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


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

  1. Hah! Yeah, I think he’s got one arm in Quebec, and the other in western Ontario. Which makes him even cooler, right? Well, literally and figuratively, I guess… and do you live anywhere near the Isle Royale National Park?

  2. Isle Royale is in Lake Superior. It is probably about 9 to 11 hours drive, at least, just to the ferry dock. Then a 5 hour ferry trip across the Lake. It is about as far away in Michigan as physically possible. It is actually closer to Minneapolis than to Manchester, MI. I have always wanted to go there for a backpacking trip. Once our kids are old enough… It is a rugged adventure. There are no facilities at all, except the boat landing. Total wilderness.

  3. Total wilderness. Ooh. I like that. I like that a lot… I still remember the picture I saw in fifth grade – there were deer in the photo, and there was blue water, and beautiful trees, and I remember being a little surprised that Michigan looked as pretty as my part of the world. 🙂 And there’s something about the idea of being on an island – I don’t know what’s so appealing about that to me – maybe it’s the idea that an island is its own little world… all children seem to be intrigued by islands… and I still am. 🙂

    • Hah! So cool to see a comment come up on the Humoristianity blog! I haven’t been here for awhile… 🙂

      Thank you for saying my snowman looked like a seal pup. That’s not exactly what I saw in it, but seal pups are waaay cool!

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