“About the woodlands I will go / To see the cherry hung with snow.”

I have rejoined the world. My car is on the street should I choose to travel anywhere. The steps are shoveled as is the walkway. A path leads to the bird feeders so I can keep them filled with seed. Gracie hadn’t ventured further than the bottom of the steps where I had my little adventure the other day, but today she is roaming under the deck for a bit more privacy. Gracie is the mistress of all she surveys as she sits on the deck to keep an eye on the neighborhood. She has been outside most of the morning.

It is warmer than it has been. Icicles are hanging from my roof and getting longer from the drips. One is nearly to the ground. I put paw friendly de-icer on the front steps as they were slippery when I went to get the papers. With my history, a fall would have been inevitable, but I have saved myself from injury and indignity.

Fold laundry and vacuum pine needles are the only jobs on my to-do list. The day is a gray one and not at all inviting. Because I have no need to be out, I’ll shower and put on cozy clothes again.

If I were a kid again, I’d be out sledding. Around here the golf course is the big sledding spot, but where I grew up had plenty of choices. I did go to the Winchester Golf Club once when I was in high school. I was with my friends Bobby and Jimmy. We had a toboggan with wings. On the way down, we flew off the hills a couple of times and landed hard but never fell off. Jimmy, sitting on the end, almost did but I, in the middle, grabbed him. It was a spectacular run and we lugged the toboggan up the hill to take more flights. We were the only ones who dared to ride that hill.

We had wooden sleds with metal runners. A rope was tied to the steering bar in the front so we could pull the sled up the hill. I remember that rope froze after only a couple of runs. We always rode down the hill on our stomachs. We’d hold the sled, run as fast as we could then jump on once we were at the start of the hill. We’d put our feet in the air so they wouldn’t stop us until we needed them as brakes. The steering was always iffy at best. It was a quick ride then a longer walk back up the hill. We’d sled all afternoon until we couldn’t feel our feet or hands. When it was time to go in, I’d jam my sled in the snow in the backyard, walk down the stairs to the cellar and take off all the wet clothes. Every so often my mother would make us cocoa, “…to warm the innards,” as she sometimes said, but more often I’d get into bed to read and get warm under the covers.

Getting a new sled for Christmas was always one of the great gifts.

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20 Comments on ““About the woodlands I will go / To see the cherry hung with snow.””

    • katry Says:

      A lot of these aren’t around here, but I remember the old logos of the ones which are here. Wendy’s really hasn’t changed all that much, but the rest of them got slick and took the fun out of them.

  1. Hedley Says:

    50 words for Snow

    Sucks, cold, deep, windblown, miserable, repetitive, piled, friggin, Michigan, football, wet, slippery, brokenleg, ice, pushed, snowblower, notagain, im6sfault, blizzard, thundersnow, icicles, powerout, snowflake, flurry, drift, firn, frost, lakeffect, powder, heavy, slush, squall, snowpack, igloo, ripples, burstpipes, shovel, dogrun, gloveshatscarf, allwheeldrive, housebound, readingandfootball, saltdown, crystals, stillim6fault, music, kate, atmospheric, movetoflorida, and arctic

    It’s a Kate Bush day…play that wonderful disc

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I see you are not a lover of snow, but strangely enough I know how you got to Kate from where you started. I find that just a bit scary!

      You have definitely given me a great idea as I started a book last night and Kate would be wonderful background music!

      • Hedley Says:

        In Mrs MDHs absence, I am reading Kynaston’s Modernity Britain, watching football, amusing the Terrier and preparing for yet another visit to the driveway with my snowblower

    • Birgit Says:

      Hedley, brokenleg??? – I hope it’s just a theoretical thought.
      PS: Try this Kate (+sister) instead, their warm music will melt snow:

      • Hedley Says:

        Birgit – sadly not theoretical. I went down on ice three years ago and broke my right leg below the knee in 6 places. It was best described an unpleasant experience with a ton of repercussions that I could never have imagined.

        However, I do love all things Kate Bush and will use any opportunity to mention her

      • Hedley Says:

        And I am also fond of all things Kate and Anna McGarrigle. Nice post Birgit.

      • Birgit Says:

        1. Ouch!!!
        2. Wrong Kate for me, I can’t bear her voice.
        3. Thanks.

      • Hedley Says:

        #2 ? Birgit, go to your room immediately. 🙂

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    The last sled I remember having was wooden with metal runners, black with red trim. Like Rosebud, I think. 🙂 We would sled in the side yard. It was a reasonable slope but it ended in the swamp and if the swamp hadn’t frozen, well….
    I watched the deer out my pantry window yesterday instead of doing the dishes so I must do them today. Unless there is something else interesting out the window.
    Enjoy the warmth. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      We had a hill behind our house but that was for little kids. The hill we lived on was for the rest of us. We just had to stop at the bottom where there was a street. If someone was keeping watch we’d go right over the street into a field.

      I get a view of the birds from my kitchen window.

      Enjoy the day!

  3. Bob Says:

    I am sitting in a hotel room in Toronto and freezing my posterior. By Tuesday morning the really cold air is coming from the North Pole. They are forecasting the lowest temperatures in decades for the east coast. I can’t wait. Yesterday the high temperature in Dallas was 73 degrees.

    I think every kid who grew up in the north in the 1950s had one of those sleds. Those were the days before video games and computers. Mine had red runners and a rope to steer the sled.

    • katry Says:

      You’ve joined the rest of us, all freezing. It will be warm the next couple of days then back to freezing again. It’s winter.

      We steered by the front piece of the sled you held onto. It moved left or right. They were great sleds, and you’re right-we all had them. We started out with smaller ones and got bigger ones for Christmas as we grew up.

  4. Birgit Says:

    Cacao is still absolutely essential, especially in winter. The real cacao, not the sugary stuff they sell as cacao. Just hot water, pure cacao powder, some milk and sometimes a little bit of honey. Delicious!

    • katry Says:

      My mother put Marshmallow Fluff on the top, and it would melt and look like the cocoa had snow. We’d all be wearing mustaches.

  5. olof1 Says:

    I really dislikes windows 8 and this laptop. It’s so sensitive that as soon as I happen to touch the laptop at the same time I’m writing it does something, this time it closed the window while I was writing a long comment!!!
    This one will be so much shorter.

    We rarely got real winters where I grew up, mostly it rained all winter and suddenly we got one or two weeks of hellish cold weather so we couldn’t go outside. But every now and agin the snow fell and we could go to the big park I lived close to and use our sleds or toboggans. After a day like that warm cocoa was a must 🙂

    We actually saw the sun today for almost half a minute, can’t remember when we last saw the sun for so long 🙂 One more day of vacation and then back to work. I’m a bit disapointed that I didn’t win the lottery during this vacation 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      I’m using my Mac so I haven’t run into Windows 8 or even 7 for that matter.

      We always have a winter, some milder than others. We always get snow but some winters not enough to count and other winters too much for a single winter.

      We saw the sun yesterday but it disappeared again today. I forget what it looks like!

      Have a great evening!

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