Let Them Eat Snow

Another blog entry from my personal blog.
I like to call Texas the state of extremes.  Winters can be brutally cold at times and summers are brutally hot.  I swear some summers you feel like you are breathing fire in your nostrils when you step outside.  When Labor Day hits I celebrate like a screaming banshee because I know Mr. Golden Sun, that tubby purple dinosaur sang about on PBS, is about to get the boot.  Every year I cannot wait to pull out the sweaters and scarves and I dream of that day as I toss and turn trying to find the cool side of the pillow every hot, sticky summer night.  

When that ever elusive snowfall is finally predicted, you would swear hell froze over.  The local Wal-Mart is unparkable and hot cocoa and fire logs fly off the shelves.  Pretty soon, the evening air is filled with that smoky bouquet of Duralog and Downy. Of course television shows have to be preempted.  You would swear someone shot a nuclear missile at us with the massive news coverage even a light dusting receives.  Like nobody has ever seen the stuff fall from the sky before?  The weathermen begin spewing nonsensical terms as if  ‘snow’ isn’t catchy enough.  I laugh when they call those dangling clouds in thunderstorms 'scud', like they are the dangling chads of the sky.  The reporters and meteorologists actually hold meaningful discussion on dry lines and arctic air masses.  All I know is if you were an air mass hanging out in Saskatchewan, wouldn’t you beat feet to warmer ground?

We wait by the television, hoping that there will be no work or school tomorrow. “Please Snow Meiser, do your magic.”  I am always spiteful when the meteorologists are wrong and it turns out to be nothing at all. Someone must pay and it must be very painful.  I’ve tried everything: snow dances, leaving the refrigerator door open, playing Christmas music, I even rubbed Buda’s belly once.  Damn thing gave off static and I shocked the hell out of myself when I went to turn on the light.

Sadly our snow is the wet floppy kind that either melts instantly or turns to a solid sheet of ice.  The ice is no fun to play with unless you hope to slit your wrists on shards of it as you flail about making snow angels.  Every so often the conditions are just right and we score big with a couple inches of buildable material.  I am always amazed by the Rockwellish scene of those neighbors we try so  desperately to block out the rest of the year.  Everyone comes out to play in mass.  Look, there’s Beau out there with a shovel. A shovel?

Coming from Michigan, I learned early on the skill required to toss together a sturdy guy.  I bet I can still pack those bits and pieces as fast as any Yankee.  One particularly fantabulous snowfall, my sons and I were outside laughing and building to our delight.  We made those balls so colossal; it took three of us to get the head on.  That bad boy was 8’ tall when we were finished.  My youngest son offered to go in the house and gather up a hat and scarf.  As my oldest son and I waited, we dug through the hedge for some arms.  Suddenly my oldest, never one to be terribly social, whispered to me that the guy across the street was eyeballing us. 

I began wondering if I needed to be afraid. OK, OK, it was the Detroit girl coming out in me.  We started to pack the base to make sure our snowdude wasn’t going anywhere.  I nonchalantly kept watch of this new interested ‘neighbor with the prying eyes’.  Was he some sort of creepy frosty stalker? 

Where was my youngest with the final accessories?  He was taking way too long. I noticed the neighbor was doing something in his yard with a shovel.  You know the kind, a nice sturdy shovel you could dig deep holes in the garden with.  He has hardware; nice. 
“That kid must have the attention span of a pea.” I silently lamented.  Just as my youngest came out thrusting his prized possessions at me, I noticed Mr. Frosticles headed our way.  Crap.  Now I have to talk to him. Why didn’t we build this thing in the safety of our fence anyway?  What was I thinking? Why did my youngest have to take so long?  If he had been a little faster we could already be in the safety of our own house with the deadbolt securely fastened.  I should have known the child-unit would make a pit stop first.

I waited nervously while Mr. Snow Stalker crossed the street.  When he finally arrived he queried, “You’re not from around here are you?”  Warily, I told him we were not.  He went on to say, “I’ve been out here for the last half an hour trying to build a snowman with this shovel, then he schlepped all hunch-shouldered back to his house and closed the door.  Bubba alert.
Recently I saw our other neighbors building a snowman with their shovel.  Lordy, these Texans need a lesson. Roll, baby, roll.