There are so many things we take for granted when living in the Midwest. Having snowballs all winter long is one of them. The snow is just waiting to be packed and thrown whenever we like. They can also be frozen, and anyone who has ever gone through more than a few winters, has probably put a few in the freezer, just because we could.
Taking a few snowballs out for the Fourth of July party is a common pleasure and everyone gets a chuckle out of being tortured by a few remnants of winter being stuck down their shirts.
In South Texas, where they get snow when hell freezes over, or every 109 years or so, they have quite a celebration and after building a snowman and taking a few runs down the nearest hill in a laundry basket, they get out the Ziplock bags to freeze a few snowballs. What is normal for us is a thrill to Texans. Except for the laundry basket sleds, and wearing cowboy boots instead of snowmobile boots.
As for the freezer ice balls, evaporation claims most of them and attempts to sell snowballs on eBay usually end up dissolving. Those living in warm climates have to just wait, sometimes a generation, for the gift of snow.
Only when one of our sons got a job in Florida and moved to a part of the country that didn’t benefit from seasonal variety did I realize what simple pleasures he would miss out on.
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One of my care packages that first autumn was a large box of leaves. I told him to spread them around in his office or living room to feel a little less homesick. By that time in his life he was quite accustomed to this kind of missive. Very little was made of it because unusual packages from mom are not really unusual.
What I didn’t send is snowballs for his freezer that first winter. Since those were part of his childhood, he may appreciate the gesture, and even humored his co-workers, but the dry ice and complications of packing seemed a bit too much, even for me.
Out of curiosity, not because I was really planning to mail snow, I Googled mailing snowballs. What to my wondering eyes did appear, but a company dedicated to mailing snow? I was jealous that I didn’t think of it and appalled at the extravagance people engage in, all at the same time. Truth be told, if someone can make a business out of shipping snow, more power to him.
The company, called ShipSnowYo, presently based in Massachusetts, has sent out more than 10,000 pounds of snow to 48 states. In fact, demand was so high they had to outsource to Vermont and Colorado to satisfy orders. What started out as an idea to ship snow to their friends, turned into a mail-order business. They guarantee the snow arriving as snow and the company has great reviews to back it up.
If those South Texas snow hoarders want to build a snowman or have a snowball fight, they now don’t have to wait for a snowstorm. All they have to do is order a snowman kit, complete with top hat, felt scarf and carrot nose. For the more extravagant snow lover, the 50-pound Blizzard in a Box might be their choice.
It is highly recommended that the snow be used within eight hours, and not be put in the freezer where it will turn to ice. I personally have a third recommendation and that is to take a road trip to Massachusetts, Vermont, or even better, Wisconsin. Enjoy all the snow you like, free of charge. An added bonus is learning how to drive on snow-covered and slippery roads.
I won’t be mailing out any snowballs, either from my yard or a mail-order company. I will be hosting my snow deficit disorder friends and relatives anytime they are ready to partake in the joy of shoveling and snow angels.
Kay Stellpflug is an educator and trainer in interpersonal and professional communications. She works and lives in Beaver Dam and can be reached at email@example.com.