Boredom Might Be the True Mother of Invention

I once was asked if I could invent something what it would be. I gave it some thought and then realized I may have actually already invented something even though someone else was wise enough to patent and market it—I was, after all, only nine years old.

I grew up on an island; Okinawa, Japan, from age four. The island was a vast playground for my imagination. The kids I played with joined me and my older sister in many mischiefs which none of our parents knew of. We climbed the rocky terrain that formed the cliffs near our home. We flattened cardboard boxes and slid down an enormous grassy hillside that lead to the neighborhood park. We roamed through a massive underground cave system formed by volcanoes which ran the span of the entire island. We played hide-and-seek in the “Booney Weeds” which were large fields of tall thick wild grasses that grew six feet high or better. The Booney’s, as we lovingly called them, were so dense that two people could stand three inches apart and never know they had company.

Just before the monsoon’s hit the island we experienced intense winds and rain. I remember grabbing my stylish “Bubble Umbrella”(do you remember those?) and playing in those winds. My friend Jackie and I played Mary Poppins by running as fast as we could with the wind and allowing it to gush up underneath my bubble umbrella and lift us off the ground. Both of us were very light weight, so the wind gushes usually carried us five to ten feet distance before landing us delicately onto the road again. We really did feel as though we were flying.

One of my favorite memories was during a massive rain we joined many of the other neighborhood kids in clogging up the cul-de-sac drain. From the road to the curb top was about three feet deep, so by clogging the drain we were able to form a mini wading pool which in diameter fit about ten kids. Of course that one didn’t last long since our parents could see what we were up to and had us remove the cardboard to allow the rain water to drain. It was fun while it lasted though.

We used to purchase “pencil Boxes” from the Japanese stores which had secret compartments to stash things. Once my sister decided to catch some June bugs (which of course I was deathly afraid of handling). And using our resourcefulness, we opened all our pencil boxes, formed them into a circle and played House and school with our newly acquired June Bugs. My imagination never tired. Even on those days when I played alone, for the most part, I never seemed to have “nothing to do”, and I don’t ever remember being bored while on the island.

I have very fond memories of playing in the front yard one day alone. I’m not really sure why none of the other kids were outside, but there I was for the very first time faced with nothing to do. I remember looking around and noticing all sorts of rocks lying around. So, being the imaginative soul that I am, I grabbed a few of those rocks and played house with them! I had a Poppa, a Momma, and several children. When the day was done, I took my new little family inside with me so I could put them to bed. I kept my rock family for a very long time before outgrowing them.

That’s right; I am the original inventor of the Pet Rock.


About Blue Jeans and Chocolate

HI! I’m Smalls (that’s what my kids call me since I’m only Five feet tall.) I am a Fifty- Something, blue jean wearing, young Granny, who strives to live beautifully. I’m a student of God’s word, the Hebrew language, love and life. I live in the Sierra Foothills with my precious husband and our Black Lab, Riley—she’s a handful, but we love her. I love to travel, to daydream, and to write; and I’ve become an aspiring novelist. I’ve lived in other countries and still plan to visit more. I love to venture off the beaten path in the attempt to discover the world not seen in the tourist traps. I love to read as a way of learning. I usually have a book with me everywhere I go—you just never know when you’ll have down time. I have three sons, two step-sons, a couple of daughter’s-in-law, and ten grandchildren (so far.)
This entry was posted in The Good Life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Boredom Might Be the True Mother of Invention

  1. Tekoa says:

    Much wisdom here! Such truth in all your words.

    I walked a mile with sorrow;
    And ne’er a word said she;
    But,oh! The things I learned from her,
    When Sorrow walked with me.
    Robert Browning Hamilton

  2. Tekoa says:

    Wrong comment on the wrong blog!
    Anyway, this is so precious. The descriptions you used brought vivid images of honey bonney weeds, laughter, and the heart of a child filled with awe and imagination.
    I love MaryPoppins! Saving Mrs Banks, and cherry tree blossoms.
    Tekoa .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s