It was sunny this morning when we left home for the beach. A short bike ride and a walk through the dunes later, however, the sky looked much more foreboding. We got a swim in and a walk to the end of the jetty before the sky opened up and the rain started.

Since we were already wet from swimming we weren’t too concerned about ourselves, but we did bring lunch and eating in the rain didn’t sound too fun. I originally spread a towel from one rock to the other, but Catherine had other ideas.

She dragged over pieces of driftwood and set them on top, making a wider framework to hold up the towel. She later added a perpendicular piece to the back for a second towel to block the rain and ‘more room’.

I think she spent more time building the shelter than we actually needed to use it. I loved her quick thinking and creativity and her perseverance through the trial and error phase. We left it up even after the rain stopped and I sat in its shade for a long time. I’m so thankful for the rain as it sparked her creativity and gave her a great reason to build something useful.

The whole process made me think about Island of the Blue Dolphins. I didn’t remember until today that it had been based on a true story, but I remembered loving Karana’s will to survive and her self sufficiency. We’ll probably look for it at the library soon, I think Catherine will identify with her unique ways of solving problems and creating useful things.

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