February [Stories] 06

I’ve mentioned before that I liked sledding as a kid. On top of the fact our old house had a really long, steep hill to enjoy. Well, this is a story that still gets told any chance it can be. This is a story, about the day I realized things can go bad very quickly. Hold onto your hats, its a wild one.

I don’t remember if I had school this day, I’m gonna say I did. But when I got home, I wanted to go sledding. So I grabbed our toboggin style sled and was sledding in the front yard. Our yard had some trees and woods in the front, so the only place to get a good stretch of sledding space was within 10 feet of the driveway. I had fun going back and forth until my dad got home.

He was a teacher, so he would get home around dinner time, maybe sooner. One of the down-sides of our house being on this large hill was probably the fact that it was IMPOSSIBLE to get a car up it in the winter. Didn’t matter what it was, it wasn’t going up that hill. It wasn’t safe to plow it, nor safe to try and go down it in any compacity. So in the winter all the cars were parked at the base of the driveway. We had an Astro van, a Suzuki Samurai, and maybe something else I can’t remember.

I saw my dad pull up to the driveway and get out of the car, preparing to make the long walk up the hill with his briefcase in hand. “HEY DAD!” I hollered out. He looks up at me, “WATCH THIS!” Its worth mentioning here that I had every intention of just sledding down, and walking back up with him. I sit down in my sled and push myself to get started down the hill. I pick up speed pretty fast. For whatever reason, my sled decided that it would be more fun to go down the driveway.

Without warning my sled slips off my path and onto the iced driveway. Now all friction is gone and my sled launches me like a railgun. I can only imagine what my dad was thinking at this point as his child is piloting a missile. I do my best to lean with the ice to keep the sled from spinning out, but I just can’t get off the driveway back into the snow.

Dealing with the iced driveway, wasn’t the biggest problem though. I was going really fast now, and remember how I mentioned the cars being parked at the end? Yeah, I realized quickly that I was about to get the ultimate clothes-lining from the back of our Astro van. Panic sets in as I see the hitch getting bigger and bigger. I again imagine my dad realizing this problem about the same time as me.

My options were very limited, I did my best to think of how to get out of the situation, but I was plum out of ideas. At the very last second (not even an exaggeration) I do the only thing I can think of. I laid back in the sled. It was just long enough that I was able to get completely flat. I watch the sun vanish as I go right under the van. Not only did I go under, I must have hit regular pavement, because I was halted very abruptly. “GET ME OUT!” I yelled as I heard my dad hustle to pull me out from behind the van.

He reached in and grabbed the back of my sled, pulling me back out. I was a bit shaken but I wasn’t scared of what had just happened. I did decide that was enough sledding for the day though. We all laugh telling the story now, it could have been much worse, but my Jedi-like reflexes really saved my face.

Thank goodness my parents didn’t have a car.

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