Inspired by Ingenuity

On my way home from work last night, I saw the kids in my neighborhood sledding down the hills in our valley. They were having the kind of fun in the snow that I thought only happened on covers of the Saturday Evening Post. After 7 years in this house, I still marvel at these things. A few minutes later, I was home, but still sitting in my car. I needed a moment to reflect back upon my own childhood in the snow before going in to start dinner...

We had quite an elaborate alleyway back home. It wasn't just one long strip behind the houses, but rather a more complicated system with multiple entrances and exits. All the blocks in the neighborhood were designed using this system. The alleyway exit that was closest to my house was quite steep (and very easy to bottom-out a big 70's sedan... learned that the hard way). For whatever reason, the houses were built much higher than the street on that side of the block. Ahhh, but when snow-covered, that steep exit was a great place to sled.

It was intimidating, standing at the top of the slope with your sled. All that concrete in front of you. And when you went down... you went like lightening. Inevitably, someone wiped out and got hurt, but we pressed on! You could never do this escapade by yourself because you needed at least one or two people to watch for (the pain in the butt) cars. My generation was not the first to sled down that alley, and I'm willing to bet that there are some little city mice still doing it. But, someone did it first. One snowy day, probably around 1910, some little person was inspired to slide down that hill.

And that is my favorite sort of inspiration. When you do better than "make do" with what you have in front of you. Lately, I am inspired by Alex who can take a rind from a chunk or parmesan cheese and corn meal and make a amazing polenta, Natalie Merchant who recently took children's poetry and made a hauntingly beautiful album called Leave Your Sleep, and Laura Ingalls Wilder who chronicled her life so profoundly in the Little House series. I am inspired by those who make, make and make. Luckily, that well never runs dry.

Speaking of making... here is a picture of the finished superhero guys waiting for their new little boys to discover them last Monday morning (St. Nicholas Day). Needless to say, I was so grateful that they were received with squeals of joy. This mommy was in a sewing frenzy all weekend!


Finn's loot.


Talk to you soon everyone!



  1. The dolls turned out great, Cassandra! You win Mommy of the year award!

  2. The mommy of the year got it done down to the wire! :)