Sunday

Sledding Story

My father is a great story-teller. He's had years of practice telling tales to my brothers long before my parents had me. With all the snow outside today (first snow in a month), I have decided to share my favorite sledding story from my father...

My father grew up on a cattle farm in Roundup, Montana. His parents had about 300 acres of land, and 3 strong sons to help them maintain it. My dad and his oldest brother were only 11 months apart in age, and his little brother was 8 years behind him. To keep a cattle ranch successful and profitable, there are daily chores taht must be handled: feeding & watering the herd, maintaining the farm machinery, and keeping the home in good working order. On a farm, you can basically get into worlds of mischeif if your chores are finished and the farm is in order.

Winters are very harsh on the eastern side of Montana, often with 6 feet of snow as the average each winter, lots of wind, and snow drifts that hide the roads. One winter day when the roads were hidden and the chores were finished, my father and his oldest brother (12 & 13 at the time) thought it would be fun to go sledding on the hill near their house. My grandparents never bought the boys real sleds, however, so these two boys decided to use parts from an old farm car that had been rusting away on the property. Their sled for the day was to be the hood of the old car, rigged up with "brakes" that were two strips of 3/4" scrap metal bolted to either side of the hood.

To ensure an exciting ride, my father and his brother carried buckets of water up the hill and splashed them onto the snow. With the near zero temperatures, the snow / water combination made a slick sheet of ice all the way down the hillside. In the late afternoon, the two older boys drug the old car hood up the hill, and their littlest brother hiked up behind them. Togerther they jumped onto their home-made sled and began the first ride down the hill... faster & faster as the hill became more steep. A wild ride for sure, but quickly nearing the end of their ice patch. As they flew onto the softer snow they tried using the "brakes", but to no avail - - and there was plenty more hill to ride down. Rushing past trees and the barn they were struggling just to hang on. Streaking past the house, they were unstoppable.

Unstoppable until they ran into the coal shed... and prodeeded to blast the old wooden shack to smithereens. The ride was over, and their father who had been watching from the porch was having the laugh of his life. The remainder of their snow filled week did not involve any more "sledding", but instead a laborious rebuild of the coal shed.

3 Comments:

Blogger Josh huah said...

nice. In my day i would've been beaten with a hickory switch while we rebuilt shed...atleast that's what my dad always told me

5:27 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

This is the second half of the coal shed the first part has to with Grandpa, Pand and a brandnew sleigh.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Whoops looks as if I was a little tired on that last post. Forgot how to spell and type. Really ask your dad about Panda, Grandpa, and the brand new sleigh and what they did to the coal shed.

9:21 PM  

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