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Richard A Kirsch

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Snowball Snow
By Richard A Kirsch
Sunday, February 17, 2008

Rated "G" by the Author.

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What's the best snow for snowballs?

Snowball Snow

I grew up in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Sheboygan is a city about 60 miles north of Milwaukee, nestled on the Lake Michigan shoreline. Winter is magical. I like to think back at the fun we made for ourselves in what today is described as a “simpler time”. Going out to play in winter opened all manner of possibilities. We could go ice-skating at the Washington School rink. We could build a snow fort. We could tackle each other in the snow. We could have snowball fights. We could dig snow trenches in the street gutters directing the flow of imaginary rivers. There was always something to do. Walking home from school one winter day, Bill and I got into a conversation. (Bill is my cousin. We lived in the duplex. His family up and mine down. He and I grew up as brothers.) The conversation took a serious tone when we began to argue about the best snow for making snowballs. It had snowed a few days earlier. It was one of those nice storms dumping about 6 inches. Since then the sun did a little thawing and there was refreezing at night. As we walked along the sunny side of Bluff Avenue heading west to 12th Street, Bill insisted the best “packing” snow was the stuff on the ground right after the storm. I pulled Bill to a stop. “I disagree. Look here,” I said. With that I pointed to a snow bank. Along the side of the snow bank – where it faced most directly to the sun – I showed him a patch of lacy ice. “So?” he asked. “Under this thin layer of ice is the best snowball snow in the world.” “Nuh… uh.” “I’ll show you,” I said whisking away the crystal lace, I dug both my mittened hands down and lifted out a wad of snow. “This,” I said, “is heaven on a glove.” He roared a laughing outburst as I plopped the small, white mound on his hands. “That, cuz, is the best snowball snow ever!” came my unbiased judgment. Bill packed the snow with both his hands. He hefted the snowball and tossed it. Splat! It burst against the trunk of a tree across the street. “You’re right. I think it is too.”  

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