Finally snowed day before yesterday. There's at least 8 inches on the ground. Dee is thrilled, she spent most of the day out playing in the snow. Katherine assures us that the wraiths would be dormant in temperatures below 35 and the highest temperature that registered on the thermometer today was 29. Beverly and I took Dee sledding this afternoon. I think Katherine wanted to come, but she chose instead to spend the day in her motor home going over some research. Mike and Stacy tagged along too. Stacy put Dean down for his afternoon nap before accompanying us. We all took turns going down he hill on the sled. I only made two trips down before my knee decided that it'd had enough. It wasn't really the trip down, but trudging up the hill was too much. I did not make the trip up the second time. I shouted encouragement at the bottom of the hill as the others shot down the slope. I snapped a few shots of Dee and Stacy coming down together on the sled. One is a real keeper. Stacy had lost her hat and her blond hair was streaming behind her, cheeks and nose red from the cold, huge grin on her face as Dee squealed the whole way down.
I was wondering how I would make the trip back up the hill until Billy came out in one of the ATVs and gave me a ride up.
After half an hour Stacy decided to head back. Dean was surely awake by that time. I tried to assure her that Jeanette would be more than happy to take care of Dean while she was gone. But I think that may have been the problem, she is afraid that one of us well meaning adults will take Dean from her. I have no intention of doing so. She did a superb job of taking care of him by herself for so many months. But I do want to make sure that she has all the help she needs to take care of Dean and that she herself has a chance to just be a kid sometimes, like today.
Dee wore herself out after two hours and Jeanette took her in. By this time Mike had found a snowboard from somewhere. I don't know whose bright idea it was, but a rope was soon tied to Billy's ATV and Billy was pulling Mike up and down the hill and jumping snowdrifts. I figured someone needed to stick around to call for help if one of them broke their damn fool neck.
Miraculously no one was severely injured, although the ATV failed to make it back in one piece. I felt sure that we would be burying someone as one of the Kawasaki's front wheels rolled past me. I hobbled to the scene as fast as my bad leg would carry me. But by the time the snow settled it was already apparent that no one was hurt.
I gotta be honest, I was a little jealous. I did my share of stupid stunts when I was a kid. Like the time I quietly climbed out the rear window of my Dad's station wagon and rode on the roof with my feet hooked into the cargo rack. Arms spread out for balance and the wind in my face. We lived in a little subdivision of town homes and there were speed bumps throughout the neighborhood, so we could not have been going more than 25 mph. But still by the time we got home most of the neighbors had seen me on the roof of Dad's '65 Chevy Wagon. Not really an inconspicuous vehicle. By the time we got home my Mom was standing on the porch looking furious. My Dad got out of the car, glancing back just in time to see me climbing down from the back of the station wagon. I was never in so much trouble in all my life. But I would not trade that moment for anything.
I ushered Billy and Mike back to the church, scolding them for destroying the ATV. But I don't think either one of them was really taking me too seriously. The snowballs they pelted me with were a pretty good indicator. That's OK I was a 9th level snowball warrior back in grade school and clobbered them both.
Tomorrow is Christmas, so after Dee is asleep us adults will do the final decorating and set the presents under the tree.
I love Christmas.
© 2009 R. Keith McBride