The blast of winter that we got this week made me think back to when I was a kid. Winter was such an amazing time of the year for us. I lived in a townhouse complex which had a large parking lot that needed to be plowed during snowstorms. That plowing would inevitably create a massive pile of snow that we quickly turned into a rabbit warren of a snow fort!
This came with the obvious pleas from parents to be careful because we could be buried alive in the caves that we were building. They fell on deaf ears. We actually got to the point where we were reinforcing the walls and ceilings with small spray bottles of water. The frozen mist would strengthen the walls in our minds and render them safe. We spent hours digging in those snow piles until we were saturated and shivering but it was always worth it.
The other way we killed time in the winter was to go sledding. We lived across the street from a hill that was on the property of an old-folks home so it was dubbed Granny's Hill. No idea who first called it that but it stuck. The hill was large and steep and had a creek at he bottom of it. Many a time I watched friends end up in the creek soaking wet.
When the snow came down it was a given that the Hill would be climbed and ramps would be made. For the longest time we used Crazy Carpets and Flying Saucers to go down at unimaginable speeds. Hitting bumps and wiping out more often than not.
Then one day the GT Snowracer came into our lives. A sled WITH A STEERING WHEEL!! We would tow them up the hill and have races to see who could be the fastest. We were daredevils (and maybe a bit insane). Luckily our parents never came to Granny's Hill with us. It was generally the province of kids and teenagers. Our parents never new that we had side hills called Suicide (aptly named because of the incredibly steep slope, and chain-link fence at the end) and Roller Coaster (lots of bumps and dips).
As we got older the hill also became the place for us to learn the delicate art of BEERBOGGANING. Get a 2-4 and take it to the top, have a beer or two and go down the hill. Climb back up and repeat. Luckily the snow kept the beer cold.
Once in a while we would get some stick from the old folks in the home that didn't want us to have any fun but all they would do was yell from the windows. We were never actually told we couldn't be there.
I drove by a couple of weeks ago and noticed that some new developments had occurred on the hill. They have actually reduced the slope with infill from some construction in the neighbourhood, but there were still kids there having a blast. When the boys are a bit older I would like to take them to Granny's Hill and show them what Tobogganing can be.