Were you lucky enough to have snow days when you were young? I grew up in New England, where snow is a regular occurrence. Since we were used to driving in snow, school was not cancelled unless there was LOTS of snow. This made snow days really special.
I lived in a house on a hill with a really good sledding area. If you were lucky you could launch yourself almost down to the driveway. If the snow was packable (if there was at least some moisture so that it stayed in snowball form) we could even create jumps in the sled path. This was dangerous on so many levels but mostly because our favorite sled was an aluminum flying saucer. In other words, no steering, no brakes and no ability to stay faced forward. I can still remember the rearrangement of my spine as I successfully landed after going off a jump.
Eventually my parents bought me a purple, molded plastic toboggan complete with hand breaks used for steering and stopping. The sound of the levers digging in the snow is also at the front of my memory banks. The only time they weren’t very useful was in ice. Then it was just as dangerous as the flying saucer. The upside was that it had actual seats and sides and was harder to tip over. The downside was that it was bigger and bulkier than the metal saucer which made it harder to drag it back UP the hill. And in my kid’s mind, that hill grew bigger every time I got to the bottom and had to lug the toboggan all the way back up.
The only thing better than a snow day at home was a snow day when I was staying with my best friend David. My parents would take a yearly vacation in February to some warm place, leaving me with the Bowens for a couple of weeks. I really didn’t mind because I knew there would be at least one snow day. The Bowen’s lived on the campus of a private school that was surrounded by a nine hole golf course with a notoriously amazing sledding hill on the 9th fairway. Instead of sledding by myself or with a friend at home, I got to join all the other faculty brats and spend the day whizzing down the fairway. What bliss!!! There was something exhilarating about standing at the top of the hill, looking down at all the kids barreling their way down to the bottom and then pushing off and joining them. (By the way, I have heard that they recently closed that fairway to sledding, deeming it too dangerous. I don’t remember anyone getting seriously hurt but my memory can be inconsistent.)
So why this post today??? Well, it snowed yesterday. All of three whole inches. Which in the Mid-Atlantic states is enough to call off school. And since we are the go-to “grandparents” for an 8 year old and an 11 year old, we got to experience a snow day first hand. I was able to take some pictures during the day which triggered all of the previous fond memories. I love that we have a sledding hill, I have been known to get on the inner tube myself, spin my way down past the peach tree, slow down to a complete stop then lay on my back just looking at the sky. I really love snow.