Igloos and Snowmen

I can remember the first time I saw snow. I was around six or seven years old. We had been in the Bahamas, but were traveling across the country to visit relatives. Somewhere in the Ozark Mt. of Arkansas it started snowing. My father stopped the car, and we got out to feel and taste this strange white stuff.

Later, we moved near Albany, New York, where it can really snow! The trees were bent over under the weight. The power lines were thickly wrapped. We waited to hear if school had been cancelled. I remember one storm in 1970, where even snowplows couldn't get up our road. My brothers, Phillip and Jonathan, followed behind me as a broke a path, and it was so deep that my mother couldn't even see the top of my youngest brother's head.

My father showed us how to build an igloo. We used a rectangular dishpan, but I suppose one could use a pail or any hollow container. Much like you would make a sand castle, we packed snow into the pan and then turned it upside down quickly to form a "brick", setting them side by side in a large circle, leaving a gap for the door. As each layer was added, we set them slightly toward the center, so as to form a dome. Usually, we left a little hole at the top, but if we could find a small board, it made a great roof to keep out the weather.

It was amazingly warm, and if the temperatures stayed cold, it would last most of the winter. I enjoyed sitting in there just to be by myself, or sometimes bring a friend, to giggle and talk with me. Of course, my brothers would bomb us with snowballs, but that leads to other memories.

Igloos and snowballs and snowmen need a special type of snow to stick well. The Eskimos have a hundred words for different kinds of snow. We need a few more. Sleet, flurries, and slush aren't enough! Good packing snow can't be too fluffy, but not to sloppy wet either. We always tried to make a bigger snowman that last year's, but I'm sure they were much alike, right down to the scarf and carrot nose.

Our house in Hoags Corner was nestled against a steep hill. My brother Phillip and I once got in trouble for rolling snowballs down the hill. The balls picked up speed, growing huge, then splat beautifully on the road at its base. My father came home from work and wondered if we knew anything about the piles of snow in the middle of the road. *sigh*

Later, I remember the many snowball fights we had as teenagers as we waited around for our parents after church. Isn't it funny how even a wet, freezing snowball down your neck can be a way of flirting? *smile* Those were fun, crazy days!

I have many snow-related memories, but I'll save some for another time.


Laury said...

These are very cold memories, Vonnie:) Brrrr... But it does want me to get out and play in the snow for sure!

Slowly Dying.. said...

Thanks for the memories. I want to look through my photos of our kids playing in the snow back in Japan!


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