Adventures in snow sculpting 2012

It’s One AM and I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t take an advil for the five hours of sculpting I did today and I ate way too much before bed. Bad combination.

By 7:30 a lot of people passing by had started correctly guessing what my sculpture was. Its a tableau. On the top of the hill is what is clearly a Dutch style Windmill and below someone mounted on what’s becoming a horse. I’ll finish up the lower figure tomorrow and give him a lance to attack his dragon. I’ve spent three days trying to make a lance of ice but it hasn’t been cold enough for the water to freeze so it will be something other than snow. A pity.

Its been a pleasure to play in the snow again. I’ve gotten to know the little children from down the block. When I started the older one, all of 8 asked what I was making and I wouldn’t tell her. She came by with a younger sister, brother and their mothers and asked again yesterday. I told her that if she promised not to tell anyone I let her see the clay models I was using. They agreed and hurried up the steps to take a peek. When the mothers started up as well I asked their children if they could be trusted not to tell. I had a fun several minutes getting the girls to argue about whether the mother’s were trustworthy as the mothers hung back pleading that they were. Of course everyone got a peek and I had to explain why Don Quixote was attacking a windmill.

Later yesterday a pretty dark haired woman walked by and paused to ask me what I was making. There was something about her inquiry that piqued my interest and with a little questioning I found out she was once my Mother’s neighbor girl. “**** I’m Harry,” I said and we had a very pleasant conversation about what she was doing in town. She had just quit the infamous web building company that had run out of money a while back to pay its employees. She quit but not before giving the owner a piece of her mind at a company meeting. She was served up a round of drinks afterward by her zipped lipped colleagues who didn’t dare lose their jobs for being candid with paychecks in the offing.

She was heading over to some new neighbors, the S. family, (occasional political adversaries and allies) to tutor their children in French. I joked that she and the putative GOP Presidential candidate would get along famously in the revolting language they both spoke. I told her she must stop by for a bit so I could find out more about her and she promised to do so after the lesson. It must have been a good one because I got close to an hour of sculpting done and finished supper by the time there was a knock on the door.

We were having a half birthday dinner for our Tan Man and we had just brought in a colorful green frosted sheetcake (with sprinkles) and had our grandson blow out the candles. (We’ve had ten days straight with our grandsons and the Leap Day Blizzard that coincided with the half birthday gave us a good excuse to do something different)

I invited **** for cake if she would join us and she gladly agreed. We had a lovely time recalling the past and finding out what the duece had brought her and her husband to Duluth. Sadly they were about to leave having just purchased a home back in Minneapolis.

This is just the sort of thing that often happens when I’m out at night working on my sculptures. Perhaps the most memorable time was when the voice actor who gave Garfield the Cat his voice stopped to gawk and introduce himself. I asked him in to call our son (then seven or eight) on our second line as Garfield. Our son was a great cat fancier and was a Garfield fan.

Today was a little more pedestrian. I waited until the snow was warm and sticky and then commenced to trimming the snow away until I found the windmill. Its sails being made of frozen water rather than wood and cloth were ponderously heavy and a challenge to build without collapsing under their own weight. I spent a good hour and more trimming them so as to lesson the weight but leave enough inconspicuous now at the roof line to keep them attached to the mill.

I found I had to put another ten inches of snow on top of Quixote’s head which I did before crudely carving out the knight’s body and figure out where the legs of his steed would go. Folks stopped to give me a thumbs up a honk or a good word as I worked through the evening commute. I had a fortuitous disaster at about a quarter to seven. I was rushing to correct one of the lower sails to call it a day when in my exuberant hast the whole dangnab thing fell off. I had three fellow who had stopped to talk while they waited for a bus watching me and I grit my teeth to be positive about my loss. Because it was still warm there was ample snow to rebuild the sail and I set about collecting more to do just that.

I say that the accident was fortuitous because it caused me to look over the whole mill. I noticed that it was listing dangerously towards the hill. I hadn’t noticed this before. The sails were slowly pulling it down towards a certain avalanche. I had to quickly shore up the back side by piling a lot of snow on it to prevent it from leaving the ground and I trimmed more bulk away from the sails and piled snow up where the rebuilt sail would be completed tomorrow and coincidentally form a wedge at the base of the front of the mill to stabilize it over night.

I dragged myself inside long after sunset at 7:30 to begin a late meal ordered from Bulldog’s Pizza.

During the nine O’clock weather Claudia noticed that heavy snow was falling and the weatherman reported that we would get an inch or two additional snow. That concerned me as I didn’t want more weight building up on the sails. At 10:30 I went out in my tenners and swept them off. After two hours of wakefulness I got up to sweep them off a second time. (an easy three inches total) Then I came in chewed a Rolaid tablet to quiet the cookies that I shouldn’t have eaten before bed and began typing today’s posts.

I hope you will forgive me but this is a long post and I’ve been at this an hour. I won’t bother proofing it in preference to sleep.

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