snow is for sliding

sunny sliders

One thing about Saint John: there is no shortage of hills. So if you were given a sled for Christmas, you would find plenty of slippery slopes around here to try it out.

One of the best sliding hills In the city is in Rockwood Park, just across from the pavilion at Lily Lake. When I was a child, we came here as a family and crowded on the toboggan, all five of us. I was first, my legs jutting up and over the wooden prow. My brothers were behind me, then my mom and finally my dad, his strong legs curled around us with his feet hooked into the front of the toboggan, steering with his arms. I remember the long walk up the hill, the feeling of wet wool, and the swift movement — a blur of trees and children and flying snow — on the way down.

Seeing the faces of these two girls sliding on the hill yesterday reminds me of how much fun it is to play outdoors in the winter. Maybe I’ll head out today to play in the snow before the weather turns to rain.

Photo taken on January 9, 2011


10 thoughts on “snow is for sliding

  1. Go for it! Sledding (sliding) has to be one of the top pleasures of winter in these parts. I never managed to test the slopes near Lily Lake… just stuck with either the hill behind the family home, or tested out the “shortcut” to elementary school.

    Yesterday morning we awoke to enough snow on the back hill to give it its first test run of the season. It was a blast, and sure brought back some great memories. I’m beginning to think that “50 is the new 12!”

  2. Gordon, I’d forgotten there was a slope behind your house, I can imagine the run down the shortcut though — right into the street, I bet! I’m not sure if I’d enjoy sledding anymore; the last time I tried it I felt every bump… do you have a toboggan or did you go down the hill on a crazy carpet?

    We had actually planned to go snowshoeing today. We borrowed my parents’ snowshoes and arrived at the park with the dogs in tow (or the other way around), only to find out that one of the bindings was broken. So we went for a walk instead. It was cold but beautifully bright and crisp, a perfect winter day.

    • Yes, it was wonderful to get out for a walk, even if it was a short one. The winter air may be cold and make me want to hibernate, but once I get out and about, it’s energizing!

  3. It’s good that you were able to get out into the winter, in spite of the snowshoes.Your remark aboout the shortcut is true, we often shot right over the snowbank at the end of the run and into the street. Thankfully that part of the road was quiet.

    The two of you would have a riot testing the hill here! Years ago my preferred ‘vehicle’ for a run was a crazy carpet. Now we have a more sensible molded plastic thing that fits the bill beautifully. On the first run though, I managed to kick up enough powder that it flew right down my neck… serves me right for starting off headfirst!

  4. Snow is a magical thing! When I take my boys out to play in the snow, their smiles never leave their faces! A person never has to stop enjoying it (I think having to drive in it is what ruins it when we reach adulthood), we just have to realize that it can still be fun. The other day, I went out with my boys, we pulled the sled around the yard, and attempted to make snow blocks – but the snow wasn’t good for packing. We still had a blast! Go out – have fun!! 🙂

    • Snow can still be lots of fun for all ages, but you’re right about the driving, Holly. If only we could switch our cars to sleighs in the winter, the way they used to, then we would be a lot less stressed about slippery roads!

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