Monday, January 25, 2010


Snowperson update: We had a stint of warm weather. Now the snowperson is a small ball (base) sitting next to an even smaller ball (head), on the dead-green grass. Watching the snowperson's progression through January has been a poetic journey for me.

Which has me thinking about the last 3 snow creatures I have made.

#1: Energizer Bunny.
Last winter, Abe & I picked an evening after work to play in the snow. I remember this because it was about the only time we played in the snow all winter. Why is it so much more appealing when you are 10?

We borrowed sleds from our neighbors and tromped over to a nearby park. The snow was sticky, deep, and relatively untouched: perfect modeling conditions. We rolled a large ball for the base of the snowperson (let's be honest, though, the "ball" always looks like a re-wound roll of toilet paper), and a smaller ball for the head. At this point we decided the snowperson had distinctly bunny-esque features. Add dramatic floppy ears, fluffy white tail, and Thumper hind legs. Pleased, we ran up the nearby hill to take a few runs on the sleds. When we got to the top, we realized that the bulging, cylidrical base of the bunny looked much more like a base drum than a cute fuzzy belly. The Energizer was also appropriately framed by the vast expanse of the open field and a setting sun in the distance.

#2: Big.
A few years ago, we had a big winter storm on New Year's Eve. Warmed by the spirits of sparkling white grape juice after midnight, Abe & I frolicked in the piles of snow around our house. In drunken delight, we decided to roll the biggest snowball ever. Knowing we would need all the snow in the open area behind our apartment building, we rolled the ball back and forth in even rows, like a lawnmower. Once the ball got to about waist height, we gave up on the rows and rolled it in whatever direction its momentum seemed to take it. We wound around to our neighbor's and left the snowball, shoulder height, just to the right of their front door. It was the most prank-like thing I'd done for several years and awoke on New Year's morning with the guilty regret of a bad hangover.

#3: Gryffin-saur
While in Utah for Christmas several years ago, we spent one evening with my sister and her family. Cue snowstorm. After making an assortment of our family's traditional Christmas cookies, Abe & I went outside with the kids to make a snowperson. Abe has a talent for rallying children to "break" the rules of whatever game they may be playing. Want to play 20 questions? Okay, but you only get points for style (instead of "Is it bigger than a breadbox?", ask, "Would Genghis Kahn appreciate it as a gift?"). Hide-and-go-seek? Fine, but expect to find Abe clinging to the eaves of a building.

So instead of a snowperson, we decided to build a Griffin. It helped that my nephew was into Harry Potter. We had a stately lion base going, along with tail. But as Abe & my nephew worked on the ferocious fowl head, my niece (who also has a penchant for doing things her own way) started placing small triangles along the creature's tail and spine, stegosaurus style. In the end, it was more of an impression of Griffin ferocity, with the scales and inevitable drop in enthusiasm as the snow numbs fingers and the smell of cookies draws everyone back inside. But it was majestic in the moonlight and falling snow.

*In an effort to rid this post of gender bias, I have chosen to use the term snowperson in place of snowman. In future posts, I may employ the use of "co" as a gender-neutral pronoun: see this website which explains co's use in the alternative living community of Twin Oaks, Virginia -- hammocks and soy products for all!


Margaret said...

Those are three lovely vignettes! If you ever sit up late at night thinking "Man, we're cool - I wonder if anyone else knows how cool we are?", rest assured that, while it may be impossible to appreciate the full extent of your awesomeness, Dave and I are doing our best :) Your enthusiasm is contagious, and makes me wish for a good snow - or at least enough time to go tromping through the dead leaves in the forest across the street.

Dawn said...

I went back and looked at pictures and saw that I took lots of snow pictures Jan 1, 2008 after it snowed all night and the day before. I remember how beautiful it was that day!