Sunday, February 7, 2010
Sledding is a very intimate way of appreciating the landscape. You can look at a snowy hill, and think how beautiful it is, but putting your nether bits in direct contact with its contours is a whole 'nother thing.
It's a hugely exciting thing to hurtle down a steep slope, feeling every bump and groundhog burrow under a too-thin covering of snow. Our fastest sled is thin plastic; it cost $6.99 and it fits four people on it. We were given another by a neighbor that cost $130 and while the thick foam insulates from some of the crueler bumps, it's not as much fun as the Green Menace. Saucers generally suck; I don't like going 30 mph backwards and being dumped off without warning. The inflatable, inner-tube style has a lot of potential and is a lot easier on aging tailbones than the aforementioned. There's a lot of spinning with those, too, but it's a cushier ride.
I love the processional out to the slope. Out the driveway, under the drooping snowy pines.
The sumac branches are laden with snow.
Oona tells Liam to MUSH!!
And David carries his homemade sled. David can make anything, including a sled with real downhill skis as runners. David and Mary Jane (here's Mary Jane, a wonderful artist and art teacher, with your blogger)
keep Chet Baker when we go away. They are Chet Baker's West Virginia parents. David and Mary Jane are always hoping we will go away, because they love Chet Baker. And when they visit us, Chet Baker always gets in their car, hoping he can go to Camp Baker. He comes and asks me to go get his bed and food and leash and toys, because he's ready to GO. We always get such a laugh out of his eagerness to go to Camp Baker, where he gets a couple of walks every day, and the chipmunks are naive and there for the taking. Couldn't invoke the doggeh without a photo to slake the Baker thirst. We call this photo Christmas Sweetness. Unfortunately you won't find Chet out on the slopes. He is perfectly happy to stay home by the fire and greet us as we come in, not being a fan of prolonged outings in the snow. The problem has to do with his sparsely-haired undercarriage, well displayed in the photo above. Brr!
The slopes are prime for sledding. That's a big bowl of a hayfield. We are most thankful that the farmer who leases it didn't pasture cattle there last fall. Frozen cowpies are incredibly painful when they connect with your rump through a thin plastic sled.
This is Abby. Abby and her daughter Veronica like to watch us sled. Our sledding parties are probably the most exciting thing that happens to them all year long.
This is Veronica.
Veronica is sort of a bovine Oona.
The common denominators being crippling cuteness and a sturdy build.
It's hard to get Oona to go down the slope on a sled or saucer. She much prefers to give people a mighty shove and send them down, then watch from the top.
The only person who can consistently coax Oona onto a sled is Bill of the Birds. He is very good at talking girls into things, any girl, any thing.