It held my children, grandchildren, cousins, neighbors, and dogs. It has been a rocket sliding down a hill, a snow wagon, and a photo prop.
It caused laughter, delight, and joy. It caused fights, bruises, and tears.
I am not even sure if I remember the day it arrived in our home. Most likely it was delivered in a sleigh by a man in a red suit. I do know the sled has been around for decades.
I ran across it in my garage propped in a corner. The runners, once bright and shiny red, looked rusty. The wood worn. The original twine colored rope long ago replaced by a red version.
With the outside temperature too cold to turn on the garden hose, I did the next best thing – I brought it in the house. I gave it a shower. Leaning it against the tile I took the shower sprayer down and began cleaning off the years of neglect.
As the cobwebs ran down the drain, I saw my children – dressed in snow suits, hats, mittens, and boots. Hardly able to move due to the layers of protection. The only skin showing was their faces with the glow of their cold blushed cheeks.
The water poured brown and dirty as years of memories flashed through.
The year it was taken to the lake while the men ice fished, and the kids would take turns having sled rides across the frozen water.
The hill that seemed Alpine-big and served as the daredevil challenge for those days when the sled was ridden until little fingers were frozen and the draw of a warm bath and hot chocolate waiting at home became strong enough to end the fun.
The year my brother’s St. Bernard pulled the sled, filled with squealing kids, across Grandma’s yard.
Drying the sled off I rubbed the runners to polish every inch while memories continued to reach every corner of my heart.
The way I felt as I watched my three most important loves, hearing their squeals of delight as I held my breath, hoping they would reach the edge of the snow safely.
The way I ran to them when an unseen rock would derail their speed causing a tumble, a spill, and tears.
The arguments over who would get the next turn.
Tying greenery and a plaid bow around the wooden slats, I remembered…
The day my daughter perched her babies on it to snap the perfect holiday card photo.
Now instead of the dirty corner of the garage, it stands in a place of honor next to my antique sewing machine surround by twinkling lights. The red and green bow a crown of appreciation for work well done.
I walk by it and see those chubby snow kissed faces. I hear the squeals of joy. I think of how my children are grown and their children are taller than me. I wonder how time has slid by so quickly -- year by year, snow by melting snow, and one quick ride down the hill at a time.
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Pennie’s Life Lesson:
“Pay attention to the little things in life – they slip and slide by quickly.”
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There is a certain magic about where I live both physically and spiritually – on the crossroads of Spirit and Brave.
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