Anyone who knows me that once Christmas and New Year’s are past, winter is my least favorite time of year. Even though I’ve lived in Iowa my whole life, my body does not do well with the cold.

But having a young boy in the house makes dealing with winter weather better — and more fun. Last year, Colin and I were finally able to break out the sled he had received the previous Christmas. I was dreading it. I thought I’d be shivering cold the whole time and that my fingers and toes would be numb within minutes.

I was so wrong. Not only did we go out and have a blast, but I also never really got cold. The sun was shining in about 20-degree weather. We went sledding, made snow angels and had a snowball fight. At one point, from about 20 feet away, I threw a snowball at Colin. I broke up a lot on the way, but what was left went right into his mouth. He thought it was the greatest thing ever.

So when the snow fell this past weekend, I knew Colin would be eager to go out. He started asking Friday to go out Saturday, but I decided to wait. I looked at the weather forecast and told him Sunday would be a better day for that. Rather than being out in the middle of the storm, we would have a sunny, 30-degree day. Perfect — it would be warm enough that we wouldn’t freeze but cold enough that the snow wouldn’t melt away on us.

After church and some lunch, we loaded up the sled and headed out to our spot. We made a few trails with the sled, and the snowball fight began. We made are tracks around the area, pelting each other with snow. At one point, I even began to sweat — outside in the middle of January. I guess there’s a first time for everything.

As we continued to build bigger and bigger snowballs, we decided to build a snowman. I think it’s been about 25 years since I’ve done that, and it was Colin’s first snowman ever. I got to work on the base, and he began building a head. I couldn’t believe how much surrounding snow it took to build a snowman, but it packed really well.

Once I had a good base built, Colin brought the head over. He had gotten a little carried away, so the head became the belly. Once we secured it onto the base, we began what became the actual head.

As Colin worked to smooth out and secure the connections on the snowman, I hunted for sticks to use for arms. There wasn’t much available in 8 inches of snow, but I eventually found one that was big enough to break into two pieces. It was stubborn, but I eventually got it. Since all the rocks were buried, we settled for poking holes for the eyes and mouth.

A few more turns on the sled, and it was time to head home. Although our snowman won’t last forever, the great memories will. Colin has been calling it “awesome” and “the best day ever.” I’m actually looking forward to this weekend’s snow a little bit. Maybe we’ll get to do it all over again.

Tracy Goldizen is the Courier's features and magazine editor, leading production of the award-winning "Ottumwa Life" and the Courier's other magazine offerings. She began work with the Courier on the copy desk.

Recommended for you