Saturday, February 17, 2007

Not from around here, are you?

Johanna Keller, director of my graduate program, is herself a displaced Southern gal with roots in North Carolina. When she moved from New York City to sleepy Syracuse a few years ago, she found she was initially disheartened by the unremitting winter weather; but she and her husband soon learned to love the snow by taking up showshoeing. Realizing that many of the AJ cohort are not accustomed to such inclement weather, Johanna takes every opportunity to enthusiastically encourage us to love the snow. Love it!

This afternoon, I tried. I tried, and I failed.

Witness my feeble attempt at a snowman on my apartment balcony:

As you can see, I hit a few snags in the process. In my windstop fleece-gloved hands, the snow wouldn't pack properly into a spherical shape. This was easy enough to work around for the base and midsection of my snowman, but his head proved problematic.

I set aside my gloves and discovered, to my great delight, that it was much easier to make a tightly packed snowball between two bare hands. I affixed my snowman's head atop his body and lovingly wrapped a scarf of scrap yarn around his non-neck. So far, so good.

I had to work quickly, as I was losing feeling in my fingers. I shook out some Ghirardelli chocolate chips from the bag and attempted to give him eyes. His right eye took just fine, but the left refused to stay put, and any time I applied some force, a chunk of his face would fall to the concrete. Three tries yielded the same result. I moved onto the nose - a half-eaten baby carrot - which posed the same problem as his left eye. Every time I'd get his nose to stick, an eye would pop out.

At this point, I couldn't feel anything in my hands but the burning of extreme cold. Defeated, I decided to head back inside; but I COULD NOT OPEN THE DOOR. Did I seriously shut my sock-footed self out on a 12th-story porch just so I could build a mini-snowman friend? I cursed the sliding porch door mechanism - not a handle at all, but a 3/4" deep vertical groove, useless in times of a dexterity crisis. After about two minutes of blowing on my hands in my sweatshirt sleeves, I regained some feeling in my fingers and slid open the door to my warm, welcoming apartment.

All said, my snowman could certainly be worse. At least he has a complete body, and a scarf to keep him warm. Maybe he's just a pirate snowman, minus the eyepatch. Next time, though, I'm leaving the door cracked.


Carl Yost said...

HAHAHA! That snowman is totally awesome. :-) I love that you tried to make one on your balcony.

For future snowman-making reference, try waiting until the sun melts the snow just a little bit -- it'll get wetter and pack more easily (without giving your fingers frostbite).

Raquel Laneri said...

Omg, your snowman is adorable!!!! He reminds me of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree, you know, little and kind of sad, but inherently charming. I think your snowman is the Charlie Brown Christmas tree of snowmen.

Raquel Laneri said...

Btw, I think it's really cute that Johanna and her husband go snowshoeing! I can totally see it.

Manashi Mukherjee said...

That's hilarious! I agree with Raquel's Charlie Brown analogy. Your snowman is charming.

On the other hand, my snow boots finally arrived today via UPS. Ironically, they were supposed to be delivered last Wednesday, but they were delayed because of the storm!

Kelly said...

very cute snow man. miss you missy. i hope the snow is starting to melt there. it seems to be here (some).