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December 6, 2005

Space Blanket Snowflakes

I never know what to do with space blankets.

I've always considered those blankets given to marathon finishers worthy of respect, similar to the deference some people have for marathon medals.

Plus, they were developed by NASA, so it just seems pretty cool to walk around for a while in something that astronauts use (I had this astronaut dream as a kid. At least, until I understood there was a lot of flying involved.)

My kids like playing with them, too. After most marathons, I'll bring the blanket home and toss it on the floor for them to use for a fort, or a blanket, or a tablecloth, whatever.

Unfortunately, they take up a lot of space, make a lot of noise, and become unsightly laying around the house for several days in a row. My wife and I reached an agreement that space blankets shall be kept for only one week after a race, then thrown away.

So I was surprised last month when she told me to keep the blanket from my last race, the Big Sur Half-Marathon. She had a plan in mind.

Every December our kids cut out paper snowflakes and we hang them from the ceiling, to create as wintery an atmosphere as possible in central California. This year, I folded the space blanket in half about 6 or 7 times, and cut out a circular shape. The kids then used the circular pieces to cut snowflakes to go alongside the paper ones.

And you know what? The space blanket snowflakes look pretty cool. They reflect bits of light around the room at times, almost like they are sparkling. They make a gentle rustling noise when the heater vents are open, which sounds like a winter's breeze without the chill.

If you look at them closely, you can see parts of the race logo on different flakes, just to remind us that this is definitely a runner's house.

A runner's house with a Christmas tree, cloth snowmen, and pretend snowflakes. For this California boy, that's as ideal as winter can get.


Scott Dunlap 12/6/05, 1:35 PM  

Great idea! I knew there had to be some cool re-use of those blankets. That's one of the best I've heard yet!

And got your post, btw, regarding Dipsea. I ran the Double this last year, but may try the Quad in '06. I don't think I'm speedy enough for the single Dipsea!

Cheers, SD

Oldman 12/7/05, 10:24 AM  

great re-cycling!

Downhillnut 12/12/05, 8:40 AM  

Great idea! Even up here on the frozen tundra we could use that idea in decorating. I've only seen space blankets at our one local marathon, once a year, though, and they only crack those out if it gets chilly (in July).

The blankets ARE cool. You can't just throw them away unless you've had some fun with 'em :)

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