On a very cold November 16, 1997 I packed up my car with all my art supplies, slammed the back screen door hearing it slam behind me, turned the key inside, backed out of the drive way, and headed to Sullivan's Business and Office Supply at 204 East Main Street Starkville.
It would be the last day I could possibly brave the cold weather until spring time again to go outside and paint to my heart's desire. I was so happy because I had an extra special date with three of the most handsome, the cutest, and most precious snowmen in all of Starkville. I just knew that I was in for a fabulous day ahead of me. I could feel fun and laughter in my cold bones as my car heater begin to warm up by the time I had reached the end of Louisville and Greensboro Streets. I made my turn to the right at the Greensboro Center on the corner, and headed to my destination to meet and greet three very southern gentlemen snowmen waiting for me to arrive.
Come on now, snowmen in Mississippi? Do we ever even possibly see a big snow here in our state and especially in our city? Not often. I do remember years ago growing up on the Mississippi State University campus on Morgan Street in a big two story white wooden clapboard home, and on one very cold early Christmas morning, Daddy and Moma woke up my little brother, Johnny and me with these sentences, “Y’all get up, come and look outside the window, and see the big, big snow we got last night.” “The big oak tree in the front yard is covered with snow and ice, and we just heard the limbs cracking and falling outside the window.” “We are having not only a snowstorm, but and ice storm as well.” “We think our electricity will go off any time now.”
They flipped on our back light, and the snow was so beautiful and so white. We thought we were in heaven caused it had snowed all night long. We would have several feet of deep snow to play in all day long, and what a memorable Christmas this would be for us!
Snow has such a whiteness, and snow just says, “It’s winter time!” On that Christmas day so many years ago, not only did Johnny and I make a snowman, but we made many snow balls by pressing the snow into a ball and threw them at each other and played all day long outside after we had opened up all of our Christmas gifts underneath the tree.
On that day it was as cold as snow, and on that early morning on November 16, 1997, I was snow-cold. I was determined to survive the blowing wind, the very cold elements, cause I was making my way on towards Main Street to keep my date with my three buddies.
I got a perfect parking spot right in front of the front window of Sullivan's which would face the north side of the street all day without much sunshine at all to keep us all warm and cozy. My three snowmen did not need to be warm or they might melt away, but I knew I would be shivering and shaking all day long.
I was fluttering and shaking from the cold wind that was beginning to blow, so I just pushed my gloves on a little tighter, and zipped up my coat to the top of my neck as my teeth begin to chatter. It was freezing cold because we had just had our first frost for this year, and the low temperature for this morning had made the water in the puddles outside solid ice. My feet were beginning to freeze as well, but I quickly added another pair of socks on my toes to keep warm. I was beginning to feel as if I was in a deep-freezer.
I was chilled to almost freezing in the bitterly cold wind blowing down on me on this north side of the street. I climbed up in my tall red director's chair with my big old wooden table near by with all my art supplies at my finger tips, and there I sat perched inside my own deep freezer underneath my big colorful umbrella ready to get lost in my own world for this last day I could possibly brave the winter time temperatures until warm spring time would arrive months later.
I noticed what wonderful million dollar smiles they each had on their faces. A smile shows amusement, affection, pleasure or skepticism. A smile is characterized by the upturning of the corners of the mouth. A smile is an approval or gives us encouragement. Each snowman had a smirky, smiling, smugly simpering nature about their smiles. They had silly smiles, but such winning smiles too. How could anyone not love my three snowmen?
Just look at each snowman with me. From the left to the right as we together read this painting. The bottom snowman has his two hands and arms completely filled with something. A green tree in one hand and straw broom in the other hand. His little eyes are closed and his smile goes from one cheek to the other cheek. His little orange nose is shaped like a heart. He has three buttons on his chest and his warm red and green woolen scarf tied tightly around his neck to keep him warm.
Look at his black top hat with its red band and a touch of holly pinned onto the red band. Now look closely at the tiny mysterious face by his cheek. You will find it. See the two tiny eyes, nose, and red mouth and a cute little red hat on this tiny head? This little face is what I call a surprise. Look carefully and closely till you find it. See this face! Who is this face, we don't know do we? Is it the face of a girl or boy? Maybe it is girl? Maybe it is my face? You decide, Find it! It is there, and the face is certainly a mystery! Look at the next portrait of the second and middle snowman. He is the largest of the three, and he stands up tall and straight. He is very handsome. He has both arms and hands free, and he is waving to us. On branch of holly has been stuck inside his snow arm. And he has on a matching red and green woolen muff around his neck. His tall black hat on his head is matching his snow friend below him with the red band and the red holly berries. This second snowman seems to sorta be the leader of the three, agree? Maybe the “King” of the snowmen?
The third snowman is the tiny one of the group dressed just like the other two. He might be the cutest of the three, and almost left outside by himself. He is by himself and holding his own, and he is the one snowman that needs a hug and a kiss on his cold cheeks agree? He too has his smirky smile on his lips, and this twinkling two black eyes with his cheeks of red. He has tied his red and green muff around the brim of his black top hat. His hat makes him uniquely different, and he tied a solid green neck scarf around his neck to make his attire slightly different.
I used a black background to represent the darkness of a Christmas night. I had taken a bottle of glitter along with me in my art supplies, and I began to sprinkle magic all over the night sky and on the black top hats of my three snowmen. This is a huge painting of 30 inches by 40 inches on a hard water color board using the medium of acrylic paint. It is framed in a bright silver metal frame which in a way looked like the front window that day that framed my scene in front of me. I begin to suddenly see the glitter shine and sparkle right in front of me. Suddenly my three snowmen breathed and lived.
I began to hum and then sing along with them the fun and familiar holiday song, “Frosty The Snowman.”
I truly had An Extra Special Date With Three Snowmen down at Sullivan's in their front window that early morning and into the afternoon hours.
They made a brilliant appearance as being most handsome, showy and splendid. Most of all they three had tremulous light, magical sparkle about them, and they were dressed in their finest white snow bodies, red, green and black scarves, black top hats, with lots of spendor.
As I packed up all my art supplies that very cold afternoon when I finally finished my masterpiece, cranked up my car to head back home, looked out the back window to back out into Main Street, and I glanced back once more to see my three snowmen... “MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2011!”