What This Snowman Means to Me

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA VA License # 0225089470

What This Snowman Means to Me

Let me introduce you to one of my favorite Christmas ornaments.  He is a smiling snowman made of plaster that I painted in 1994.  The fall of 1994, leading right up to Christmas that year, I was busy painting all kinds of Christmas ornaments.  A neighbor had introduced me to the craft, and loving creative things to do, I latched on and applied color to these lifeless, white plaster shapes.

My Smiling SnowmanThere are a couple of things about that holiday season that are important.  It was to be the last Christmas season I would spend living in my parents' home.  I had graduated college in December 1993, but when I started to look for my own place in the summer of 1994, my hunt was delayed by some bad news.  My recently retired father was diagnosed with lung cancer.

There are moments in life like these that make your path clear.  I wasn't about to leave home when my family needed me. 

As the fall season saw my father's health decline, I spent countless hours in our family room with him.  He would be watching a movie or sporting event, I would be painting my ornaments.  We didn't have the kinds of deep conversations you see a dying parent have with a grown child in the movies.   We shared lots of little moments.  

My father died on January 4, 1995.  For a few years, I didn't do anymore ornament painting.  Then, as the time passed, I took up the hobby again.  It reminded me of the time I spent with Dad.  And it allowed me to share something special with the nieces and nephews I had that were just beginning to understand Christmas.  I would paint ornaments and ship them to the little guys and gals, starting a collection of hand painted ornaments for them.  

It has been a couple years since I've had time to do any more, but seeing those ornaments I painted, with a signature and notation of the year 1994, always make me smile.  This smiling snowman was one my Dad and I both really liked. I hope he brightens your holiday too.



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David Alan Baker Laveen & South Phoenix Realtor
Keller Williams Realty Phoenix - Laveen, AZ
Your local Expert

What a wonderful read and post, thanks for sharing.  Hope you do keep it up

Dec 15, 2015 11:17 AM #18
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

What an magical post.  

Dec 15, 2015 11:54 AM #19
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

I was touched by your story Chris Ann, and I was elated by it as well.  I'm glad you were able to post it.

Dec 15, 2015 01:23 PM #20
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Chris Ann Cleland it's the memories that live forever! I am wearing a jumbo size sweater that my Dad used to wear!

Looks funny on me perhaps - but I don't mind and really....it reminds me of the moments I had with my Dad!

Dec 15, 2015 03:25 PM #21
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Chris Ann - That is a beautiful ornament and such a touching story.

Dec 15, 2015 05:44 PM #22
Carolyn Crispin
Keller Williams Tri-Lakes - Branson, MO
Crispin Team Sells Branson Homes Land & Commercial

Thanks for sharing that story and how that ornament you created brings back memories of your family. When I decorate my tree, every ornament placed on the tree brings back memories and that's what it is all about. 

Dec 15, 2015 09:20 PM #24
Chris Lima
Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise - Port St Lucie, FL
Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you.

Good Morning Chris Ann Cleland and thank you for sharing such a personal story.  Making and Cherishing memories is what life is all about!

Dec 15, 2015 10:26 PM #26
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com

Now that's a special snowman! My dad is in his mid-70's now and finally starting to slow down a bit. I will be an absolute mess when he is gone. 

Dec 15, 2015 10:59 PM #27
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

The care-free existence is the most valuable journey on the planet bar-none

Dec 15, 2015 11:18 PM #28
Becca Rasmussen
HomeSmart Cherry Creek - Highlands Ranch, CO

Great snowman and beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. :0)

Dec 15, 2015 11:50 PM #29
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667 (MT), 914-419-0270 (NY), Broker in NY with Grand Lux Realty and in MT with (coming soon!) - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing - I can imagine how warm looking at that ornament makes you feel.

Dec 16, 2015 02:14 AM #30
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Chris Ann - What a lovely memory. We'll be painting ornaments this weekend though ours never seem to look like that ; )

Dec 16, 2015 03:38 AM #31
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Such a bittersweet story Chris Ann and such a lovely memory of time you spent with your Dad.  The snowman could bring a smile to anyones face, he's adorable.

Dec 16, 2015 05:16 AM #32
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

A touching read and these feelings attached to inamiate objects are truly sweet.  Kids holding their little dolls, or teddy bears . . . yes, we do find comfort from these things.  Thank you for sharing what that Snowman means to you. 

Dec 16, 2015 05:34 AM #33
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

Your story gave me chills Chris Ann Cleland , i use to love painting ornaments with my mom, it has been a couple of years since she was able to do any, i do miss it

Dec 16, 2015 08:19 AM #34
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

That's a bitter sweet kind of a memory, thanks for sharing it with us. 

Dec 16, 2015 10:37 AM #35
Claude Labbe
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

Neat snowman. Neat story.  Surely that is one that will never find himself in a bin at a garage sale.

Merry Christmas.

Dec 17, 2015 02:31 PM #36
Dan Dee McGinnis The Pumpkin Man
HomeSmart - Phoenix, AZ

Chris Ann

Nice post. Merry Christmas


Dec 18, 2015 01:43 PM #37
Althea Kippes, Esq.
Catarra Real Estate, Inc. - Los Altos, CA
Serving all of Silicon Valley and San Francisco

Thank you for sharing this sweet, touching story about you, your father, and the snowman.  I am so sorry for your loss but I hope the memories you have of him, the snowman that he liked,  and the time you spent together will always be with you...

Dec 20, 2015 06:56 AM #38
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

Such a bittersweet story. Thanks for sharing it with us. He's a very handsome snowman.

Sep 05, 2016 03:33 AM #39
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Chris Ann Cleland

Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
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