As a kid growing up my winter weather memories are of playing football with other youngsters from the neighborhood in which I grew up in Rolla regardless of how cold it was or how much snow fell.
Another favorite pastime following a snow was to break out the sleds and head for the best hill in that part of the community, which happened to be a short walk from my house.
While the hill, which linked the junior high building with the football practice field, was a preferred site of torture for football coaches intent on whipping young athletes into shape, that hill was a great place on which to generate speed while sledding on a snowy winter's day.
While I can still remember football games played long ago on a snow-covered field and speeding down the hill on a sled, one snow-day activity I do not remember participating in as a youngster was the making of a snowman. I do not know if the snow which fell in South Central Missouri was just not conducive for the making of a snowman, if I failed to inherit the snowman-making gene or simply just had more enjoyable things to do in the snow than to make my version of Frosty the Snowman.
Spring forward a decade or two, or three when I had offspring of my own I do not remember investing the time with Caleb, Jacob, Amanda, Amber or Anna in building a snowman in our backyard. I was much more inclined to bundle the kids up, with the help of my wife, Nancy, break out the same sled I had ridden on as a boy, soap its runners real good, load up the car and go search for a hill that was suitable on which to sled upon. More often than not that meant visiting steep inclines near the YMCA of Hannibal or in Huckleberry Park.
While I evidently failed to receive the snowman-making gene there is evidence that it has been passed along. Amber sent photos recently of her two young sons, Aiden and Jackson, standing proudly next to a snowman they had made. A week or so later Jacob's daughters, Evelyn and Alice, shared in a phone call that they had created a snowman of their own.
My oldest son, Caleb, who is in his mid 40s, is not beyond making a snowman either. Arriving for a visit less than a week after our latest approximately foot of snowfall, Caleb noted how quickly the snow was disappearing as the temperature was steadily rising. Before it was all gone a couple of Sundays ago Caleb contacted his youngest sister, Anna, to see if she and her husband, Nick, would like to join him in making a snowman. The fact that Anna had to work and could not participate did not deter Caleb, who wound up making a snowman of his own.
When Caleb was completed he came and got me in order to show me his handiwork. He led me to the back door of the Henley hacienda where I scanned the yard for a snowman. When I had no success finding his creation, Caleb suggested that I look on the deck, rather than in the yard. Sure enough there was a snowman that was no more than 6 inches tall, standing in the shadow of a board is if to escape the direct sunlight.
After taking some photos of his snowman that showed how small he was, Caleb moved his frozen friend to the top of his car and took some more photos. From that lower perspective Frosty appeared to tower over the house.
It is a good thing Caleb did not need to retake any of the photos because when the temperature is in the 50s a snowman has a short life expectancy.