Posted tagged ‘sleds’

“In New England we have nine months of winter and three months of darned poor sledding.”

December 17, 2015

Today is dreary and wet. The rain started last night and continues. It will be in the mid 50’s today and for the next few days. There will be no white Christmas this year in New England.

I have a picture of me standing on the front steps of our house holding on to my new bike. The picture was taken a couple of days after Christmas. I was glad for no snow that year. Had I gotten a new sled, I wouldn’t have been smiling.

The sleds we all used had metal frames, metal runners and a steering device near the top we could move from side to side though it didn’t steer all that well. The rest of our sleds were wooden slats we’d lie on to ride downhill. We had to bend at the knees so part of our legs and our feet were in the air. If we needed them, our feet acted as brakes though most times the hill ended and so did our ride. I was lucky to live on a hill, a really good hill. I could choose to walk to the top or just go from my street which would still give me a good ride. We had to be careful at the bottom because our street was perpendicular to another street, and if we slid across that street, no cars could see us. Sometimes one of us would stand there and give warning if we needed to stop. We all hoped to keep going because sledding over that street into the field was the best and the longest ride, and having the longest ride was in no small measure a matter of pride.

I remember getting dressed for sledding. I wanted to be warm but not bogged down by clothing as I did have an uphill trek pulling my sled behind me after every ride down. We all wore leggings tucked into our boots. They were waterproof and made that swishing sound when we walked. Our jackets sometimes matched but most times didn’t as we’d grow out of one or the other. The jackets had zippers and were always hard to zip so my mother would do the honors. Our hands stayed warm in mittens. Most of us avoided hats, but if my mother insisted, I’d wear a wool hat which mostly covered the back of my head and tied under my chin but would ditch it as soon as I got the chance. I didn’t care if most of my body heat escaped through my head as my mother claimed.

I remember speeding down the hill and thinking this is what flying must be like. I never wanted to go inside, but when I was chilled to the bone, I dragged myself home, parked my sled in the pile of snow by the back door, went inside to the cellar, got out of my wet clothes, hung them up to dry and went upstairs for a cup of cocoa with marshmallow floating on the top. That was the perfect ending to a day of sledding.

“Let us not curse the darkness. Let us kindle little lights.”

November 28, 2014

Last night I was in bed before eleven, most unusual for me the night owl, and I slept until almost ten. I figure I was suffering from a Thanksgiving dinner hangover. My plate was filled with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and squash. I was so filled I had to pass on dessert, on pumpkin pie and chocolate pie. I will have some today after my second Thanksgiving dinner.

Snow flurries fell this morning, but they didn’t last too long and no snow stayed on the ground. Right now it is so very cold and grey, an unpleasant day. Every now and then, though, I see a brightness, a break in the grey. I figure it is from the sun trying to find its way out of the clouds.

Tomorrow I’ll shop and take Gracie to the dump. That means we’re each going on a favorite trip. My trunk is filled. I’d go today, but the dump is closed.

Now is the time for Christmas to move front and center. My factotum needs to come and decorate the outside of my house. I need to go to the garden store and get wreaths. A giant one is hung on the fence and a smaller one on the door. My house always looks so wonderful that I sometimes drive by just to look, just to see the lights. My neighbor across the street tells me she loves looking out her door at my house. She especially loves the old sled with the pair of skates hanging off the steering bar. That sits by my door. On the step is a pottery bowl filled with colored ornaments. One of my favorite decorations is a tree with naked branches decorated with huge ornaments and a flood light shining on them at night. The fence in front of my house is lit as is the back rail and the fence across the driveway.

My neighbor just called and said a flock of wild turkeys is in my yard. I opened the door and one was on the front step but took off at the sound of the door. More were on my lawn. The flock was fourteen turkeys looking plump and healthy. I took pictures.

Today is a relax at home day, one of my favorite way to spend a day.