Tree Slab and Stone Bench + Other Improvs at Camp

Some time ago, I spent a week at Omega Institute, a non-profit educational retreat center located in Rhinebeck, New York. It’s kind of like a summer camp for adults who want to retreat, take workshops, be in nature, mull over where they are in their lives. Since Omega was originally a summer camp for kids so it’s got that kind of feel. I

Walking the woods one day, I came across a bench someone had made out of a tree slab, stump and some some flat rocks. It allowed whomever came upon it to sit across from a huge anceint tree, or lie down under it, looking up at the branches. Beautiful. Like all improvisations it arose out of a desire or a need, and was made with what was at hand. I, too, found myself improvising in desperationat the badly designed shower head in my cabin (which, other than that, was very comfortable and quiet). The water-conserving shower had had a wide weak spray that gave little pleasure or efficiency shower-wise AND wet the entire bathroom, since the shower curtain was a few inches too short. What to do? Analyzing the situation, I realized that all would be well if the stream from the shower could just be made narrower and more focused. The shower head was screwed on too tightly to remove without a wrench. So I took a Handi-wipe I found tucked in the pocket of my suitcase from a previous trip. I tied it around the showerhead to narrow the stream.

Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider

…And voila: problem solved (though not terribly elegantly).

Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider

For all its weakness in shower heads, Omega Institute is a fine place to take stock. It was there that a free-flow of ideas poured onto a big pad of paper, showing me Improvised Life’s next steps: Friends with Benefits, and the soon-to-launch store and Fortune Cookies.  They’ve taken well over a year and a half to make happen, but step by step, they are…

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