Time to go sledding! It finally snowed here! Time to go sledding. Growing up we had a lot more snow than we have here in Kentucky. I remember playing on snow mobiles, riding on the river, going on trips through the woods from house to house. Friends would show up on snow mobiles and we would hop on ours and join the caravan.
My dad would also take the tractor and plow our driveway, making a huge snow pile for us in the yard. My brother and I would spend hours making snow tunnels through the piles. The tunnels would be a few feet long and perfect for sliding down over and over. We would make igloos out in the yard and carry out our supplies to hang out in the yard, then spend the day playing outside.
Snow would drift against all the fence rows and pile up to be several feet high. I remember riding snow mobiles across the tops, above the fields – and that one time we hit the gap in the snow. My mother was driving and I was riding and off we went into the air. Nothing… I still keep saying we were lucky to have survived childhood.
We would ride up hills that I would now swear were at a 90 degree angle to the ground but surely weren’t completely 90 degrees, riding across rivers, with my dad’s instructions to not stop since it wasn’t frozen solid (go fast!), and of course we each had our own snow mobiles. My father’s snow mobile was an el Tigre that had been modified to race. it was rare for my parents to let us ride it…. Mine was an arctic cat and so pretty! I loved it, and I had the full snow suit with helmet, pants, snow boots, you name it. It was our regular outfits for the winter and when not on us you put it on the earth stove to dry.
Of course one of the most important things to remember was to pee first. If you didn’t you had to hold it for a long time. We would go out and ride for hours. I kind of remember sleds being pulled behind snow mobiles, but it was more common years earlier to pull the sleds behind the mower.
Snow in the country also meant power outages, so we would use the wood stoves, wood furnaces, fireplaces, and kerosene lamps. Toilets had to be flushed with whatever water was available and there was no way to wash up…. Well’s don’t work without power. But I don’t remember it being that bad, though I do remember times when the power went out for a week or more at a time.
While we were playing outside, my dad would either join us or work around the farm moving snow with tractors. Sometimes dad would end up having to tow people out of the ditch. Dad was the go to person for anyone in the area being stuck in a ditch… surprisingly this meant we had a liquor closet completely stocked (although I don’t remember my dad drinking much). A lot of the that liquor is still in the closet. Dad would take his tractor and drive to wherever he was needed and pull the car, truck or whatever out of the ditch.
I still love the thought of sitting in the corner of the kitchen by the earth stove during the winter, reading a book! I’m sure I still have a scar on my arm where I touched the stove and got a burn once too often, but I loved that corner of the kitchen. I’ve tried sitting on the floor in front of our fireplace with a book in our house, but it just doesn’t have that cozy feel of the corner behind the wood stove.