Having gotten over the initial shock of being snowed on in Tucson, I decided I would at least enjoy having seen this rather rare sight as Choppy and I took a much-needed day for errands and other neglected things (like updating the other pages on this site). This morning, Choppy and I headed over to a local dog park located in a larger park. Although the weather was above freezing, there was still plenty of snow on the ground when we got to the park, and plenty of people out and about in the snow.

Now, I grew up in Wisconsin, where snow during the winter is a given. Winters were full of building snowmen and snow forts, ice skating, and heading to our nearby elementary school, where there were an abundance of hills where we could sled for hours. Winter conversations involved the merits of various sleds and snow tubes, as well as the age-old debate of hockey vs. figure skates.

When I moved to southern Indiana a few years ago, one of the nicest things about the move was the (relative) lack of cold and snow compared to my previous American homes in Wisconsin, Illinois, and northern Indiana. This isn’t to say that it doesn’t get cold and snowy in Terre Haute; it just doesn’t happen that often compared to where I have previously lived. That said, while a few inches of snow in Terre Haute is enough to cancel school (as opposed to back in my previous homes, where a few inches is rarely enough to even bring the plows out), the city does have snow plows, and expects to see snow and cold several times a year. In other words, everyone is used to snow and it isn’t something surprising.

Seeing it snow somewhere that isn’t used to snow has been quite fun (even if I would prefer it to be 75 and sunny).

Palm Tree, Pool and SnowAh, a beautiful palm tree next to a pool. Please ignore the snow in this picture, which obviously is not supposed to be there under normal conditions.

Now, for some reason, the park seemed to be full of kids, which I found odd because I don’t think the kids here had a snow day today (as there wasn’t any snow sticking to sidewalks or roads here, I can’t see why one would need a snow day. Well, except to go out and enjoy the snow, which seems like a legitimate reason to me, even if it never would have been a legitimate reason to the powers-that-cancel-school when I was a kid. Or my parents, for that matter). They were doing typical kids in the snow things, like building snowmen, having snowball fights, and sledding.

Except (and I say this with lots of love because they aren’t used to snow and don’t have the sort of practice that comes from growing up somewhere with months where you never see grass), the kids were…not so great at doing snow things.

Tucson SnowmanAn desert attempt at a snowman. Immediate problems I see: (1) not really enough snow to build a snowman in the first place, which is why he is a grass-covered snowman, (2) a failure to realize problem #1 and hence scale back to an appropriately-sized snowman who isn’t so grassy, and (3) not realizing snowmen require three snowballs, not just two. Problems #1 and 2 are really just rookie mistakes, and would be corrected with more practice. Problem #3 I blame on Frosty, who is only two snowballs tall in his television appearances, and therefore the kids here probably have no knowledge that snowmen are supposed to be three snowballs tall. In related news, I may have just discovered a potential argument topic for bar time back home, as I suppose there are others who live in snowy climates who believe snowmen should only be two snowballs tall. Those people are obviously wrong.

There were grassy attempts at snowmen throughout the park, very few of which even attempted to be taller than one snowball. Kids were throwing snowballs at each other, though the snowballs were not so much balls as just random snow the kids picked up and were tossing at each other without even bothering to form it into balls. And the sledding was less-than-ideal, as it was occurring on a hillside that was most definitely not entirely snow-covered.

Tucson SleddingKids sledding on a half-snow-covered hill. My immediate reaction when I saw these kids sledding was not “that’s not really enough snow to sled on,” which would have been an appropriate reaction, but “how in the world did two kids who live where it rarely snows come up with two sleds?”

But all that said? It was great to see kids enjoying snow – I suppose some of them were enjoying it for the first time (or the first time in this large of a quantity), which makes it that much more special. As much as I dislike snow sometimes now (like when I am attempting to get up the driveway at my parents’ house in my car), it was a nice reminder of how much fun snow can be. Especially when it melts shortly after falling.