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Grandpa’s great adventure

“The trick is growing up without growing old.” - Casey Stengel

Silently, it stood upright, gathering dust in a remote corner of the garage. Weathered and gouged from previous quests, it carried our children and their friends on many adventures. Fast-forward a few decades: today will be different as instead of my children, it will be my grandchildren. In my past escapades with them sledding, we have used the traditional sled with metal runners, plastic sleds, and now today—an eight-foot toboggan.

So, we geared up the girls with their snowsuits and me with five layers on, without my jacket. I was so bundled up that I felt like the younger brother, Randy, in the movie, “A Christmas Story.” Next was the preparation of the toboggan. I debated about waxing the underside and, in the end, decided to do so, as we had received a sticky snowfall (semi-melted), which would increase the drag on the toboggan. This, coupled with the additional weight of my granddaughter, would slow us to a crawl while descending the hill.

After that task was completed, we traversed to the hill. As in the past few years, upon arrival, those apprehensive feelings of uncertainty began to seep into my consciousness—what have I gotten myself into?

But enough of my digression; we were now readied for the launch of another adventure. Prior to boarding, it was decided that I would assume the front position, with my granddaughters behind me (for one, it was her first time on a toboggan). It was my thought that with them seated behind me, they would act as an anchor to slow our descent down the hill. As we shoved off, I began to realize that I was wrong. Shwoosh!!!! Faster, FASTER, down the hill we sailed. In milliseconds, the memories of tobogganing in Caspian, Michigan, with my cousins (Bob, Chuck, Jim, and John Paul) came cascading back to me. Suddenly, we were airborne, but for much longer and lengthier than anticipated. To all of my readers, I must confess that if anyone was outside in the late afternoon on December 27 and heard a person screaming—well, that person was me. 

Laughter is timeless. Imagination has no age. And dreams are forever.

Walt Disney

We landed so hard my teeth rattled. Next time I will attempt to keep my mouth shut, but it is difficult when you are in the moment. 

From the giggles and discussion of the adventure, one could tell that the girls thoroughly enjoyed the experience. In fact, I am (God willing) making plans for next year. Possible options range from snow tubes, metal coasters, and eventually maybe the luge. (Am I too old to consider the Olympics??)

If you are unable to physically or mentally attempt this, then by all means, explore other avenues that you enjoyed in your youth to share with children, grandchildren, or others. God always wants us to positively add to and enrich the lives of other human beings.

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