Winter Fun on the Farm of My Youth

 The snow-covered the earth beautifully during the night.  For Christmas that year in the early sixties,  we had received a wooden sled with metal runners, and we had been patiently waiting for such snow as we had been blessed with to use it finally.  On this fine morning of the perfect snow, Daddy asked us, two farm girls, if we wanted to go out and use our sled, and best of all,  he offered to pull us with his horse.  With excitement, we in unison said, “Yes!”  While Daddy went to saddle his horse, we bundled up in three sets of clothes and socks, and indeed,  we could not put our arms down to our sides. It just wasn’t possible.  We couldn’t feel our toes either once we jammed on our boots,  but we would stay warm this way, mom encouraged us.
With our sled in tow on a rope, we pulled it behind us to the field where Daddy waited on Blaze, his sorrel gelding. While he tied a long string on our sled front, we held his horse and wrapped the other end around his saddle horn.  We jumped on the sled as  Daddy yelled  over his shoulder, “Here we go.” The horse dug his haunches deep in the heavy snow, our sled reared up a bit, and off we went gliding behind him.  It was so exhilarating, the snow spraying up on top of us. Daddy and Blaze began to pick up speed and surely forgetting we were in tow making a sharp left turn unexpectedly. The inertia of the turn slung both of us girls off,  like a dog swishing its tail. We tumbled head over heels in the snow. But,  no matter, we were tough little girls and snow-covered us from head to toe, we jumped up and ran for the sled while it was still moving, and Daddy was never the wiser. Oh, it was such fun, and I loved going fast.  Soon the fun ended.  Daddy had livestock to feed.
We girls,  being pumped with excitement and dressed for more hours of fun,   decided we’d haul that sled to the far side of the pond, just over the spring-fed babbling brook and up the hill to the locust grove, one of the few hills on our otherwise flat property.
By the time we reached the hilltop, we were sweating. We looked down the hill at what now looked like an obstacle course. Many trees, more than we realized, but we were fortunate enough that our runner sled had a handle at the front that turned us left or right if needed.  Yeah, we could do this, we agreed.  We mapped out the course from the top of the hill. “And, remember, before we reach the water at the base of the hill, jump off,” I told Debbie. She nodded.  I would hold on as I was in the back, and I would roll off with her. 
Debbie in front, feet on the wooden turn board to steer us,    and me pushing off,  we headed down the hill. Oh, what fun. Exhilarating as we picked up speed.  Then, I saw it coming when  I looked around her.  “Turn! Turn!” I called out louder. Over her shoulder, she shouted, “I’m trying to turn.” And then, instead of jumping off, we froze and slammed into the tree, the very one we talked about dodging. Her head hit the tree, and my head hit hers. To this day, she thinks I got off and hit her for running into the tree, but that is nonsense. I knocked her silly with my head. With determination and goose-eggs on our foreheads, we pulled that sled back up the hill holding an ice-pack of snow on our foreheads.  “Are you sure you can get it to turn this time?” I inquired with doubt. She sat on the sled and, using her feet, demonstrated how she hadn’t put enough power into it before, and she could do it.
She climbed on the sled, and I gave a push and jumped on. Yes, indeed, this time, she began dodging the trees peppered on the hillside. By the time we reached the hill’s base, we were flying, and before we realized we needed to jump off, we splashed into the babbling brook. Oh my gosh, it was so cold. She yelled at me, and I yelled at her for not jumping off as we talked about.  Then we realized we needed to shut up and head for safety, a warm house, and dry clothes. We pulled the sled from the water. Our boots are full of water. Our mittens wet
Finally reaching the house, which seemed a  great distance away, we told of our mishap.  In our warm jammies, we fixed on the stovetop the best cup of Hershey’s cocoa we ever drank. When Daddy came in from doing his chores, he laughed out loud right along with us. And soon, our mishap became quite a story to tell through the years.  And just the other day, the story was resurrected, and once again, I had to stop my sister telling me that I got off the sled and hit her for running into the tree.  I am quite sure I didn’t, but after all, undeniably, it was her fault for not steering our runner sled properly through the trees and giving the call to jump off in the end.


So Here’s the Thing: People remember stories from various points of view. And, there is such beauty in snow-covered earth.  I have shared some snow scenes from our farm. They are beautiful, I think.  You might as well find the beauty in the freshly fallen snow, or the fun in it, for there is not one thing you can do to rid it until it goes away on its own. Would you agree?  So Enjoy.

Take Joy!

photo of brown pony standing near snow covered trees

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