Sunday, December 27, 2009

I Had A Dream

They say your first memories - the ones you will remember all your life - are of events that occur when you are two or three years old.

I think for me, that was just about right - my very, very first memory is of being carried through the kitchen in our old house in Pepperell, a small town on the Massachusetts/New Hampshire border, where my father's family had lived for generations. Any time anyone mentioned "Pepperell", a vision of being carried through the kitchen by my mother, apparently on my way upstairs for a nap, entered my head. I remember her Revereware tea kettle steaming, as the coil on our electric range slowly began to fade from red to black again, then the memory ends. There was no drama, no burns from the stove or steaming kettle to cement that memory into my consciousness. In fact, that little snippet of memory was always comforting to me for some reason - a cold winter's day, my mother making her ubiquitous cup of tea, and me headed to my warm and cozy bed. Just a random vision that to this day I can see as clearly as if it happened yesterday.

If I think really hard, I can recall a few other visions from my life in Pepperell - a burning barn that we drove by on our way to Nashua for a shopping excursion - I was so worried about the horses, but my Mom assured me that they all got out safely. The brook in our back yard, or the picnic area where we would meet my Dad for lunch on those days when his truck route brought him to the outskirts of town. I even remember the big white horse that calmly grazed in the field next to the picnic area. And walking with my sister and her friends to the center of town, where the water from the river gushed past the old paper mill and under the bridge we stood on.

Funny how in later years, memories seemed to grow fuzzy, almost dreamlike, to the point where I seemed to remember the dreams I had more vividly than real events. I can't remember what I got for Christmas in 1972, but I do remember that vivid dream I had around that time about driving up to Uncle Paul's house in our old blue station wagon, and seeing a giant white dinosaur made of snow, in his driveway, my cousins, Paul, David, Donna, Peter, Michael, Bobby and Christopher all gathered around him as if he was a new pet they had gotten for Christmas.

So yesterday, when we awoke to a dusting of snow on the few inches we got last week, and a bit of fog in the air, that memory came back. It warms my heart to think of that vision I never let go of for some reason. My daughter an I were outside, waiting for my husband to come out so we could go get the newspapers and grab a coffee, when I realized this snow was perfectly sticky....

She threw a few snowballs then I suggested we build a snowman!

"Like Frosty???"

And that's what we kind of did....three balls of snow, a couple twigs from our cherry tree for arms, and as I headed into the house for a carrot and some rocks (from said daughter's *ahem* collection), Steve was on his way out the door.

Now I may have mentioned, my husband attended Massachusetts College of Art, and aside from designing buildings and 3-D models of spacecraft, is a very talented doodler and sketcher, and even a sculptor of sorts. No twig-armed, lumpy snowman was going to plop itself in our front yard! So he set about putting some finishing touches on our new friend...

Such as real arms.
Grace helped a bit, too!
Finally, we placed the carrot and rocks on his head, adorned him with a spare cap...

And voila'!

I must admit, he came out pretty good!

But ... just like the real Frosty, a night of warmer temperatures and some rain can take it's toll. This is what we woke up to this morning....

Oh well, like the song says, he'll be back again some day!

And hopefully some day that white dinosaur will make another appearance. You see, years later I was at a family reunion, and my Aunt Theresa and I were reminiscing about all those Sunday's at her house, when she said something that shocked me. In the midst of telling tales of our snow forts, and the skating rink in the back yard and snowmobile rides in the field next to their house, Aunt Theresa said:

"Oh, and the time those boys built a dinosaur made of snow! They had to stand on the van to build his head!"

How I wish I had a photograph of that beast! For years I had thought I dreamt him up, but in fact he was real! And with every snowfall that results in wet, sticky snow, I remember him again as if he was here just yesterday. Maybe some day he'll make an appearance in our yard...

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas, with wonderful memories to hold on to for years to come!


Lissaloo said...

How fun, that's the first thing my kiddos have to do when it snows- build a snowman. The dinosaur sounds really neat, what a great idea :)
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas :)

Heidi said...

My 1st memory is of being about 2. I swollowed one of those cap like screw covers on the toilet (yuck) and my mom was holding me by my feet shaking me and pounding my back. Apparently it came loose because I'm still here today!! Adorable snowman :)

Chicago Mom said...

My earliest memory is of riding my yellow tricycle on the sidewalks in front of our house, I think I was around 3.
Great snowman! I like the dinosaur idea. How funny that you thought it was a dream, but it was real!

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

Most of the time I am perfectly happy being a Californian, but that snowman is making me slightly jealous!