Thursday, January 16, 2014

slippy -slidy (on your heinie)

I was a child once. One or another of my relatives say that sometimes I revert to a kid again, but the body assures that there's a lot of wear and tear that reduces my ability to play in the snow like I did
seventy or so years - but the yen to 'play' remains. And the memories.
With the Olympics nearing, with bobsled and luge races, I'm reminded of my bobsled days. Somewhere we got a huge bobsled - nothing more than a very heavy plank with primitive runners.
There was no brake, and none of the aerodynamic body visible with current sleds. Actually, it resembled an eight person luge in its simplicity and had moveable runners in the front that were moved with a piece of clothesline rope. It worked reasonably well until the rope got wet, frozen, and brittle  and broke under tension. The ride, at that point became perilous frequently ended deep in a snowdrift with the six or seven passengers scattered along the road, or in the drift with the bobsled
It was a thrill a minute, especially when a sledding crew came around a turn of the road to discover a car trying to make it up the hill. But cars often were godsends because drivers sometimes took pity on the sledders and towed the very heavy bobsled up the hill for us.
Many years went past.  Settled into parenthood, I began to have qualms about winter. I had to face snow and ice getting to work. Winter was not as much fun any more but the children loved it. Like so many families, we lived from payday to payday and didn't have much for things like sleds. But the kids begged and pleaded for something to use in the snow. I didn't have a garbage can lid that could be adapted to sliding, nor did we have any tire tubes that would work. Then the idea hit: there's some lumber and hardware in the basement; I'll make sled. I used a wide board for the bed and made runners out of two-by fours clad with the remains of tin cans from the kitchen. Again, clothesline worked to steer the cumbersome sled. It was heavy - very heavy - and took most of the kids and me to pull it to the top of the hill. It did work, but took almost more effort than it was worth, and was left
behind when we made our next move.
As the years past, I graduated to things like toboggans and skis. I hated the thought of jumping but thrived on down hill racing. As time has gone by all I have left is memories. Oh, I still like to bundle up and announce to my better half that I'm going out to play in the snow. Then she gives me one of those looks as if to say, "Act your age, old guy." So I give her one of my looks, take my coat, gloves, and fuzzy snow bonnet off, and head for the heated recliner, sigh, and think to myself, where has all the fun of childhood gone?

No comments:

Post a Comment