there's a super inspirational article in today's new york times about how people prospered during the Depression by using their considerable skills to get by. if there's a bright side to these bumpy times, it's the thought that many of us are learning things our grandparents took for granted -- sewing, cooking, gardening, carpentry -- and in the process, expressing ourselves in ways that leave rich legacies for tomorrow. think about your most treasured heirlooms. for me, they're the sweaters knit by mom (plus her photos she developed in her closet-turned-darkroom!), baby quilts stitched by my sister-in-law, and a hand-embroidered christening gown given by a friend for my sons that's as delicate and light as wild queen anne's lace. all in all, a grand thing to remember when you're sweating the bills. or learning to thread a sewing machine.