The inspiring true story of the snowman who looked like a big… well… and then he turned into Michigan…

My snowman is dead now. But in his short – and we’re talking really short – life, he taught me an important lesson. He showed me that it is indeed possible to overcome a rough beginning, to triumph over humiliating labels, and, in the end, to look something like the state of Michigan. Only smaller.

I never gave him a real name like John or Tom or Stan, but as soon as I saw what I had created I labeled him. He looked very much like… well… I suppose you could say he looked like a really big cucumber – you know, like the one that is featured in the airport security scene in the movie, Spinal Tap.  I’d built him in our front yard, and we live in a neighborhood with lots of children and young families, and it just seemed kind of indecent to leave him sitting there, looking like a giant… cucumber.  I realized I had to fix him somehow. I ran inside and found one of my husband’s old neckties. I figured that would make him look less like a… well, more like a snowman – I mean, right? Then I stuck in a couple sticks for arms, and added some rocks for a nose and eyes.  When I got done with him he even had a shy, but very charming (keeping in mind that charming is in the eyes of the beholder) lop-sided smile.

Last night our snow melted and I woke up to a world that was no longer white. I immediately thought of the little snow friend I’d built in our front yard.  When I went out to check on him, I saw that my worst fears were confirmed. He was no longer. I snapped a picture of his melted remains and posted them on Facebook so all could mourn his early demise. It was there that one of my FB friends remarked that he looked an awfully lot like Michigan.

And he totally does! In the end, my little snowman had managed to transform himself into something totally cool – the state of Michigan! – home of Kalamazoo and sassafras trees and Isle Royale National Park (which I’ve never seen, but saw a picture of when I was in fifth grade and always wanted to visit).  By losing himself, my little snowman had actually become something bigger than himself.

Which. Yeah, I’m totally full of baloney. But I do miss the little guy. He made me grin.

Karen Wingoov