December 30, 2018

Snow Sledding
For Fun & Memories

Futureman (my grandson) visited us for a couple days. One day was mostly travel time, going to pick him up and bring him to our house. Unfortunately, such visits are few and far between. 

Divorce and separation from my grandchild is not something I ever anticipated in my "family vision." But life is full of disappointments and heartaches. So, we just do the best we can under the circumstances. 

Our objective when Futureman is here is to focus our attention on him, to be a good influence, and to make good memories. 

In the video above, we made a good memory. Walking up the hill may not have been the best short-term memory for Futureman, but the sledding adventure ended well—He toughed it out and was smiling at the top. 

I posted that video on my personal Facebook page. The daughter of my best friend in high school posted this comment:
"Oh so many memories sledding down that hill as a child! Broke my tailbone by hitting a snowmobile jump near the bottom! Almost ended up in the bottom of the gully several times, adding to the thrill of the ride! Always finished the day off with hot cocoa at grandma's! Thanks for sharing, brought back some great memories!"
Her name is Niki, and her comment brought a smile to my face. Niki's father, mother, and grandmother have now all passed on, but each of them contributed to giving her a childhood of wonderful, family-centered memories. She cherishes the memories.

Niki is now grown and married to a farmer. She has a young son. I can tell from her Facebook page that her son is being deliberately blessed with the same family-centered, active, rural lifestyle that she experienced.

And as I ruminated further on this little story, I remembered that my first time sledding down Murphy Hill Road was in the winter of 1975-76. I was a senior in high school. Niki's father (who lived a short walk from the hill) had a long toboggan, and group of us classmates got together for a few trips down the big hill.

In retrospect, there are few things in life more fun that a bunch of 18-year-old kids piling onto a long toboggan and sliding down Murphy Hill Road. It was good, wholesome fun. And it was free.

My wife was my girlfriend back then. She remembers that sledding party. And she remembers it was so much fun that we all got together again one crisp, starry, moonlit night to slide down Richardson Hill Road, which is another steep road around here that's closed off in the winter. 

These snow-covered rural hill roads don't attract local kids for sledding like they used to. Too many kids wile away their life playing electronic games. Futureman is among them. 

Yes, it bothers me. I never allowed my three boys to play computer games in our home. I saw such games as intruders and thieves. 

But all their friends had the computer games. When they got older, they played them at their friends's houses. :-(

Even still, not having such games in our home meant that my sons were more exposed to traditional, rural, outdoor play than most other kids their age. That was a good thing for them, and they know it now.

Fortunately, cell phones were not even around when my kids were younger. And it is fortunate that they were not around when I was a kid. Cell phones are intruders and thieves too.

Oh my... this has ended up being a meandering, opinionated screed. I suppose it is typical of grandfathers, looking at the younger generation, to be so opinionated. And concerned.

God help us.

Murphy Hill Road in the winter.


  1. Elizabeth L. Johnson said, You're a good friend; so when I heard his folks were divorcing I wept, because I'd seen what divorce had done to my husband's life. Maybe you can go visit Futureman in his town. Wonderful, humorous video! Thanks for such a delight.

  2. What a precious time with Grandpa! Sweet memories that will last a lifetime for that little guy. Bless you for being the Rock in his life!

  3. That's still some pretty good coordination if you are sledding and holding a camera at the same time. Now, you have to get a 4-wheeler or a snow mobile to pull him back up the hill. Back in the day, all I had was a piece of cardboard from an appliance box, but it was still a hoot.

  4. So glad you had the time with your grandson!
    My grandparents lived in a different state so we only saw them once or twice a year but they made a huge impact on our lives. And my siblings and I have many wonderful memories of the time with them. We couldn’t have made it without them.

  5. Hi Herrick, Just going to try and post this sentence and se if it flies!

  6. Thanks for the comments everyone.
    It's good to see you have found your way back here now, Everett.