I’ve always loved winter. I guess it’s because I like the activities that involve ice and snow. Even as a little boy, the deep snow and the hills on the farm had an attraction that has never lessened.
A few days ago, I saw some kids with red, plastic toboggans sliding down a small hill behind their house. Boy did that bring back memories.
When I was young, winter arrived in mid-to-late October and we seldom saw green grass again until sometime in late March or early April. I had a pair of wooden skis with just a single leather strap across the toe and a steep section of hill up behind the barn.
It was a long walk through knee-deep snow to reach the woods, but the steep, straight ride down from the top made all that effort worthwhile. With the snow flying and a hole through the pasture fence, it was a wild, breathtaking trip to the bottom. Then it was back to the top to do it all over again.
We also had a 6-foot wooden toboggan that gave us quite a rush on that same section of the pasture hill. My brother, a couple neighborhood friends and I would hike to the top and all sit on that long, wooden, luge-like racer with the rolled up front. The first trip down was rather slow, but once we had a beaten path, our hearts raced far faster than the ride down.
We’d even make some banked corners and a jump or two, then pretend we were bobsled racers. Some corners were tough and the jumps were sometimes too high, sending the four of us flying off and rolling out into the deep snow. But that was the fun of it. We’d dig ourselves out and head back up to do it all again.