Saturday, February 12, 2011

Snow What Fun

Once upon a time, approximately two years ago, my mom gave the kids a snowman kit.  And we've been waiting two winters to use it.

Let me explain something about winter in this part of Ohio.  It is not unusual for us to get through the winter having had very little snow.  What snow we do get often doesn't last very long.  In fact we're not in the habit of clearing our driveway when we get a couple of inches of snow because it usually melts before it causes much trouble.  Oddly enough, when we do get snow, it is often either super light and powdery or it is subject to a melt/freeze cycle that leaves it with an icy crust on top.  Much to Harper's chagrin neither type of snow is very conducive to snowman building.

(Michael would sit into the snow and then immediately yell, "Pick me up! Pick me up!  Me stuck!)

This winter we've had more than our fair of snow, as, I realize, has most of the rest of the country.  This winter's pattern has been to snow and then immediately get so cold that I can't stand to take the children out into the snow.

Finally today, after what feels like eons of waiting, conditions in the front yard were actually favorable for snowman building.

Apparently conditions were also favorable for random leaf finding; Harper added that leaf to her collection which is part of some grand plan she has to build her own ant farm.

It has been a very long time since I tried to build a snowman*.  And the yard had only about one inch of packable snow on top of the ice layer...  I helped get the process started and then Matt tagged-in when I had to go inside to take a phone call and begin dinner.

Matt and the kids ended up building the snowman in a manner that reminded me of making sandcastles.  Attempts to roll three distinct snowballs were abandoned in favor of a snow pile.  Amateurs.

In the end the snowman turned out just fine, thank you very much.  I'm exceedingly grateful I won't have to go through another year listening to Harper bemoan the fact that she has not been able to use that snowman kit!

*I may be having creative memory here, but it seems to me that rolling a snowball was a lot easier when I was a kid.  Once we got it started we'd roll it once or twice across the yard and have a nicely sized snowman body part to work with.  Northern folks - am I imagining this?  Were the snowmen of my childhood a lot smaller than my memory suggests?  Was it difficult to get a substantial snowball?  Because today it felt like I spent an awful lot of time with my hind end in the air rolling a snowball around the yard with not much to show for it - and I don't think the neighbors appreciated the view!


Emily said...

My kids got a snowman kit for Christmas this year, and I've felt the same way, conditions have not been favorable. Plus, as I tell them, it's a Daddy job (and it's almost always dark by the time he gets home...). Anyway, I wouldn't be surprised if that one stays in our garage until next year. :)

Heather said...

Very cute! Looks like a good time was had by all!

Lin said...

You are not misremembering; Wisconsin snow knows how to behave. The snow we get here has identity issues. Well done on the snowman!!

JM said...

I can verify using actual rolled balls of snow in WI to create snowmen as a kid myself.


Chris said...

Snow in Michigan also knew how to behave! I remember it was sort of like rolling up your sleeping bag -- it would get really huge really fast. They always say this area's air is bad for allergies; perhaps it has an impact on the quality of snow, too!