Three Clan siblings pose proudly around their snow creation, proof that the Clan can build more than just horizontal snowmen.
Three Clan siblings pose proudly around their snow creation, proof that the Clan can build more than just horizontal snowmen.

Last week, we got hit with a dump of heavy, wet, sticky snow, the kind of snow that’s good for building things. The Clan is not a particularly arts and crafts-oriented family, but we sure do like to build things out of snow.

However, in order for there to be professionals at something, there has to be someone else who is mediocre by comparison. And when it comes to snow construction, the Clan happens to be in the “mediocre” category. 

That’s why our creations are better described with the phrase “unfortunately, yes, you can build that with snow” instead of “elegant and detailed snow sculpture.”

Take our snowmen for example. Especially when we get a nice sticky snow that will clump together nicely, younger siblings will recruit a bigger boy to help roll some gigantic balls of snow together. It’s amazing how big they can get if we have a large patch of snowy lawn and a little bit of teamwork. 

Of course, we always fail to remember that after you’ve rolled a ball big enough to be the base, you have to lift the next two heavy masses of snow up on top of that. Interest starts to fade once heavy lifting is involved. As a result, many of our snowmen take the prone position and experience the rest of winter from flat on their backs.

Or sides. It’s hard to tell with snowmen.

Another thing we like to build after a significant amount of snow has fallen are snow caves. The wind builds several drifts along fencelines or between outbuildings at our place. During January and February, these are prime locations to dig caves in the snow.

We have been known to spend whole minutes hollowing out spaces in these embankments. If we don’t accidentally collapse the roof during the building process, we can usually make a small space just big enough to squeeze one person in—and that’s if they curl up tight and aren’t claustrophobic.

Speaking of being claustrophobic, another fun thing we enjoy doing in the snow is burying each other. We’ll lay down under a sled and get several inches of snow piled (and sometimes packed) around us before breaking out in a hopefully spectacular shower of snow. 

I find it looks more like a sad, cold zombie groggily rolling out of bed, but that’s just my opinion.

And we’re no strangers to snowball fights, although we’re too lazy to build proper forts before we start packing snow and pitching it at each other. Our snow forts usually max out at about a foot or two and are often nothing more than a hole in a deep snowbank.

Luckily, a pathetic snow fort can be easily converted into snowballs if the need arises.

Clearly with that level of commitment, you won’t see many highly detailed sculptures in our front yard.

But although we may never build more than a mediocre snowman, sledding is something the Clan takes to a whole new level. Look for that next week.