It's been a while since it's really snowed a lot here, even though we're known for being a snowy state. (That's up in the mountains people, we here in the foothills have it hit or miss sometimes.) My patio table and the grill both have have over a foot of snow on them from yesterday's snowfall, so it was a good one. Like I wrote yesterday, I wish I was out at my parents' this morning - I would take a picture of their beautiful forest home and show you how much they got - I'm sure it's a lot, and just plain breath-taking.
Anyway, when I was really little, less than 7, my parents and I lived in New York and had this great little hill in our back yard. Now, my perception is totally skewed being that I was so little, but I recall that it was the perfect sledding hill - long enough that you could go aways before stopping. Granted, I was 6, so aways might have been 15 feet. My little sister wasn't born until I was nearly 6, so it was just me who went sledding on that hill, me and my dad or mom or whichever of them was "assigned" to me for playtime. I have clear memories of bundling up and spending hours out there, sledding, making snowmen (New York snow was awesome for that, so wet and pack-able, unlike our dry powder here. There you could actually roll the snow into the balls for the head and body. Here we sort of just mush it together.) I remember coming inside the kitchen, all frosty and red-nosed, and drinking hot chocolate. It was lovely.
When we moved here, we no longer had such a conveniently located hill in our backyard, so we had to drive somewhere else to go sledding. Fortunately this is a place with a lot of hills, so it wasn't terribly difficult. (Fortunately then, for sledding. Not so fortunate now, when I'm trying to run and it's all hills.) We lived right by a high school that had a huge hill leading down towards their practice football field, so sometimes we would walk, sometimes drive over there and sled. This experience was much more like thie picture above - dozens of children and their parents sledding down this long, big hill and racing back up again for another go. The thrill of wondering how far you'd actually get, how fast you'd actually go, and if you would fall off or not. Even if you did fall, it was usually okay, because the joy of the thought of another go was better than the minor pain of the fall.
When my sister was old enough, she came too, and she'd ride along in front of me on the sled. We had a long, red one with "emergency brakes" (that I think never worked) and a rope or something to "steer." I always wanted to try one of those "shield" ones, but I don't know if I ever have to this day. She was the cutest little girl, with these adorable chubby cheeks that pinked right up in the cold, and being together doing something like that was the best. Especially because we always were together, and never with any of the other kids on the hill. It was times like those that started to cement our lifelong friendship, even though she was a teeny-weeny chica bonita.
Right before 8th grade we moved out to the forest, where my parents are now, and honestly, I can't remember if we ever went sledding again. Probably we did a few times, or at least, Dad would have taken Sister since she was still young (she was in 2nd grade when I was in 8th), but I can't really recall going. We did other snow activities (alas, no, I don't ski), but for me, the end of the sledding era was over.
The last few times I've driven by one of those great hills and seen the kids and their parents and all trails of the kids who've enjoyed the thrill and rush of flying down a hill, I've started to get the sledding "itch," again. And this morning, as I see the sun shining down and the twinkling diamonds all around in the piles and piles of snow everywhere, I wish.
I wish I owned a sled. Or that I weren't 7 months pregnant.
Or that the Peanut was already here, and just big enough to go outside, bundled up, with his dad and me, find a great hill, and experience the joy, pure joy, that comes from sledding.
Oh, I wish I could go sledding.