Recently, after a bit of a snowfall, we had a great time building a child-sized quinzhee (quincy?) - a snow house that is not an igloo but is a large mound of snow packed down and that is tunneled out to form a cozy shelter. While this was a fun project, the cold weather and snow didn't last and by the next day our quinzhee was shrinking considerably so it could no longer house a small person. By day three it was only knee sized. Disappointing for a 3 year old (and me) who had put in hours of work piling up the snow.
However, it only took a few minutes for our little one to brighten up with a new plan. "Let's play bake oven - this can be my outdoor kitchen" - meaning her miniature shrunken quinzhee was now an ideal child version of our outdoor wood-fired cob oven. She formed snow loaves of bread, lined them up on old boards to "rise", gathered small sticks to make a "fire" in the oven, and then "baked" the snow bread to perfection. Little round log bits were potatoes, baked alongside. Then she set up her "CSA stand" with a handlettered sign saying "fresh bread", and sold her snow loaves to all of us happy customers! Mmm, delicious. This is just another example of the endless lessons our kids can teach us about seeing the opportunity in every moment, even if it takes us in unexpected diretions, if we keep our minds and creative hearts open.