Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ice, Ice Baby!

Usually, the only way to see a penguin in Indiana is to visit the zoo. But last week, I got to witness the beginning stages of a new breed at a friend’s house. I don’t want to confuse you, so I’ll cut to the chase. I’m talking about an ice penguin.

Have you ever made an ice sculpture before? Me neither. Have you ever thought that you might actually be creative enough to attempt one? Nope, can’t say that’s crossed my mind either. In fact, I didn’t even know I had friends that thought they should try this work of art on for size. That was until I saw firsthand, what my friend Allison’s engineering-crazy thinking husband is really like to live with.

Let me set the scene. Us girlfriends gathered in her kitchen, wine in one hand, melted brie on a cracker in another, in walks Erik scurrying through the crowd of cackling women, “Excuse me ladies, coming through!” he says wielding an armful of something filled to the brim with water. He’s headed out through their back door into the cold night. Allison lovingly smiles at him, looks at us and shakes her head, “Erik’s latest project” she says with her head cocked slightly and a giggle in her voice. She doesn’t seem annoyed or a bit surprised at what he was doing outside. Which of course, got us all jumping on this mystery like a bunch of hungry vultures! We would no doubt be waiting like prey to harass him about his latest nutty invention when he returned.

“Ice sculpture!” she says in a matter of fact tone. A whaaaat? We all ask with a laugh… yep, this man enjoys a challenge. When Erik returns, we get the low down on his creation. He was still in the beginning stages of adding water a couple times a day to a giant trash can he was filling outside. He is intelligent enough to understand the reasons to fill it and freeze it in stages. Unlike me who would have just filled it to the brim one time and wondered why it took a week to freeze or busted the trashcan from expansion. But alas, that is why my brain is not thinking about how I can create an ice sculpture. I’m too busy wondering if my kid has a pair of jeans left without a hole in them (the answer is no, by the way).

I’m not sure if the ice sculpture was really the act of Fatherly Love he was claiming it was by wrapping the deed up as if it was something fun to do with the kids. I mean, let’s be real, are the children really going to fire up the chainsaw and blowtorch? Sure it will be fun to watch Dad make a cool sculpture, but this is not something small animals and children can be that involved in. And from what I know about Erik, he’s pretty meticulous. Ask me about what happened when I almost dropped his son’s Pinewood Derby car! Now that was funny enough that I almost popped a vein from laughing at the look on his face. But I’m digressing… This ice sculpture was a serious matter.

Now, I’m not going to sit here typing out a bunch of disses, because frankly, it’s pretty cool! Cool in a number of ways – first, that he has an imagination wild enough to know he can attempt this without a second thought. Secondly, he has enough playfulness in his life to come up with these sorts of projects. And lastly, that he has a family that is totally on board with his unpredictable quirks, but that they can predict they WILL exist and come up often.

I’ve been inspired, and will tuck this tidbit into my back pocket for another cold winter of wondering what kind of project might be fun to try. It’s always fun to find out interesting things about your friends, and this was no exception. I’m hoping maybe I can convince him to create a beautiful fruit sculpture this summer and invite us all over for dessert fondue. He’s probably got a cocoa tree growing out back for dipping chocolate! I’d love to see what he could carve out of a watermelon or something.

For now, I leave you with his masterpiece…. Congrats Erik… see you at the Pinewood Derby, we’ll have our eyes on your kid’s car. Care to have a little wager?


Anonymous said...

Bravo Erik! Get the sign-up sheet out! Have a winter neighborhood competition for 2010.

Marianna said...

I would have loved to have been there for that!! I can just the lot of you now...

Cool penguin!

Karen said...

Aww, it's so cute! I want one!

wendy said...

so cool!

John said...

Geeks Rock!

Midwest Mommy said...

Oh my goodness! How fun is that. I would have never thought in a million years to fill a garbage can with water and make ice sculptures.