A big snowman with a bigger story

Published: Dec. 28, 2020 at 6:33 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Tucked away in an East Anchorage cul-de-sac is a familiar-looking snowman. It’s a bit taller than the original, but it resembles the character, Olaf, from Disney’s “Frozen.”

Standing around nine feet tall, the snowman is a big accomplishment for Lalaine Freeman, who’d never built one before taking on this challenge.

“It [took] me like a week, just the bottom part, because I don’t know what I’m doing,” Freeman laughed.

But after many Youtube tutorials, she said she figured out how to wet the snow and pack it into the shapes she wanted. After that, one day of hard work produced big results.

“I stayed until like 11 o’clock at night just to build the six-foot-one,” she said. “Just for one day, I was able to do that.”

Then, a few days after that, Freeman got just what she needed to make this Olaf stand above the rest.

“A few days before Christman, we had a heavy snow,” she said. “And I decided to just make it a big one.”

Now the sculpture towers above the rest of her family’s yard, but even bigger than that is the story behind the snowman. The idea first came from Freeman’s son.

“He said, ‘Mom, what if we build a giant snowman so my ‘ate’ can see it...in heaven,’” she said.

“Ate” refers to his sister, Freeman’s daughter, in Tagalog. She passed away in May after years of battling a blood disorder. She was a fan of Frozen, which is where Freeman’s son got the idea.

“I am determined to do it to honor her,” Freeman said.

Before the idea of the snowman came up, Freeman and her family hadn’t planned on doing much decorating this year.

Now, she said it’s likely to become a tradition, though next year’s sculpture might look a bit different.

“He said he wants to do Star Wars because we all love Star Wars at home,” Freeman said. “So we might do BB-8 or R2D2.”

But for now, Olaf will stand proudly in Freeman’s yard, not only as a reminder of a beloved daughter and sister but as a testament to what can be accomplished by a hard-working and loving family.

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