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20 December 2010

Snow Days

We have about 30 cm / 12 inches of snow on the ground here. It has snowed 18 of the 20 days of December so far. Last night we had another 15 cm / 6 inches of fresh snow. For me, a child of warmer climes, snow equals playing hooky. Schools closed, an unplanned free day. There's a part of me that still wakes up hoping there will be new snow.

Of course, I don't have to drive anywhere. Normally, I work two days a week teaching English in a local company. Since English isn't their core product, they don't mind if I call in to say that I can't make it because of the snow. Often they're short-handed those days and my students wouldn't have had time for lessons anyway.

Dan and I have found lots of things to do on our 'snow days'. One of my favorite things is to go out and take photos. One day I looked down and saw a snowflake shaped like a five-pointed star, one of my favorite shapes.

 
  
One of Dan's favorite things is to go sledding with a friend. Roger is in his mid-80s, and has an amazing sled he built himself. It has skis on the bottom and shock absorbers. You can steer it. It has a padded seat. It's the Rolls of sleds, I think! 



Roger phoned the other day and asked if Dan wanted to go sledding. Yesss! It was one of those glorious days when the sky was incredibly blue and the sun was shining and the air was cold but not too cold. This late in the year, close to the solstice, we cast long shadows at noon. 

I decided to go along to get some photos of these two boys having fun in the snow. We met Roger at his house and he and Dan took turns dragging the sled through the snow to the official sledding hill. This is a large field that has cattle in it in the summer. The farmer obligingly leaves the gate open when it snows, as it's the favorite local place to sled. The hill starts out steep and levels off obligingly before it reaches anything dangerous—trees, fences, gates, the road.

The trudge up the hill was worth the thrill of the descent. Dan and Roger had a contest to see who could go the farthest.  Each time they went a little further, as they gouged out a piste in the snow. Each time they went a little faster, only to have to turn around and climb back up the hill. 

I pulled the sled up the hill by myself once. By the time I reached the top, I was no longer grateful to the farmer who had made his field available to us—I was thinking he could at least have installed a ski lift!

At the end of the day, we were all tired, cold, full of laughter and ready to head home.



Today we had other adventures, and more snow is predicted for tonight. This is the most snow I've ever seen. And you know what? Winter doesn't begin until tomorrow. 

10 comments:

La Table De Nana said...

I hope to be sledding at 80..! Just wonderful this post..happy and fresh as the newly fallen snow..
i didn't even miss seeing food:)
Enjoy..young at heart..

Carol at Serendipity said...

Kate, what fun! Haven't been sledding in years. In my town in NJ, they closed some of the street and we could have quite a ride.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday and a happy new year.

Carol

Kathy said...

Merry Christmas Kate...
We like you have already recieved over two feet of snow and hearing it may be a record year...
It is beautiful...and today we have sunshine...fabulous!
Build a snowman...or woman...
Hugs, Kathy @
Sweet Up-North Mornings...

Stella said...

I loved reading this, Kate. It was almost cathartic in a way-maybe I need to go sledding somewhere. I could use a break from the tropics. That sounds really nice actually...
p.s. Roger and Dan are awesome!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Boys will be boys :) What a fun post and I love that sled! I think I'd be too afraid of breaking a bone at this stage.

It is amazing the snow that Europe has been getting this year. We barely have 2 inches on the ground in Wisconsin. I'm sure that will change soon.

The Rowdy Chowgirl said...

I loved this post. Beautiful pictures, and a nice remembers of the pleasures of sledding! What fun!

Kate said...

Sledding at 80! I hope that I am able to sled at that age. Wow. The sled looks amazing.

Rich said...

So does that guarantee a white Christmas? That would be cool (no pun intended). And I've never been sledding; having grown up in Texas, I've never had the chance - that photo makes me a little jealous ...

Linda said...

Wow Kate this is amazing...so much beautiful snow!
We have only had a dusting so far...
No white Christmas!
Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas!
L~xo

Fun As We Go said...

I love to look at the snow but much rather live in a warm climate (thus my move to California!) But I am missing out on the snow this holiday...

Great to see such energetic people, by the way, age doesn't mean a thing ;)

Happy holidays!