The day-after-Christmas snowstorm yesterday left 4-6 inches of snow and ice in the Shenandoah Valley and, while we got out and roamed during the storm, the wind-driven sleet stung bare skin and made being outdoors cold and challenging.
Today the sun came out and, though the temperatures remained cold and the wind blew, it was perfect for sledding on the hill behind our house. Our new son-in-law, who grew up in Atlanta, had never been sledding before so today provided the perfect opportunity for him to take part in this fun wintertime activity. He donned the proper winter gear and chose one of the many sleds that our kids have used throughout the years, and hit the trail.
The icy surface made fast snow, and sledding runs were exciting as we zipped across the frozen precipitation. Runs began at the top of the hill and continued as far as the sledder was willing to go before climbing back up the hill to take yet another run.
He caught on quickly and was enjoying the experience as much as everyone else.
The longest trail began at the top of the hill at the road ...
... and continued to the bottom of the hill through the trees.
Their sleds made a trail that went out of sight.
Victory! He made it all the way to the bottom. The track to his left is where I went into some briary underbrush at the edge of the woods. There were a couple of bumps during the day, and he had brief encounters with several trees that left a bruise or two.
It may be winter but the swing is still an attraction.
This was one of the tree encounters. He's not hurt ... he's lying on the ground laughing.
It was a day filled with fun and laughter and good times, a reminder of the years our children were young and this was an everyday part of our lives whenever we had snow. They could hardly wait to get outdoors, and then did not want to go back inside even though they were about to freeze. We would take off cold, wet gloves and boots and jackets and hats, and lay them around the wood stove to dry.
Some things never change ... today the wood stove was once again surrounded by gloves and boots and jackets and hats as they dried out for the next adventure into the snow. We stopped for lunch, eating chili and drinking eggnog, and played a board game and took it easy before heading out later in the day for night sledding. It was keeper day, the kind that makes memories.
Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
December 27, 2012