The Snowman Family Reunion
by Carol Abbott

 

   For the Snowman Family there is always somewhat of a let down after Christmas is over. Winter has only just begun, but without the glitter and jolly good fun of the holidays, it just seems like something is missing.  So...many years ago, the Snowman family decided that what they needed was a good old-fashion Winter picnic to bring some excitement back into the season. 

     It's much easier for them to travel in the cold months, so they always plan their Family Reunion for late January.   They have also learned that the parks are not nearly as crowded at that time of year, so they never have a hard time reserving the shelter house of their choice.   And they always pick one near the soft ball field, so they can keep up the family rivalry of who has the best fast (snow)ball of the year.  Come meet the gang and be sure to grab a hot dog and soda to sustain you while you say "HI" to everyone.

 

 

xsnowman31.gif (17854 bytes)This is Uncle Fred.  He is something of a clown and always tries to get everyone giggling (which isn't too hard).   He lives in New Jersey and proudly says he's one of the Jersey Boyz, along with Springsteen and Willis, which always sends everyone into fits of hysteria. xsnowman11.gif (4554 bytes)  Tommy is just the jolliest little fellow.  All the family just wants to pinch his little chubby cheeks whenever they see him.  He is hoping to follow in the footsteps of his successful Uncle Buddy out in Hollywood but his Mom and Dad have suggested that he go into a good, steady profession like accounting.

 

 

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.      Barnaby is a little fuddled most of the time but so good hearted that everyone wants to take care of him.   He makes friends easily and little creatures flock around him as though sensing his innocent nature.  He teaches woodworking at the High school back in Stowe, Vermont.
xsnowman10.jpg (18532 bytes)     Great-Uncle Bob has a heating oil business in Minnesota.  He is probably the richest member of the family but he never 'puts on the dog' with the other family members and has quietly paid tuition to put several of the youngsters through college.  He and his wife Myra are showing pictures of their trip to Alaska, where they went on a Christmas cruise.  Myra got a little fluffier (gained a few pounds) as a result of too many visits to the midnight buffet.  She had a real weakness for the creampuffs and the lobster bisque.

 

 

 

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     This is Bud "Frosty" Snowman.   He was an aspiring actor, working as an extra, when he got tapped to play the lead in the very successful TV version of Frosty the Snowman

It was the making of his career, but unfortunately from then on he was hopelessly typecast.  Now Hollywood speaks of a 'Bud "Frosty" Snowman type' but they considered him too old and didn't cast him in the sequel.  The family boycotted the Frosty II show, saying that is wasn't nearly as good as the original.

 

 

 

Bernice is a kindergarten teacher in Bay Point, Maine.  She feels her biological clock tick-tocking away and came to this picnic hoping to renew and deepen her friendship with Barnaby who she met while they both were attending teacher's college in New Hampshire ten years ago.  They actually wrote to each other for a while, but lost track after a few years.  Now Bernice is not feeling quite so carefree and as though she has forever to settle down and she hopes that Barnaby hasn't gone and got himself engaged or anything in the mean time.

She loves children, especially the little ones, and always plans the kiddy activities for the picnics.  All the children run to give her hugs as soon as she arrives.  And she bakes lovely chewy molasses cookies to use as prizes for the afternoon games.

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snomanglobe.gif (12534 bytes)This is Howard.  He always comes to the reunion in his Motor Home.  It is equipped with a wonderful snow machine which makes it possible to drive through warmer climates but his wife, Trina, is so nervous that they might have car trouble, that Howard generally stays on northern routes.

 

 

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Trina practices her relaxation tapes and meditates before starting off on any trip in the motor home.  It seems to help...

 

 

snowman1.gif (4295 bytes)   Roderick is really handy, loves to manage things, and makes it his mission to get to the park early every year so that he can clear the paths and set up the barbecue grills.  His wife Brenda makes the best coleslaw in the family --- although everyone in the family insists on calling it "coldslaw"---go figure! (Their son is chubby-cheeked Tommy)

 

Brileyantiphat.gif (12975 bytes)redhatfloozysmlr.gif (8341 bytes)Briley is the talk of the family.  He has an eye for the ladies and is a real flirt.  He just can't seem to settle down and, as Grandma Rosy says with a certain relish, brings a different floozy to the picnic every year.  He sells snowmobiles and does his own commercials on TV.  He thinks he could have made it BIG in Hollywood just like cousin Buddy, if he had just taken the plunge when he was a few years younger. But in complete honesty, his commercials are so bad they are unintentionally funny and he sells a lot of snowmobiles because of them.

As for Ethelred, she is really very fond of Briley and the fact that she is taller than he is doesn't seem to bother either of them.  But Ethelred knows she will have to play hard to get if she wants to keep him interested.  (She's not like some of the empty headed gals he has squired in past years.  Though she enjoys a good party, she would really like to get a commitment and a ring -- instead of just a fox fur... like Briley gave Doreen, last year's girlfriend.)

 

 

 

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  Over near the fire pits(but not too near), Brenda is busy setting out the feast.  Her dedication to making the annual picnic and reunion a resounding success is every bit as driven as Roderick's.

Everyone is getting mighty hungry for Brenda's famous coldslaw... and she made extra bowls this year.  So they won't run out, like they did a couple of years ago! 

Boy was everyone disappointed when that happened.   And Brenda vowed it would never occur again, as long as she had her health (and carrots, mayo and cabbage)!

 

 

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    It is quite difficult to find grill cooks for the Snowman's picnic.   (all that heat, you know)  However, Abominable Snowman is always happy to oblige, so long as there are plenty of leftovers for him to take home.  And Bud wears his fire suit that he uses for stunt work out in Hollywood and becomes Abominable's able assistant. AbominableAtGrill.gif (33769 bytes)
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asnowmn1.gif (10006 bytes)   Gregory is hard at work on his degree in Psychology. It's taking him a bit longer, since he only goes to school in the evenings--and only in winter, of course.  Uncle Bob told him to hurry up because Myra could use some of his services.  Then Bob laughed really loud and slapped Greg on the back.  However, Myra didn't seem all that amused.

(I really think Gregory chose this particular profession because he could see himself sitting in his chair holding his pipe in his hand and listening intently with a concerned look on his face. He is seriously considering getting some reading glasses, too.)

 

 

 

 FROSTY.gif (10147 bytes)    Raymond is an ornithologist.  He loves these family reunions because he gets a chance to study all of the birds in a new region every year.  He is married to Becky and they have twins, Todd and Tina.  snwgirl01LG.gif (3358 bytes)  snwman01LG.gif (2952 bytes)

 

 BeckySnowMOM2.gif (11073 bytes)GranmaRose3.gif (9984 bytes)     Right now, Todd's chasing Tina around the park, growling and shouting "Here comes the abominable showman!!  Run, Tina, run!!"  Becky's deep in conversation with Grandma Rosy, and doesn't seem to notice the commotion.  Of course, Ray is talking to the birds and doesn't hear anything but bird talk. 

    Oh, well, Tina runs over and climbs into the ample lap of Auntie Myra and Todd grabs another hot dog and heads over to the playground with some of the other cousins.

 

*Myra was adopted from Snow Buddies.
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     Myra* is just the dearest old gal.  So fond of picnics..... and high teas .....birthday parties .... and ladies' luncheons ..... buffets .... mid-night dinners by candlelight ..... banquets and family suppers.  She has a heart as big as she is and has her husband Bob wrapped around her little finger.  She loves hats and has so many different ones that she had to have a special closet built with 100 shelves lining the four walls to hold them all.
 

 

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Oh my.... look who managed to get to the Reunion in time!  Straight from their Honeymoon.  It's Barbara and Frank.  Looks like they are happy to be here.   Or maybe they are just happy to be anywhere so long as they are together.   They first fell in love dancing to Lionel's recording of "Stuck on You", playing it over and over again.  I noticed Bernice trying to coax Barnaby in their general direction a little while ago.  Hoping for a bit of inspiration maybe?

 

 

 

Gracie is just about the most talented knitter in the Snowman family.  She has made beautiful scarves for nearly everyone in the family at one time or another, giving them as Christmas and birthday gifts.  And every month, 100s of pairs of socks!  Several very up-scale shops in Colorado carry them and sell every pair Gracie can send them.   Select customers beg to be put on the list to be notified whenever a new pattern arrives in the stores.  They are true works of art.  This year she is using lots of golden yellow mixed with muted shades of red and green.  WOW! snowlady.gif (16403 bytes)

 

snwman01LG.gif (2952 bytes) Seems like every year there are more and more snow kids hanging out at the playground.  All the cousins love the chance to see each other and spend the whole day catching up on all the family news and comparing notes on school, sports and their favorite X-Box or Wii games.
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The Thompson triplets each like different things but always stand up for each other whenever it's necessary.

Violet is all girl.  She loves to play dress-up and writes poetry but if someone picks on one of her brothers....well...she can hold her own in a fight to the consternation of her mom, Ruby. 

Her brother Virgil is a talented musician and gets lessons from his dad, Jimmy.  He wants to make an audition tape for admittance to Juilliard when he is older but his Mom is reluctant to think about him being so far from home. 

Turns out that Victor is interested in magic and has already mastered a couple of rather challenging and complicated illusions including making a sudden snow burst appear.  He got a copy of Big Book of Magic Tricks from his Dad this year for Christmas.

Tyler and Jason have more energy than any other six snow kids combined.  Their poor mother Gracie took up knitting to calm herself when Ty and Jace were very young because they were like Energizer Bunnies--they never slowed down.  They spend a lot of time whooping it up building snow forts in the back yard and engaging in spirited snowball fights.  They also will chuck snowballs at the neighbor's cat for hours on end when he is left out in the yard!

 

RosemaryCat.gif (30826 bytes) Rosemary is friends with Gracie and is a very good, very patient neighbor.   She is happy to give Gracie a few hours respite by keeping an eye on Tyler and Jason but she learned early on to shut her cat Roscoe in the back bedroom with his litter box while the boys are visiting. It's a good thing that her cat Roscoe seems to have a sense of humor.  He can be taking a nap in the sun shining through the family room window and when he hears the boys out back building a snow fort, he immediately runs to the door to be let out.   He then makes a stately entrance into the back yard, tail held high with just a tiny regal flick of the tail tip and eyes looking anywhere but at the boys.   Snowballs fly...several yowls and answering shouts of glee.  This has been the ritual for three and a half years.  Both sides play their parts and everyone has a grand old time.

 

     Hamish, Colleen and Sean live just north of Houghton in the upper peninsula of Michigan.  All three love to ice skate, ice fish and do a lot of cross country skiing.

      I see that Sean is telling everyone about the "really huge" fish that he landed on his last trip.  It was a real humdinger!  And won him a prize at the U.P. Ice Festival.  He got his picture in the paper and everything! 

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Jimmy is big into blue grass and just really loves all kinds of music.  He teaches band and orchestra to middle school kids and is happy that one of his triplets loves music as much as he does. Lionel is happy to front the group this year for the dancing.  Last year he was on tour in Alaska during the picnic and he promised Aunt Myra that he would not do that sort of thing ever again.  He has such a way with a phrase.  His publicist has to plant false sighting stories in a few spots around the country.  Otherwise the family picnic would risk being crashed by groupies and fans coming from all over. Jimi is a cool ol' hippie who's been around since the sixties.  His roots are old time rock n roll but he will play the Hokey Pokey with the same intensity and a big grin on his face that everyone is having a good time.
 

 

 

 

dancingcouple.gif (14412 bytes) As usual, everyone was shy to start the dancing.  So Fred and Ginger gave them some inspiration by staging one of their spectacular dance numbers and, next thing you know, everyone was out there shaking a leg and dancing like a Chorus Line.

Most fun songs are the same every year:  The Bunny Hop, the Hokey Pokey and YMCA.  Even Grandma Rosy gets out and boogies on those.

 

BoogieTwins.gif (51574 bytes) With only a little coaxing from Ginger, Rachel and Rhoda were ready to show off the great routine that they have been practicing in their Tap n Jazz class at the Y.  Miss Cindy, their instructor says it is good enough to win a prize at the competition in Minneapolis in a couple of weeks. dancerfella.gif (20336 bytes)
ruby2.jpg (18336 bytes) Cousin Craig never took a dance lesson in his life, but good dance music will find him at first just tappin' a toe, then jiggling his knee and snapping his fingers.  Pretty soon he's up on his feet and throwing himself into the whole experience.  (Just watch out not to get too close out there on the dance floor.  Otherwise, you may be run over in his enthusiasm.)
Ruby loves these family reunions so she can catch up with what everyone in the family is getting up to.  She enjoys the music and adores having hubby Jimmy up there playing with the others.  You can see how proud she is as Jimmy whips right in to the banjo solo on The Devil's Dream.

 

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snowballFight.jpg (37072 bytes) Over at the ball field, things were getting way out of hand until Archibald, the Snowball Throwing Competition Judge stepped in and took control of the situation.  It seems that sometimes the best motivator has a little "fire-power" of his own.

After that, things settled down and got a lot more organized.  It gave everyone a chance to see what was going on and also offered some of the shyer guys a chance to show their stuff on the mound.

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    Ronald was the eventual winner of the Best Fast snowball toss contest.  He felt so good about winning, that he wowed everyone by juggling four balls at once.

    Everyone got a big kick out of this and it was a great finale to the day.

 

 

 

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Well, another wonderful winter reunion has reached it's successful conclusion and with many hugs and prolonged "good-byes" and the first tentative plans laid down for next year's get-together, the Snowman Family says "See you next year!"

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If you have a snowman picture that you would like to have "join the reunion" please email me. Either attach the file or give me the address of the page. After he (or she) is added to the site I will gladly notify you, if you would like me to. Happy days.

 

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