Wheeeeeeeeeee! Many giggles and squeals of delight rang through my in-law’s backyard last weekend as we embarked on our first ever family sledding adventure. Their yard is home to hills perfect for sledding, and the right amount of snow blanketed the ground for a fun-filled afternoon (or two as it turned out to be).
After a bit of scrounging, sleds used by my husband and his brother were found. With the ‘antiques’ in tow, we climbed to the top of the mountain. The girls were ready to go. Each took a
turn flying down the snow-covered slopes. We quickly found that not all sleds are created equally, and neither are our girls! One couldn’t wait to fly down the hills as fast as she could, and the other preferred a more leisurely pace.
Soon, we heard the purr of a lawn mower, not something you typically need in the dead of winter. My father-in-law rounded the corner, towing a toboggan behind the mower. Sledding came to a sudden halt as the girls found their spots on the snowy chariot. Then, they were off! Those girls were quite content on that toboggan. If they hadn’t been getting cold, I’m sure the mower would have run out of gas before they were ready to be done! I think it’s also safe to say that their grandpa was having a grand time, too!
We enjoyed watching their fun but decided we should have some fun of our own as well. This was my first time sledding (the hills on the playground don’t count), so I knew I had to give it a try. I was just a tiny bit nervous. My husband had told tales of going so fast on this hill as a kid that he ended up in the middle of the street. That sounded dangerous. On top of that, a couple trees were now hazards at the bottom of the hill. And, for some reason, the longer I gazed down the hill, the bigger the slope became. It was now a very steep mountain. I wasn’t sure I was made for this kind of adventure.
“You’re a weenie!’ taunted my husband. I’m sure he meant that in the most loving way possible. It was super cold outside, but I was sweating-you know the nervous sweating that happens just before something really scary? That was me. “You first,” I told him. And away he went. He didn’t end up in the street. He didn’t hit a tree. He made it to the bottom alive. (I shouldn’t have been surprised, we had just sent our two precious children down the same hill with the same results!)
I took a deep breath and climbed on the sled. I wasn’t going to let anyone call me a weenie. My husband gave me a push, and down the snowy hill I went. I made it! Unfortunately, the girls were ready to come in by this time, so my sledding came to an end. Or, so I thought.
The toboggan was unhooked from the mower and needed to make it back to the garage. It was decided that all four of us would ride this monster down the hill. I don’t recall if it was my idea or my husbands, but it sure was an adventure! This thing flew! If my husband hadn’t put on the breaks (his feet digging into the snow), we surely would have slid right into the street, or the trailer parked at the bottom of the hill. (Note to self, next time find a place to sled with fewer obstacles!) Snow sprayed everywhere once we hit level ground. The little one sitting in the very front of the toboggan was covered with the cold, wet stuff. She declared she was done and marched to the house in search of hot chocolate.
I’d say our first ever family sledding adventure was a success! The next afternoon, we heard little voices excitedly beg, “Grandpa, can we go sledding again?” And off he went to hitch the toboggan to the mower.
So, put on your snow gear, dig out those old sleds, and find a hill! I know parts of Iowa are as flat as a pancake, but there’s a bunny slope out there somewhere. Hook a sled to a mower or four wheeler, and hang on tight! You don’t even need hills for that kind of fun. Get over your fears, and take those hills head on! It doesn’t matter how old you are, the laughter and memories are well worth the sweaty, scary moments you’ll encounter!