Can you imagine having to work in this weather? Who needs balloons during a blizzard? The only work should be keeping up with your drinking buddies and your kids down the hill. Not in that order. A snowjob for your lover? Optional. Snowball fights… now that’s work.
(For those who’ve ever played Super Mario Brothers… does this kid not look like Luigi riding on the shell of a turtle? For those who’ve never played, he looks a bit like a kid in a brussel sprout cup. I nearly want to pluck him up and eat him like an appetizer.)
I never understood snowballs. Children from the neighborhood wouldn’t bother with phoning you to meet at the hill. Everyone just went there, to the golf course near our houses, with sleds, garbage bags, or silver saucers trailing behind them on ropes. Younger siblings tagged along. Sisters joined forces with their brothers. Wars didn’t come until later with the balls.
I was good at the sledding part because I was fat. Ironically, the heavier you are, the faster you go. I won all the distance competitions, despite the boys who took running starts. But once everyone tired of the tubing, someone always packed a fist of snow and flung it like a dagger into a spine. My hands always got too cold to crunch the snow into a packaged sphere of pain. Making snowballs hurt me more than the pelt my opponent received. And, besides the sting of my digits, snowball fights involved running and weaving. No real newsflash there; I don’t run unless there’s an iPod involved. Needless to say, I dabbled in snow angeling… except mine never looked perfect. See when making a snow angel, half the battle is not leaving marks when you get up from the ground. Usually, a friend could help hoist you off the ground. Yeah, not so much with me. Mine always looked a bit retarded… that’s why the dabbling.
Now I dabble in photographing the snow, which again, leads to sting and shiver. It’s frostbitten fingers and dribbling noses, small mittens, and booties on pooches. It’s hooch and bars and board games. Shelter during a storm. It’s ugly boots left to dry in your apartment corridor, hot chocolate despite the cliche, and it’s laughing at how much the wind whips and pulls tears from the corners of your eyes. It’s watching kids eat snow, and listening to their parents’ warnings of the "yellow snow." Grownups acting like 12 year olds, jumping things, and packing fists of snow. Saucer shaped disks, blow-up sleds, and yes, snowballs.