Yesterday, when I heard about the impending snow storm, I nearly cried. After being in the house sick, with a sick kid, I didn't want to be trapped inside our house for yet another day. It was nice, yes, to sit by the fire with my son, decorating and relaxing, but after two days, both of us were getting bored. I did prepare by stealing out quickly for some groceries and rock salt, but that was about the only time I'd been out since Sunday. We don't live with W and the girls, so snow days don't just become a party for us. They take planning. And driving. Otherwise, I'd probably look forward to them. So as the reporters frenzy heightened, and the updates on this second blizzard were underway, I melted down.
There was hope. W had mentioned that we could take the kids sledding, provided that my son was well enough to go. I don't know if it was the power of suggestion, the progression of the cold, or just a random miracle, but my son slept soundly through the night last night, and woke up itching to go sledding. We were going sledding!
W took us to a place he's been going since he was a kid, about 20 minutes from my house. It's not just a hill, it's a hill. It's in a beautiful, well-known sort of place, with an amazing landscape, and a brick tower that his great-grandfather had built. It's even named after him. When we arrived there, we saw families of sledders at the top of the hill, covered in pure white snow. The snow was so fresh, it was unbelievable. We hiked from where we were parked, and I couldn't help but notice that our footprints were fresh in the snow. We were making our own path.
I'd packed a thermos full of hot chocolate, brought a baggie filled with marshmallows, and disposable coffee cups. W brought his camera, and a trunk full of sleds. We were ready.
When I reached the top of the sledding hill, I looked down. It was daunting, though perhaps only for me. Before I had a chance to register it, everyone, including W, was at the bottom of the hill. Whoosh!
Searching through the bunches of people, I found the set that belonged to me. Up they came, dragging their sleds and dodging the people who were racing down. This went on for something like an hour, with occasional sled swapping. One of our sleds, an inflatable three-seater, couldn't take the heat and popped a hole.
At some point, W and the kids took a break and had some hot chocolate. While we sat, a small black and white dog came by to see what we were drinking. Another dog, a big golden retriever, kept chasing the sleds as they rushed down the hill. It felt like we were back in the 70s, when all that mattered was the slope of the hill and the measure of freshly packed snow.
I never imagined sledding could be so much fun, and I didn't even do it! I was the only one who didn't go down the mountain, but I did use W's camera to take photos of everyone else. Despite the fact that it was freezing cold on top of that wooded hill, I couldn't have had a better time if I tried. It was a wonderful day, the kind that I thought only other people had.