Jeff Green | Dec 15, 2005
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ChristmasEditionDecember 15, 2005
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The Friendly Snowmanby HopeAttaway
Jane and Michael Saylor were brother and sister. Jane was ten and Michael was eight years old. Their parents, Judy and Mark, set up workshops for the mentally and physically challenged all over the world. They had been in Africa for several years. Mark and Judy decided to return to their native country, Canada. They wanted their children to know and experience their culture too.
It was the first week in December and Jane and Michael were anxious to see snow. They had never seen snow because they had lived in Africa since they were very young.
"Mom, what does snow look like?" asked Michael as he peered out the front window.
"It falls from the sky in the shape of snowflakes. Soon the snowflakes cover the ground and if you are lucky it can be rolling snow," said Judy, her eyes twinkling; she was amused her children were so excited to experience winter. She had a feeling their neighbours were not anxious to shovel driveways.
"Rolling snow?" What does that mean, Mom?" asked Jane.
"If you can take a handful of snow and squeeze it into a ball, then you can roll it on the ground and make a snowman," explained Judy.
"Oh, like the snowman on Grandma's Christmas card. I really want to make a snowman," said Michael and raced to the window again.
"When will it snow?" asked Jane.
"Any day now. In Canada in most cases we have a white Christmas. We need to buy mittens for you. We have your snowsuits. Tomorrow is Saturday. Remind me to buy mittens," said Judy as she noticed that the sky looked grey. It was possible it could snow soon.
It was after lunch that Michael and Jane were surprised to see large snowflakes falling gently to the ground. Jane noticed that the snow was wet as she squeezed it in her hand. Also her hand felt icy cold.
"It won't be long and we will have plenty of snow to make a snowman," said Michael gleefully.
"Oh dear, and we don't have mittens," said Jane and sighed with disappointment.
Michael and Jane went inside. Judy noticed they looked upset.
"I have an idea. We have lots of thick wool socks. When there is enough snow just put socks on your hands."
Immediately the children brightened considerably. By three in the afternoon the snow had covered the ground. Jane and Michael immediately began to build a snowman. Michael decided to build their snowman in the front yard. It was very flat and he wanted his father to see the snowman as soon as he pulled into their driveway.
The first ball of snow was very heavy. Jane and Michael had to roll the slightly brown and white ball together. They both laughed as the snow ball was so heavy to roll.
"This is hard work, Jane. My socks are wet. Let's go inside and get another pair," said Michael.
"Would you like a cup of cocoa before you continue with your project?" asked Judy as they noticed they had very red faces.
"We aren't cold. It's lots of fun. We just need more socks," said Jane.
Judy giggled. She wished she had the car to drive into town to buy mittens. They lived on the outskirts and Mark had their only vehicle. She sighed. Tomorrow the kids would have mittens.
Jane and Michael placed the second ball of snow on top of the giant ball.
"This looks right. Mom said we had to fasten the second ball of snow onto the first one. We have to take snow and fill in the gaps around the two balls," said Jane.
Michael and Jane were startled when several children came toward them.
"You really have a huge snowman," said one boy between ragged breaths.
"Thank you" said Jane quietly.
"Can we help?" asked another girl.
"Okay. We're just trying to make sure the second ball doesn't roll off," said Michael and smiled.
After the children introduced themselves, they began working together. There were two sisters, Mary and Anne that lived two doors down from Jane and Michael, also two brothers, Tommy and Doug. They lived across the road.
Soon the snowman towered above them. Michael had the smart idea of making the face of the snowman before they placed the head on the second ball.
The snowman had two black stones for eyes. Tommy Found a short stubby stick for a nose and Anne found an orange piece of hair ribbon in her pocket of her coat.
"Mind if I bring my mother over. I want her to see our friendly snowman," said Tommy.
"Okay," agreed Jane and Michael.
They were really pleased with their snowman. Also they were happy to make friends so quickly. They had only been in Canada two weeks.
"Mom, you should see the snowman," said Tommy as he ran into his kitchen.
"I did. I looked out our front window. Are the new kids nice?"
"Yes, and they talk funny."
"What do you mean?"
"They speak like children from England."
"Oh, they have English accents."
"Mom, do we have spare mittens? I saw that Jane and
Michael are wearing socks on their hands. Besides, I want to show them how to build an igloo. I am sure their hands are cold," said Tommy quietly.
His mother's eyes softened. She thought it was sweet her son was concerned about their neighbours.
"Yes, I believe we do have a couple of pairs of mittens for the new children. Here you are," said his mother as she found them in her top dresser drawer.
Jane and Michael were overjoyed with the toasty warm mittens. They thanked Tommy several times.
"Now, let's build an igloo" said Tommy gleefully.
Judy's eyes sparkled happily. Her prayers were answered. Her children had made friends with the neighborhood children. She would never have guessed that a snowman could be an ideal way for Jane and Michael to meet other children their age. Judy slipped on her coat and joined the children outside.
"I made hot cocoa with chocolate chip cookies. Everyone is invited," said Judy good-naturedly.
"That sounds delicious. Count me in," said Tommy brightly. The rest of the children nodded their heads in agreement.
Judy chuckled as everyone followed her inside. Soon everyone was gathered around the kitchen table drinking cocoa, munching on chocolate chip cookies and discussing plans for the igloo.