05:43:17 pm on
Monday 19 Apr 2021

Building a Snowman
AJ Robinson

Source: reduto.com

I know “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” is the opening line to a song. Don’t worry, I won’t reproduce the whole lyrics here. I cite the song because it fits a recent event.

Working from home has advantages.

My daughter, Alexa, moved to Massachusetts last year. Her company does computer programming. It found, since the outbreak of the pandemic, that working remotely has worked well for their employees. Thus, she and her co-workers have the freedom to live anywhere they want and then submit their work in a timely fashion.

She elected to go live in my home state, Massachusetts, which I found touching. As Alexa lived the entirety of her life in Florida prior to her move. Thus, I did have to wonder how well she’d handle a New England winter, especially these days.

Let’s be honest; with the climate changing and the polar vortex sweeping down across the country every winter, January, February and even March can be quite intense. As I write, Louisiana is experiencing New England winter weather.

So far, Alexa is doing well. She lives in a nice downtown area with stores, restaurants and public transit, which is great, as she doesn’t own a car. Overall, she’s settling into a fine life.

Then there was the matter of the snowman. As I said, Alexa is a Florida kid. In the whole of her life, she’s never been north of the Mason-Dixon Line for any significant period during the winter months.

That’s where the snowman comes into play. She’s never built one. So, now that she’s living in Massachusetts and there’s plenty of snow on the ground, she decided to go ahead and make one.

Her first effort at making a snow person didn’t go well, as she told me when we spoke on the phone. As we talked, it became clear as to what the construction issue was that was preventing her from achieving her goal. Yeah, I know, my civil engineering mind does kick in to analyse her circumstances.

Her snowperson fell apart.

Her problem was a simple one; she was merely rolling the snow as she formed the body parts for her snowman. As a result, when she moved to the assembly phase of the operation her snowman lacked sufficient cohesion to maintain its structural integrity. In other words, the snowman fell apart because it was too loosely packed.

When I was a kid and I wanted to build a snowman, my dad and one of my older brothers would help me. It was the standard means of disseminating knowledge: one generation passed it on down to the next. These days, what with our more mobile society that often doesn’t work, well.

I gave Alexa a few pointers, but I guess she’ll either wait for me to visit to give her a hands-on demo or go online to find a guide to help her. I would imagine YouTube might have some nice videos that could assist her in the proper procedure for building a snowman. For that matter, maybe at some future date we can FaceTime so I can guide her through the process.

Amazing, isn’t it, the things technology lets us do these days? It makes me think of some of those episodes of the television show The Jetsons, where machines and robots helped people with various tasks and, yet, the characters complained of being worn out due to the hard labour and tough living conditions that made their lives so inconvenient. Alexa isn’t such a person, but she will need some help in dealing with winter wonderland activities.

New England winter challenge.

Perhaps, I should have a long talk with her on snow forts, snowballs and preparing for a good old-fashioned snowball fight. I wouldn’t want the children in her neighbourhood to ambush her. Winter in New England can be challenging.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Working, again, as an engineeer, after years out of the field due to 2009 recession and slow recovery, Robinson finds time to write. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true. His teen vampire adventure novel, "Vampire Vendetta," will publish in 2020. Robinson continues to write books, screenplays and teleplays and keeps hoping for that big break.

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