Thursday, December 04, 2008

No business like snow business

Having lived in suburban California, I have yet to experience a white Christmas. There were a few times it looked like it might get close, but even then, it would have been more of a wet Christmas, as the snow would melt as it hit the ground.

We've gone to the snow on the day after Christmas, which was a lot of fun, especially for someone who rarely sees it. I think I was about 12, and we went to the snow with our extended family. I was eager to try out the sled my cousins had.

After finding a patch of snow that wasn't mobbed, we settled in for some frosty fun. My dad was convinced that he could sled on a broken-down cardboard box we had in the trunk, but I was holding out for the real sled.

My brother and I got our turn, and we schlepped the sled up to the top of the hill. The gentle slope evened out in the middle before continuing its downhill run, so we knew we had to get enough momentum to go all the way down the hill.

Since I was older and heavier, I got the back of the two-man sled, while my brother manned the front. With a hefty shove, we were off.

This is where everything goes in slow motion.

We were sailing along nicely, when my brother thought we were going too fast, so he pulled the handbrakes that were on the sides.

Alas, those weren't brakes; they were what you steered with. As soon as he pulled them, we went sideways, losing very little momentum. As we flipped and tumbled out of the sled, I rolled over my brother's head, practically planting him in the snow--accidentally, mind you.

The empty sled skittered to the bottom of the hill. My brother and I dusted ourselves off and looked at each other.


And we headed back up the hill.