My wife is a genius. But unlike many geniuses (geniusi?) she has wonderful people skills and most of the time doesn’t lack for common sense. She’s always thinking of new artistic projects, designs and new ways to arrange the house and yard. Me, however, I really don’t care for change in our lives. That’s probably typical of most couples. This dichotomy has caused me to come up with many nicknames for my wife, most of which should probably not be published on a website. But the one that best describes her is “Snowball”.
A snowball grows as it rolls downhill and eventually becomes an avalanche. My wife’s projects usually start small. Then they start to grow eventually to enormous proportions. The first time I noticed this was when we moved in together. I was living in a house with a nice green lawn. I spent a lot of time and money to get the lawn just so. The first spring Snowball moved in she asked if she could take a small corner of the lawn for a garden. I said sure. After all that’s one less place I needed to mow. Within two years we had a fish pond with a twelve-foot running stream fed by an underground circulating pump. The pond was hidden in a grotto at the rear of the yard by a line of bushes. It was so unusual that a local TV station came out to do a story on it. I made sure she was the one they interviewed live on the air. So much for a small garden in a corner of my nicely kept lawn.
The latest avalanche came when she was assigned to a team at the college running a maker space called a FabLab. It’s where students and entrepreneurs, can come to prototype their new products. To get people started with using the FabLab she teaches a class called “How to Make Almost Anything.” It may sound like boasting but believe me when I say she is singularly qualified to teach this class.
To understand how she leaps into things, we had already pulled a perfectly fine pool table out of the basement to make a photography studio including darkroom. So it was no surprise when involvement in this maker space inspired her to put in a maker-style finishing shop complete with Dremal tools and various chemical treatment areas in what was left of the downstairs space. She’s also experimenting with melting bismuth for jewelry (the melted crater in the kitchen floor is there to prove that one ) and threatening to build a backyard foundry to melt recycled aluminum cans. Her daughter’s friends call Snowball the best mom ever!
However annoying, the results of all this domestic uproar has been very positive. Snowball’s interest in creating artwork is not only reignited but the variety of alternative methods used is impressive. She has already started winning awards in the college’s art shows. There is one thing I never argue with and that is success.