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HomeColumns, Opinions & Misc.Hi, ho, and away we go!

Hi, ho, and away we go!

(Grandpa’s Great Adventure, Part 3)

All of you may recall that throughout the course of the last few years, I have shared stories about sledding escapades with my two granddaughters. During that time, we experimented using various types of sleds, ranging from toboggans to plastic sleds. So, on with the newest adventure!

The winter day began the usual way, cold temperatures accompanied with an overcast sky. This, combined with recent snow and ice that partially covered the steep slope, was the setting of this newest escapade. In preparation for this year’s quest, I purchased three plastic saucer sleds (much to my unexpected chagrin), one for each of us.

As I gingerly approached the crest of the hill, my trepidation was amplified when I observed the seemingly lengthy expanse of the course. This triggered the identical emotional response experienced with past adventures: The old, gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach accompanied by my brain pensively pondering the thought of “Oh, no, not again!” These quickly dissipated upon hearing my grandchildren giggling, anticipating the fun that was about to occur.

At this point, we were all in preparation mode for the first run. Well, for me, that is when the struggles really began. You see, I had not anticipated how much these plastic saucer sleds have shrunk over the past six-plus decades. The reason for this is because while attempting to board the saucer, my adult body was overflowing so much that I strained to have my feet remain inside. As this was transpiring, I kept wondering if they made saucer sleds in 3X sizes.

The first downhill attempt was most embarrassing. The reason was my balance was considerably off, due to the awkward position on the sled. When initially beginning, the speed was gradual, but then VROOOM!  At that same instance, I hit a series of icy bumps and that is when everything unraveled. I lost my balance, and ended up on my back, going down the hill with arms and legs flailing (similar to a turtle upended on its shell). Through all of this, it felt as though all the lumps and bumps of the course were engaging my body.

Simultaneously, my mouth was open to a soundless scream ending in me inhaling snowflakes and coughing. Eventually, it came to an abrupt stop, and I attempted to struggle to my feet. As this was occurring, I overheard giggling and a phrase coming from my grandchildren at the top of the hill. They were jokingly/lovingly reciting the phrase “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

I made several attempts resulting in similar outcomes. Afterwards, with bowed legs, I eventually trudged up the hill to the pickup truck. During this time, my mind analyzed all the areas on my body that were agitated and imagined the kaleidoscope of shadows that would be appearing on the sections of my skin, located in my posterior regions. Even after a few days removed from the event, my voice still seemed to be an octave higher.

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