P.E.I. grandmother keeps snowball in her freezer for more than a decade

It's not often people want to hang onto winter, but a Summerside, P.E.I. woman has kept a piece of it in her freezer for over a decade: a snowball in a ziplock bag.

Mae Arsenault's granddaughter gave her a snowball as a gift when she was five years old

Alecia and Mae Arsenault with the 11-year-old snowball. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

It's not often people want to hang onto winter, but a Summerside, P.E.I., woman has kept a piece of it in her freezer for over a decade: a snowball in a Ziploc bag.

The snowball isn't just any old ball of ice, however, it was a gift from her granddaughter 11 years ago.

"It's very special," says Mae Arsenault.

"Knowing that they think about you enough to bring you something, it doesn't matter what it is, but a snowball is great for me."

Kept carefully for years

Her granddaughter, Alecia Arsenault, is 16 years old now and had forgotten about the gift until recently when the pair stumbled upon an old photo of five-year-old Alecia presenting it to her.

At that point, vague memories of making a snowball weeks ahead of her grandmother's birthday, and keeping it for her until the end of May, started to come back to her.

"I'm not sure what was going on in my five-year-old mind that I decided that a snowball would be a perfect gift," Alecia said.

When she was five years old, Alecia Arsenault gave her grandmother a snowball as a gift. (Submitted by Mae Arsenault)

She couldn't believe it when her grandmother said the very same snowball was still in the freezer.

"I was like 'Are you kidding me?' So we got up to the freezer and went to go look for it and sure enough it was there," she said.

"I was like 'Oh my goodness,' 11 years that's been there."

'I know she's thinking of me'

Mae Arsenault moved a couple times since Alecia first gave her the gift and no one in the family even knew she had kept it — and that she has been quietly treasuring it every time she opens her freezer door — for the past 11 years.

"I always think of it," Mae said.

"I try to put it in the back so it won't be crushed, but I know it's always there."

Mae Arsenault has kept the snowball carefully stored in a ziplock bag in her freezer for 11 years. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

Alecia jokes that she isn't sure she'd have held onto the gift.

"If it were me and some child gave me a snowball I'd probably just throw it back outside when the kid left," she laughed. "I just never thought that would be something that she would keep." 

"It makes me really happy because I know that she's thinking of me and has that there, it's like a part of me is here with her all the time. It's really adorable, I love it so much."

Mae Arsenault says keeping the snowball is a way to remember her granddaughter's childhood years. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

For Mae, it's not just about remembering the gift.

The snowball is a symbol of her growing granddaughter's childhood years.

And she says as long as she's living the snowball will be in her freezer.

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Jessica Doria-Brown


Jessica Doria-Brown is a videojournalist with CBC in P.E.I. Originally from Toronto, Jessica has worked for CBC in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and Ontario.