It's rare that we get the chance to fulfill a childhood dream when we are adults. Usually we outgrow those dreams, or the impossibility of the dream becomes all too apparent when the naivete of youth is stripped away.
When I was a little boy I had a blue plastic block, about 6" by 6" by 12". There was a picture on the front of it with a little boy in a heavy parka. He had the fur lined hood up and had a huge smile on his face. In the background was a perfectly domed igloo.
I don't remember if that toy was a birthday present, a Christmas present or a "just because" present, but when I saw it, I immediately wanted to build an igloo. And for several winters I tried, but it never worked. The snow was either too dry, too powdery, too wet or too little. And the amount of work involved was probably too great for a six to eight year old boy anyway.
Tuesday night we saw 16 inches of snow dumped on us. We went from late fall to winter in the course of 24 hours. The first batch of snow was heavy and wet, followed by drier, more powdery snow. When I went out to play in it Wednesday morning, I saw that the bottom six inches had been insulated by the top 10 inches. It was still wet and sticky, even though the air temperature was around 27 or 28 degrees.
I knew this was it. The perfect situation to build an igloo. So I went inside and dumped the toys out of six bins our girls use for toys and set to building an igloo.
It took about five hours. I did the first half by myself, but the second half was a full family effort with Ms. Huis packing the blocks and the girls delivering them to me inside the igloo. The inside is about seven feet in diameter and it is just under seven feet tall. It doesn't look much like the perfect domed igloo on my long gone blue plastic block, but I'm still thrilled with it.
I get a smile on my face every time I think about it.