›The Dallas Snowman

Have you ever seen a snowman in Dallas? Even though I have lived here my entire life, rarely has there even been enough snow to build a snowman. Just a few weeks ago, a “winter blast” blew in causing dreams of canceled school and 1″-2″ of snow. I stayed up all night in hopes of seeing my school’s name scroll across the bottom of the TV screen, but it never did.

The temperature dropped just as predicted, and the sleet and snow were soon to come. I went off to work with hopes of school closing early so I could be home to play in the snow. Although snow is rare in Dallas, the forecast clearly indicated a winter storm warning which was sure to bring us snow. As I sat in my chair watching the 3 kids who made it to school, I began to remember the few times I had been able to create a snowman before.

With winter nights typically in the 40′s, the ground in Dallas retains too much heat for snow to accumulate. This is what makes the allusive Dallas snowman so special. Snow does not last long in this city, but when the timing is right, the ground just might be cold enough to give the children of Dallas the chance to build a snowman.

Now, the first thing to do when snow actually sticks is to try and find any type of winter attire…waterproof gloves, a thick coat, boats, and scarf. I alway felt lucky to find a pair of yarn mittens and a couple of layers of clothes to put under a wind breaker. Even though I would quickly be wet, I rushed outside to begin the process.

The first part of the snowman is formed by the snow on the ground. This consists of snow, sleet, sticks, dirt, grass, and leaves. Kneeling on the ground and shoveling the snow with your arms into one large mound is the most effective method of creating the bottom layer. Rolling a large ball of snow, like in the movies, is never possible since the sparse layer of snow is already melting. Use as much of this snow that you can find.

The rest of the snow comes from cars and trucks. This is your cleanest snow. To find the most snow, look for vehicles in the shade. At this point, you must make an important decision….1 large ball forming a upper body/head combo or 2 small balls. Either way your snowman will not be taller than 4 feet. This part of the process might require the use of neighboring cars. Without several cars topped with a health amount of snow, the snowman will not exist.

Once the body and head are created, it is time to embellish your snowman. Grab a few sticks out from the bottom layer and jab them in the sides for arms. While gathering the snow, it most likely melted and refroze as ice making decorating difficult. Buttons will not stick to the ice for eyes and good luck finding coal! A carrot for a nose might be possible if you can dig a hole deep enough for it to stay.

After finishing off your snowman with items such as a plastic bag scarf, it is time to grab the camera. This is a special moment that may never happen again, but hurry back with the camera because the sun is out, and the skies are clear. Soon your snowman will puddle and disappear.