In the Pacific Heights neighborhood near 162nd and Pacific Streets, war was to be waged.

The Carlson brothers — Matt, 14, Andrew, 12, and Paul, 10 — used recycling bins to pack snow and assemble a grand fortress on their front lawn, beginning at dawn. Before noon, battle would begin.

The enemy base was three houses due east. The objective, use projectile snowballs to eliminate the enemy (no headshots!) and to capture the rag, er, flag.

The shortest, Paul, assumed the enemy fort. He had defected and joined forces with the other neighborhood children. His tall brother Matt advanced, but Paul was ready, his blue plastic sling pulled back and aimed square at his brother's heart.

As Matt charged the freshly packed block fortress, Paul let loose, but alas the sling failed, and the round misfired straight into the tundra at his feet.

Matt dashed, lobbing a sphere toward Paul and snatching the rag with the same paw as the snowball burst at Paul's neck. Matt stomped and flailed back to his base where, at least on this snow day, the eldest of this Carlson trio could claim victory.

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