Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Biggest Snowman

It's another snow day here in New Hampshire, and the neighbourhood kids have been playing in it since before nine o'clock this morning. Their favourite part is traipsing through other people's yards, seeing who can claim the first prints in the new snow. Our dog, Lucy, has been barking like crazy all day, policing the front and back lawns as best she can from the inside, making her rounds at each window perch and giving the panes new nose prints.

I finally venture out a just before noon, to make sure our mail man can make it safely onto our porch.

"Where have you been?" Dennis, the fourth grader, asks me. "The snow pile's gotta be twenty feet high by now." I hadn't seen him or the others for at least a week. That is, in person. And the snow plow pile is at the end of our cul-de-sac, rising up like a giant snow cone and sprinkled with purple and green sleds.

"Guess I've been stuck inside," I say to Dennis. "But I've kind of wanted to, working on my next novel."

"Is it about animals, too?"

"No. It's historical fiction."

"What does that mean?"

"It's a story inspired about things that happened sixty years ago, in an Arizona town I used to live near."

"So that's where you lived, sixty years ago?"

Great. Now the ring leader of the neighborhhod thinks I'm at least 60 when I'm not even nearly eligible for AARP, yet.

"No, I lived there 10 years ago. I'm not even close to sixty."

Dennis shrugs and walks up our porch with his snowboard and boots. They look like they might ahve crampons on them. "I know what's historical fiction," he says, poking at the statue. "Your duck. It still got his Santa suit on. And it's not even Christmas."

I decorate the metal duck my husband gave me as an anniversary present, and the kids always like to remind me if I've missed a holiday. Like say, Shrove Tuesday, or Dress Silly Day at school, or, if I've let a holiday linger for too long.

"Shouldn't you be making a snowman, or something?" I ask Dennis, taking off the duck's Santa suit and freezing my fingers.

"You mean you haven't seen it?" Dennis says, jumping off the porch and telling me I better follow. When we turn around the corner I can't believe what I see. It's a giant snowman, bigger than any kids have made before, at least around here. Soaring 8feet high with two tennis balls for eyes and a black plastic storage bin for a hat.

"My dad helped us."

No kidding. But still, pretty impressive.

"Looks like it'll last all winter."

Dennis frowns.

"Don't you want it to?" I ask.

"I don't know," he shrugs. "I wanna make a new one." He runs to the end of the street where the snow pile's got at least a half inch of new fluff to slide over.


  1. Hi, Sandra,

    Thank you for following me. I thought I'd clicked to follow when I found you, tried to get to you from your avatar but couldn't, so Googled you. Yay, you're there, also Lil Joe.

    Enjoyed your post. Dennis seems like a sweet little character. My hub loved the snowman (shared cause he's from NH) as did I. We follow your weather (lots of relatives in NH) and, wow, you've got snow, snow, snow! And a storm en route. Stay warm!

  2. Kitty, would you believe that this snowman built by our resident Dennis the Menace and his Dad lasted into April? I'd call that wicked cool. But now there are only brownish-white bits of snow left stubbornly clinging to any shady pockets near the homes. Looks like spring has washed away most of the snow and we're ready for warmth after such a long, snow-laden winter.