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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.

Sez who?
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.


Oh Man, I wanna see David's sled in action!! Cooool (although it looks a little hard to steer)!

Ooh, it's been so long since I went sledding. We had a perfect hill in our neighborhood where I grew up. My best friend's dad worked in the produce department of a grocery store and would bring home cardboard fruit boxes that were waxed on the inside. We'd flatten those boxes, put the wax side down and scream down the hill like Clark Griswold!

I miss sledding! We had a sideyard slope that was just steep enough to send us all the way into the backyard.

Love those cows!

That second photo made my heart sing. Sweet sledding memories flooding. I'd love to sled again. Baker, cuddling inside, is just right for him.

Great winter photos!! Our streets here were filled with kids and their sleds the past few days.

Where can I get a pair of pink butterfly glasses like Oona's?

Love the snowy scenes!

Is Bill of the Birds wearing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hat? (That would explain his powers over the fairer sex.)

I have to admit, I haven't been sledding in years...many....many years. But sure looks like you all are having BIG fun! Maybe I just need to invest in my own Green Menace and give it a whirl.

However...I do have an eye for the terminal cuteness of calves....and Holy Cow! Veronica is a cutie pie!

The fact that this event was the most exciting thing these girls have seen since last winter...that's OK. I think that over-all...cows aren't too big on "excitment"! This sledding party will hold 'em for a while.

Sue Roberts

Posted by Anonymous February 9, 2010 at 6:32 AM

Great pictures! In Austin, it snows so seldom (maybe three times in my lifetime), that people use cardboard boxes for sledding.

Posted by Anonymous February 9, 2010 at 6:59 AM

Hmm....Chet Baker, Abby, and Veronica are all the same colors! What can it mean?? It must be something very and white, black and white, or have I had too much tequila?

What the cows must be thinking, yes,...but, of all family memories, sledding and crusty mittens rank at the very top of my list.
And aren't snowy profile pics the best!

Whoa! Amazing blog redesign! So THAT'S what you were talkin' about...

Oooo, look at your spiffy new blog look! Nice job!

P.S. I almost cried at work over the gorilla post.

Great new blog look! Very fun and matches you.

Posted by Anonymous February 10, 2010 at 8:31 PM

WOW! took me about 7 microseconds to get used to the new look and love it... feel sorry for the Chet addicts though who are going to be spending ALL day here clicking through past entries (remember to get up and stretch every now and then, and eat something, and go the bathroom).

Oh, Julie, how do you do it? You constantly awake old, dormant memories of winter days in Southeast Ohio, and with it a desire to return. I was doing just fine until the wide shot of the hayfield. Sigh....

Oona, Veronica, you look fantastic in your winter gear. Enjoy the snow.

Julie, this is my first visit, and before I even began to read the article, my web developer brain was shouting, "Wow, nice design!" Well done, and congrats.

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