My father called it good old fashioned Canadian ingenuity.
As a matter of fact, he gave me the impression that Canadian Ingenuity was exactly what won World war II.
Oh sure the Yanks and the Brits had ingenuity but according to Dad, theirs wasn't like real CANADIAN ingenuity.
Recently my brothers and I have had the sad and difficult job of going through Dad's things.
We've marvelled at what he kept. Like most people who lived through the Great Depression, he never threw anything away.
Nothing was ever too small or too broken that it might not find a use somewhere else.
Over the years I learned to be careful what I told Dad I needed because Canadian Ingenuity is a double edged sword.
It can also be spelled O-D-D.
For example he didn't understand why someone might not want a dining room chair with one leg refashioned out of an old hockey stick.
And the oddness of Canadian ingenuity is exactly what I thought I would never embrace.
I didn't realize how insidious it is.
How it creeps up on a person.
You see, a few days ago I bumped into one of my neighbours when we were out walking our dogs.
She was wearing the most beautiful pair of rubber rain boots.
"Oh thanks," she said when I told her how nice they looked. "They cost me $100 but they are worth it!"
Up until that moment I had been quite pleased with the ingenious solution that I had found to the problem of being caught in the rain.
So i must tell you, it was with a heavy heart that I looked down at my own feet.
I was standing next to a woman in rubber boots that cost $1oo and I was wearing a pair of unused doggie poo bags over my shoes.
I guess I really am my father's daughter.