Posted tagged ‘down the hill’

Summer is the season of inferior sledding.”

January 5, 2017

With the back door open, I can feel the cold coming in through the dog door. I think Gracie will have to ring her bells to go outside as I’m shutting the inside door. She’s already been out three or four times, once just to bark, so I figure I won’t be jumping up and down to let her out. Snow is coming tomorrow. A winter weather advisory is in place for the cape. The snow should start after midnight so I’ll be waking up to a white world. We’re expecting 2-4 inches from this storm then more on Sunday. This is the first snow of the season for us.

When I was a kid, the TV didn’t have a rolling list of no school announcements. We listened for the horn from the fire station. I don’t remember what the pattern of beeps was, but back then, we all knew and we waited then cheered after we’d heard it. We were all familiar with that horn. It blew every day at noon and for any fires. In the town phone book was a list of what the beeps meant, where in town the fire was. We all used to stop to listen and count.

Snow is never a burden to a kid. The more snow that falls the better the sledding. My street was never plowed all the way down to the road so the hill made for a great ride. The cars going up and down the hill helped. Their tires would tamp down the snow. The sun would sometimes melt the top layer which would freeze at night when it always got colder.  The first rides down were at blazing speeds on the ice cover. Sledders at the bottom would warn us if a car was coming on the cross street below the hill. We’d use our feet as brakes or, as a last resort, we’d throw ourselves off the sleds. No one ever got hit, but I think it was mostly luck because we hated stopping our sleds. They’d whiz over the cross road into a field where the higher snow would finally stop us.

We’d sled all day long. Our mittens got soaked. Our boots always had snow inside them because we’d walk through the high snow on the field to get back to the hill. Our cheeks got red and so did our legs under our ski pants. Late in the afternoon mothers started yelling out front doors for us to come inside. We’d sneak one more ride pretending we hadn’t heard them. When the yelling got a bit louder and more strident, we’d walk to the backyard, jam our sleds upright in the snow then slide down the snow covered stairs to the cellar. We’d leave our wet clothes on the lines so they’d dry overnight. We wanted to be ready for the next day and the ice on the hill.