January 26, 2012

Let's Go Sledding!

I like living in New Jersey.  I know, I am in a minority, but I do have quite a lot of great reasons.  Well, not any really great reasons, but I guess a few good reasons.  Okay, okay, it's not even really that good, I guess it's just alright.  NJ is just alright.

But, one thing we have that a lot of the other states don't have, well I guess a lot of them have it too...
Anyway, we have all four seasons.  (That opening was terrible, I am surprised you are still with me.  This is a post about the the four seasons, well to be truthful it is just about one season: the one we are currently in now, winter.  You know I should start this whole thing off again, and maybe it will be better.)

I like winter.

I mean, I hate having to heat my house, bundling up to go outside, scrapping the ice off my car, and warming up the car before driving it.  I hate shorter days, going to work in the dark and coming home when it's dark.  I hate seeing all the bare trees and empty gardens.  No BBQ's or eating outside, especially ice-cream.  You don't see Mr. Softee, do you?

(I failed again...another pitiful opening.  I tried, I promise.  Let's give this another go.  Shall we?)

I like sledding.

(Bingo - Nailed it.)
I didn't say I like snow, I said that I like sledding.  Not skiing or snowboarding.  I like sledding (and I include tubing too.)
Snow can be fun to look at from a distance. The beautiful snow on the mountain tops, or snow covered tree tops, but when the snow is all up in my grill that is when I detest it.  I'm an adult.  Adults hate snow.  We still have to go to work.  We still have to shovel our driveways and walks.  I want to enjoy it, I just can't.  Snow just adds more work.
I love the finished product of a snowman, but when the kids beg to make a snowman I try to smile through my groans.
"Let's make a snowman!" they all shout.
"Fine," through gritted teeth, I say.  We all march around the yard looking for the "clean" snow, because nobody wants a stained, homeless looking Frosty, although after he is finished he will just wear my clothes, where he will be made fun of for being out of style.
"Ha ha, look at Vanilla Ice."
So, we try to make the bottom ball of snow first, the biggest one.  Two minutes in, and I have a decent size ball growing, and they have since lost interest.  "You keep making the snowman, we're making snow angels!"
"Are you kidding me?"  I peg the snowball at them.  It explodes into a billion pieces and I have to start it all over again.  Because, "Dad, we really want a snowman?  Did you see fill in the brat's name has a giant snowman in his front yard?"
"I bet he helped his dad."
So, as the kids run around, destroy all the good snow, I roam around like a nomad trying to find snow to pack our friend Frosty with.  The three big snowballs are complete and ready for assembly.  Trying to place the middle ball on (because I couldn't be out done by some kid down the street) I throw out my back, but it is now successfully on the snowman.  Now, the head gets heaved on top.  It is lumpy and abnormal, like a contestant on The Biggest Loser.  
Now it's time it make it into a man.  We get rocks for eyes and a carrot nose, Twizzler mouth, a couple sticks for arms, and a shirt that I was planning on wearing to church the next Sunday, but got over-ruled due to being "out-dated.".  Plus, he is now wearing one of my hats that I should "no longer use", because when I wear it, "it just looks embarrassing."  I liked that hat, feathers and all.

So, the snowman is done, and I have shoveled us out and it is time to do a little sledding - Oh yeah!

Sledding is not the same as when we were kids, I know I sound old, but it's true.  This is how it is was when I was a kid.  We didn't have any man-made snow hills.  We didn't have the place where everyone meets to sled.  We would use any hill we could find.
It all started by getting dressed to go outside in this blizzard.  We would bundle up with three pairs of blue jeans, because we never had snow pants, and after the first ride, both butt cheeks were chapped.  The wool gloves just helped to keep our fingers wet, so that it would actually help induce frostbite.  The boots had just the right sized gap at the tops that when flying down the hill on a sled it was as if someone was shoveling the snow directly onto my feet, because jumping into the lake could not have made the six pairs of tube socks any more wet.
But, it was fun!
We would sled anywhere!
Hills with streets at the bottom.
"Watch out for the cars!"
Hills with trees.
"When you go down this hill, there will be three pine trees on your left, try to avoid them...and all the thorns on the right."
Hills with fences.
"I think it may have some barb wire hanging down, so be careful.  Plus, that rusted sign says, "Warning - Electric shock."
Hills with lakes at the bottom.
"You have to tuck and roll at the bottom.  Whatever you do, don't stay on the sled!"
Plus, we liked to live dangerously.  In fact, it was encouraged.
"Don't be a sissy, Billy, try standing on the sled, and grab that branch half way down, but don't fall into the stream on your left and traffic is starting to pick up on your right.  GO!"
"But, Mom, I'm scared."
"Hey, you wanted to go sledding."
I did want to go sledding, but I also wanted to see my thirteenth birthday too.
And to make it more dangerous we had metal blades on the bottom of our sleds.
"Come on, kids, watch out for the three foot long razors, and be careful you don't want to decaptate yourself like Cousin Artie."
The hills in winter caused more amputees than the Vietnam and Korean war combined, causing children everywhere to hobble and limp for the rest of their lives.
"War? Car accident?  Polio?  Oh, sledding.  That's awful." 
But, it was fun and still is.
I love taking my kids sledding.
However, I am not so sure they love sledding with me.
I have flipped my daughter while trying to jump a make shift ramp, using a wooden pallet and trashcan.  I have jumped onto my son's sled, and  by accident, completely whitewashed him the entire way down.  But, kids get over it.

The only thing I HATE about sledding is: the other people sledding.
First, wait till we are finished our ride.  The hill is going to be there in thirty seconds.  Wait!
Second, when walking back up the hill, stay to the sides.  Why would you think it is a smart idea to walk directly up the middle of the hill, where everybody else has just smoothed it down.  I would ban all people who have the nerve to do it.  Idiots.
Lastly, really I had no other real complaints, I'm just not a people person.  So, them just being there, annoys me.

So, after a long day of sledding, with frozen keysters, chapped lips, chaffed thighs, chilled toes, and numb extremities, along with the snot caked faces we arrive home to ring out the piles and piles and layers and layers of wet clothes and enjoy some hot coco by our electric fireplace.
I love winter.

Chilly Willy

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