02:56:37 am on
Wednesday 29 Jun 2022

First Touch of Snow
AJ Robinson

I can’t recall my first contact with snow. As I grew up in Massachusetts and born in February, I probably saw and felt snow before I walked. It was no big deal. Now, Damian spent the first couple years of his life on the island of Puerto Rico, where a lack of snow is given.

The first snowfall for Damian.

So, as we went to visit our daughter, Alexa, last December, she lives in Massachusetts, the chance of seeing snow was a definite possibility. As it turned out, we woke on Christmas Eve to quite the snowstorm, dropping flakes across Springfield. Damian was beside himself with joy.

Once breakfast was done, at our hotel, we headed over to see Alexa. We worked on a nice big family meal. We had fun in the snow, too.

Alexa had plans for a sizeable lunch and her boyfriend, Joe, was coming, too. While Jo Ann helped Alexa with the prep work, Damian begged to go outside. I elected to take him out there to sample the frozen flakes.

Damian was overjoyed at being out in the fluff! His first act was to try and make a snowball. Sadly, it didn’t work out too well.

As this was the first snow of the season, it was rather dry. I know that may sound odd, but in Massachusetts, in December, the humidity level tends to be rather low. As a result, the snowflakes have very little spare moisture.

I remember how, as a child, I would always beg my dad to help me build a snow fort or snows man the very instant the first snows fell. He would tell me how we had to wait for better building material to be provided. Wait I did.

Getting snow to clump together and have good cohesion is a function of its moisture level. When moisture is low, the snow tends to fall apart. The outcome of all that was that the snowballs we made tended to fly to bits as they were thrown.

Damian didn’t mind.

They were his first snowballs and all he cared about was getting to make some. Of course, what he really wanted to do was make a snowman, and no, neither of us broke into song. I tried to tell him it wouldn’t work, but he was most insistent. I decided that a practical example was necessary.

I took a small snowball, set it on the ground and started rolling it in the snow. I paused every half minute or so and tried to pack the snow in around it to get it to grow, but it was a hopeless cause. In fact, the snowball got smaller.

That experiment put the point across to Damian and he settled for making snow angels. The snowstorm continued for several hours and soon the entire area was covered in white fluff. Although no snowman or fort was forthcoming, he didn’t mind. Damian ran and slid in the snow, played with it and even ate some. I was careful to ensure any snow he dined on was pure white.

Finally, our big lunch meal was almost ready; thus, we sadly had to retire indoors. I was surprised that he didn’t protest or ask for more time outside, but two factors were weighing in my favor. First, and this was a biggie, he was starving; Damian is after all fourteen and growing.

Next, he was also totally spent. It appeared that although he is physically fit, he had little experience in the cold and snow, being out in the flurry of fluff had drained him of his energy. I imagine the hunger added to his exhaustion.

While in Springfield, we also visited the Basketball Hall of Fame. The sport was originally created, for America, in that city, although it's true origins trace closer to Ottawa, Canada. Either way, the hall seemed a given. Although the game is Damian’s favourite and he loved touring the museum, I’d be hard pressed to tell which activity he enjoyed most.

Snow filled memories.

Seeing snow for the first time was quite the big deal for him. That I got to share it with him summoned up a great many wonderful memories for me. Here’s hoping that there comes a day when he looks back on our time together out in it with as much joy as my memories gave me.

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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