February began as January ended, and we were blanketed and snowed in again. One big difference, thank goodness, was in the temperature. It never dipped into the single digits and below again. This meant that it was warm enough for sledding! Chanya and I walked to our neighborhood sledding hill, a 1.2 mile walk, mostly downhill. We like to sled on this hill at a middle school. When we drive, we could either park in the parking lot, and trudge through a large snowy field, or park at the bottom of the hill and walk up it. We prefer parking at the bottom of the hill, but the man who lives next door to the school really discourages this. Since we were walking, we just avoided his yard and were ok. We had a new sled and I couldn’t remember where I’d bought it. Now I remember that I got it at MC Sporting Goods, right before they went out of business. The snow was deep and the school was deserted. Chanya and I had invited her friend Gracie to join us. Usually when we go sledding, there are lots of other people there, blazing trails down the hill, etc. This day, it was just Chanya and me for a while. A few years ago I’d made sure everyone had enough gear to go sledding together, so we were bundled
up properly. Last year I thought my sledding days were over. But the snow was so deep that the sled moved slowly and surely down the hill. I thought I could handle a ride down the hill. Our old sled dumped you out on the way down the hill, or veered in some crazy turn at the foot of the hill. This sled moved straight, and slow. The ride was smooth. I went down again. Then I was out of breath and decided to watch. For every picture or video I took, my hand was freezing.
Another family came and sledded briefly, then Gracie came. Chanya and Gracie were up and down the hill over and over. They took turns carrying the sled, and I stood up and watched them for a half hour. (It’s too cold to sit in the snow, even in snow pants!) When Gracie’s mom Denise came to pick her up, I asked for a ride home. It was a nice cold jolt to the system to go sledding. Hopefully we’ll get out there again before the season’s over.