Tuesday, January 25, 2011

winter memories

 like so many  small towns in southeastern ohio
my town is built into the hills
that both shelter and harass the occupants

i still shake my head in 'bemusement'
at how houses are built seemingly on top of each other

the joke is that if there's a postage stamp plot
someone will build a house on it

for kids loving outdoor snow time
the hills provide wonderful slopes

those same slopes that are treacherous
for their parents navigating to work and back
offer hours of fun and frolic
to those kids willing to brave the cold and wet

i remember sledding down the alley--back road to the stadium
we could start in my friend's backyard
taking a narrow path
not taken by cars
and turning aside before careening into the car-driven-part

we could shelter in her parents' garage
taking breaks from the cold
before heading back out

odd how that memory came back to me
as i thought of the blog carnival prompt of winter

i can still see that hill and tami's garage
i'm not sure who all was there
but i remember tami---
she's still a friend

my first husband and i chose to raise our children in a rural housing development
outside a  town  nearby to my hometown

plenty of hills
but the houses had big yards
with surrounding woods and fields

one of our neighbors owned a large acreage
and would permit the neighbor kids to sled ride--
preferably with parents

i don't remember my parents ever sled-riding with me
or even watching me

but my kids have the memories of both parents
sailing down the huge slippery hill
sometimes with one of them
sometimes solo
sometimes with our dog katie a somewhat willing passenger

she preferred chasing us
or running along side us
but would occasionally be a good sport
and ride

i remember pulling a child on a sled up the hill
and watching my husband do the same
i remember the laughter ringing through the hillside
the pink cheeks
sparkling eyes

i also remember
the piles of outdoor clothing in the downstairs hallway
and in the laundry room
and the bathroom

i remember that i didn't mind the puddles
 and damp hats, gloves, ski jackets and pants

i didn't scold
i just went upstairs
 fixed hot chocolate
for us all

that's winter for me
good warm memories that bring a smile
despite a divorce

nothing can take those moments away

i hope my children
see those moments
in their winter memories


  1. I have those same memories Beth. We didn't move to Texas until I was 36, so I spent many winters up north. We loved to sleigh ride too. We lived in a small sub-division when I was a little girl, with very little traffic to worry about. We had a huge hill running through the whole neighborhood and all the children hauled out their sleds the minute there was enough on the ground for sleighing.
    One weekend, I rode down that hill so many times that I woke up the next day with a face swollen to twice its size from wind-burn! Didn't discourage me. I loved it!

  2. Wonderful, warm memories of those cold days! I love seeing your town all covered in snow in these pics - especially the last photo!

  3. I love these pictures! Before I even started reading I was thinking that your area is much more hilly than mine!
    I grew up on a farm and we were blessed to have a bunch of hills we could sled on. Great memories!
    My kids weren't so blessed. We had to go somewhere for them to go sledding, so they didn't go as often as we used to.
    Thanks for the memory provoking post!

  4. you brought back to me many different snow time memories from when i grew up in illinois. what a ride!

    i like the last image, it has a special quality about it.

  5. Hi Beth, The small town where I grew up looks alot like yours. I grew up in the mountains in southwest Virginia... We had hills all over the place. We had special sledding areas --and I have such great memories of that.. I don't know where the kids sled now in that town since they put in a big library where we used to sled...

  6. What a wonderful Norman Rockwellian! Loved your sledding story, what lovely times those were :)

  7. This brought tears to my eyes... for your happy memories. It was beautifully written, Beth. From your soul...

  8. Those memories are so precious. I love the
    stories of the sledding, especially with the family and your dog, Katie. Your children will remember them too. Our adopted son just got in touch before Christmas after several years. He chose to go back to his birth family and now we have been given the opportunity to catch up.
    It didn't work out with his birth family, but now he's building his own life. He's remembered so many good things of when he was with us despite being a very disturbed little boy and young man and I know that God has been with us in our experiences.
    Thinking of you as you tackle the school work
    and continue with travelling in the bad weather.


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