With snow, possibilities for amusement are endless

Tuesday, January 22, 2002

$$$Start

hkronmueller

Unlike a lot of people, I was sad to find the sun shining Monday morning.

For a lot of people it meant a break from the cold, dreary days we have been seeing for the last week. But for me -- and I suspect hundreds of children who were home for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday -- the sun's presence in the sky meant one thing: certain doom for all of the snow creatures people worked so hard to build last weekend.

I love snow. In fact, I would be perfectly happy to see the ground covered with it every day from Thanksgiving to Easter.

The best thing about the snow is that, unlike rain, it serves a greater purpose beyond that of hydrating the ground.

The only thing you can do with rain is get wet. How fun is that? With snow, the possibilities for amusement are endless.

I could probably think of a hundred different ways to enjoy a snowy day, but I think the three most common ways are sledding, building snowmen and having snowball fights.

Cape Girardeau has some of the best sledding hills in Missouri. St. Charles has only one great hill for sledding, which means by noon on the first day of the snow the hill is no longer covered with powdery white snow, but soggy brown and green grass.

College students love to sled, so it is a good thing that Southeast's campus has so many hills.

Southeast students are funny about sledding. They look forward to sledding down Cardiac or Academic hills and then running back to the top to do it all over again 10 or 12 times per night. During the day, however, they will skip class because they can't stand the thought of dragging themselves out of bed and hiking up one of those same hills. (I know this because not too long ago I was one of those students.)

Another thing college students, as well as people in general, love to do is smack each other with snowballs.

I'm not sure who started this tradition, but I'd like to think whoever it was regretted the idea after having his or her face pelted with a ball of snow and ice.

I used to be a fan of snowball fights when I was younger, but I am no longer amused by them. I would be more inclined to participate if they didn't always end the same way -- with a chunk of ice in my face.

While I don't like snowball fights, I do enjoy making snowmen.

Unfortunately this can be a dangerous feat because it has the tendency to draw the attention of vandals and teenage pranksters.

Take this past weekend. Snowmen started popping up all over town. Some were decorated with hats, T-shirts and other human accessories while others donned traditional vegetable and tree-part accessories.

I don't know what it is that is so appealing about the first type of snowmen, but apparently such creations draw young people to them.

Sunday night I spoke to a person with the Jackson Police Department who said a serial snowman stripper and tipper was on the loose.

One of my friends in Jackson was a victim. When he woke he noticed his snowman, who had at one time been wearing a T-shirt and some other clothes, was standing in just his snow.

Police said Sunday they hadn't caught the "stupid teenagers yet."

I suspect they never will.

Heather Kronmueller is a staff writer for the Southeast Missourian.

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