Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Expert

Having grown up on the prairie, all that Danish Cowboy really knows of sledding consists of short hills and pulling a sled behind a four wheeler or a snowmobile.  Having grown up in central Pennsylvania, I know more.  A lot more.
I know so much in fact, that I would consider myself an expert.  I've always wanted to be the awesomest at something and now I've figured out what that is.  I am an expert sledder.

I've been downhill sledding since I can remember.  It started out with long treks to the water tower at the top of the highest hill in our neighborhood and then progressed to really long runs down the hill behind our church.  In late elementary school and middle school, my friend Becky and I (along with our dogs) would spend hours sledding.  We stayed out until the ice collected in such huge balls on our dogs' legs that guilt would force us inside.
There were no snowmobiles to pull us up to the top of the hill back then and we could read a run or build a snow jump with the best of them.  So when Danish Cowboy suggested we trade in our farm yard snow piles for the challenge of the rock hills, I was all in.  He (of course) snowmobiled out there with the kids.  I snowshoed.

Let's just observe right now that there were no pictures taken on Sunday.  There was no time when my expert knowledge had to be relied upon.

When I got to the site that Danish Cowboy chose for the kids' first real sledding experience, I looked up.  Straight up.  Honest.  Here was my husband about to send my children over a 10 foot cliff.  So maybe it wasn't 90 degrees, but the drift was very close to near vertical.  I didn't say a word.  'Tis best to keep your mouth shut and let the lesson teach itself in these sensitive situations.
He sent the little guy over the first time with great success, great luck and a cheer at the end.  He sent him over again and there was a minor wrist injury that was easily healed with a little sympathy and a quick kiss from Mom.  He sent the little girl over and she went cheek first into the snow that had by now developed an icy crust due to the warm weather.  I gently suggested that maybe we should find another hill.

He gently reminded me that we were on the prairie and hills were in short supply.  Both kids refused to go down the hill again.  I refused to go down the hill.  It was so steep that even an expert was wary of it.
The rock hills that no doubt marked the spot for so many homesteaders before us are thankfully composed of multiple hills, so we loaded up the snowmobile and snowshoes and moved south.  He drove straight towards another steep hill, this one with rocks strewn about and then I proceeded to regale him with my sledding knowledge and we opted for the gentler hill, the one without rocks for them to hit, the one that might be fun for a three year old.  And what fun they did have.  They caught a little air, the run was pretty long and there were no major spills caused by cliff-diving off of snow drifts.   I might be useless at tractor driving and cattle-whispering, but sledding is where it's at.  The expert is on duty.

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