The conditions last night were almost perfect for building snowmen, the ideal opportunity for my friend Dawn Matheson to conduct the inaugural operation of Project Snowman. The target was the house of a neighbourhood woman who is fighting terminal cancer. We assembled on her front lawn at about 8:30, armed with carrots, old clothing, and bits of asphalt gleaned from the newly paved road. The snow was a little heavy, so we had to keep our snowmen small, but we made a dozen or so, raiding the funeral home across the street for sticks to make the arms. The woman and her child watched us from the window, while her husband came and talked with us as we worked.
On the way home, my eldest son and I threw snowballs at every tree and telephone pole that dared to cross our path. We arrived at the house far past the time when he should have been in bed, but we made some hot apple cider anyway. He did not get to sleep until the temperature started to drop again, freezing our snowmen into icemen on the front lawn down the block. Good, I thought, as I got into bed myself, now they just might make it until spring.