

Miller Private Wealth By Maria Veres Getting started with investments can feel intimidating. But with the right guidance, it doesn’t have to be. At Miller Private Wealth, Tracy Ann Miller helps clients from all walks of life gain control of their financial future. Growing Wealth Tracy knows firsthand how investments can transform a person’s life. “I grew up poor,” she says, “and I knew I needed to work hard so I wouldn’t stay in the same situation.” After graduating from the University of Oklahoma, she established herself in the corporate world but found it wasn’t enough. “I didn’t feel like I was making a difference,” she says. “Then I met

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someone who taught me about investing. It was foreign, scary, and uncertain, but when I came to understand, I became a convert.” Having achieved financial success herself, Tracy has devoted her career to helping others do the same. Many clients have worked with her for more than twenty years. Client Centered Services Tracy opened Miller Private Wealth in 2019. “I wanted a company that reflected my values and experience,” she says. “We’re on the same side of the table as the client because we’re fee based.” Miller Private Wealth works with anyone who wants investment guidance. “Making money isn’t a game,” she says. “It’s important to respect the process and get help from someone you can trust.” As CEO, Tracy leads a team of advisors who share her philosophy of clientcentered wealth management. The team

Tracy Ann Miller, owner

approach means the company has a broad knowledge base to address many different client needs. “I encourage everyone to save, but investing takes you to a whole new level,” says Tracy. “It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor. Anyone can do this.” Miller Private Wealth is located at 5708 NW 135th Street, Suite B, Oklahoma City, and online at www.millerprivatewealthllc.com.


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BIZLOOK

Action Roofing and Windows By Maria Veres It’s easy to take the roof over your head for granted—until it starts to leak. Will Acton has covered Oklahomans since 1989, building top-quality roofs that stand up to brutal weather. High Quality Without High Prices Will and his team buy many materials wholesale to save customers money, but fair pricing doesn’t mean low quality. Action Roofing uses durable California Valley shingles. If the cost exceeds the insurance maximum, the company makes up the difference. Most repairs cost insured homeowners nothing out of pocket.

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Will learned roofing from a 70-yearold master craftsman. “I still make roofs exactly like he told me,” says Will. “Every job is different, and every job has to be thorough, or quality goes down.” He honed his strong work ethic growing up on a farm, and he still lives on a farm today. Comprehensive Home Repair Services When a roof is damaged, there’s often other damage as well. Action Roofing can help homeowners fix whatever needs to be fixed, with access to trusted contractors for everything from siding repair to painting. They also install highquality Don Young windows. Customers appreciate working with a company that take care of all the repairs and handles the troublesome insurance paperwork, too. Will also owns a second business, Action Carpet Cleaning and Restoration, which he founded to help customers with carpet

damage from roof leaks. Customers who use both companies receive discounts, including a year of free carpet cleaning with a new roof. “In this type of work, we’re seeing people who are going through a stressful time,” says Will. “We’re here to reassure them, get the job done right, and put a smile back on their face.” Contact Action Roofing and Windows at 405-886-4556 or go to www.actionroofingandwindow.com. Contact Action Carpet Cleaning and Restoration at 405-886-4556 or www.actionccr.com.


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ALOOKBACK

Looking For Butterflies By Louise Tucker Jones I love a good story, especially when it involves 5-year-olds. My son, Aaron, is a school administrator and also bears the title of Director of Arts Integration. Though I won’t try to explain that, it’s the reason he happened to be with a group of kindergarteners who had been studying the life cycle of butterflies. And what better place to teach a child about butterflies than the renowned Compton Gardens of Bentonville, Arkansas? Aaron was pointing out a chrysalis on a leaf to the kids when a butterfly suddenly caught their attention. Of course, Aaron asked if they could name the butterfly. The group went quiet, then one little girl spoke up and said, “I think we should name it Alissa.”

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Wow! Not the answer he expected but it started an avalanche of replies. “I’ll name it Kevin,” said one little boy, then another asked, “How about Bob?” The kids all chimed in until Aaron explained he was asking for the type of butterfly. “Have you heard of a Monarch Butterfly?” The same little girl offered a comment, “It can be Miss Monarch Alissa.” And so the afternoon went. When they were ready to leave, Aaron complimented the children and paid special attention to a little boy wearing a Spider-Man jacket complete with a hood along with his miniature mask. Aaron told him how glad he was to have a superhero like Spider-Man along to help keep everyone safe. As they were leaving the gardens, little Spider-Man caught hold of Aaron’s hand and looked up with teary eyes. “Mr. Jones, I’m not really Spider-Man! I didn’t want you to think I lied to you.” Oh, what a moment! The heart of my own son broke as he knelt to comfort the young pupil.

Knowing Aaron as I do, I imagine there were two teary-eyed people at that garden. You see, my son, the teacher, was also once a 5-year-old superhero. And that’s why I can easily imagine that little kindergarten Spider-Man bursting through the door of his home after school and shouting, “Mom, the teacher thought I was the real Spider-Man!” Now that’s a story! ABOUT THE AUTHOR Louise Tucker Jones is an award-winning author, inspirational speaker & founder of Wives With Heavenly Husbands, a support group for widows. LouiseTJ@cox.net or LouiseTuckerJones.com.


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FEATURELOOK

By Amy Dee Stephens

Puzzling Through the Pandemic

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Before Cherrylnn Goodman retired, putting together jigsaw puzzles was an occasional activity; something to do in the winter. When the pandemic started, however, and Cherrylnn was confined to home, puzzles took on new meaning. It became her main source of entertainment-keeping her up late at night and drawing her back to the table early in the morning. She just completed her 183rd puzzle! “Puzzles mesmerize me,” Cherrylnn said, “because they come to life as each piece is fitted to an adjoining piece. If I have one that stumps me, I put it under the bed awhile, and come back to it after a break.”

cookie jars line display shelves and the tops of her kitchen cabinets. Her collection began in the 1990s after she inherited a Mickey and Minnie Mouse turn-around cookie jar from Dalfred’s grandmother. “Cookie jars are so fun and colorful, and I love to make cookies, so it’s a collection that fits my personality,” Cherrylnn said. “I believe that dessert is the most important part of every meal.” Each Christmas, Cherrylnn invites her four grandkids over to make and decorate her Oklahoma Sugar Cookie recipe. Her grandson once told Cherrylnn that he used to stare up at the row of cookie jars wondering how he could get to them. In his mind, they were all filled with cookies.

1,000 Pieces or More Cherrylnn, who prefers 1,000 pieces or more, is willing to tackle challenging images. One that stands out was an image of multiple, red fire engines. She also enjoys mystery puzzles, in which she doesn’t know what the finished design will be. “Mystery puzzles include clue booklets, so once the puzzle is finished, you still have to figure out the solution.” Once Cherrylnn finishes her puzzles, she can’t bear to take them apart--so she saves them. All of them! Her husband, Dalfred helps her mount each one to white foam board or a large piece of cardboard using spray adhesive. “I don’t remember why we started doing that, except that we don’t have enough wall space to display them all,” Dalfred said. Most of them are stacked up against each other on the floor of her extra bedroom. Puzzles, however, are still less space-consuming than her other long-time hobby of collecting cookie jars. Hundreds of

Conversation Starter The wintertime is also when Cherrylnn puts puzzles out as holiday conversation starters. “I’ve always laid a puzzle on the dining room table, and the kids put a few pieces together when they want to. I’ve found it’s a good way to gather around the table and talk,” Cherrylnn said. After spending hours on a puzzle, each one is like an old friend. Cherrylnn enjoys pointing out the fine details, like a tiny mouse hidden in the picture or a section that was particularly tricky. Each one has its own story: why she picked it, how hard or easy it was to assemble, or what was going on in her life while she was working on it. Even though the pandemic is winding down, Cherrylnn thinks she will continue puzzling, and she has a stack of unopened boxes waiting to be next. “Puzzles intrigue me, and they keep my mind busy,” Cherrylnn said. “I‘m always eager for the next one. I haven’t let one stump me yet!”

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