Thursday, February 25, 2010
In a Two-Horse Open Sleigh
We experienced quite an adventure this past week--a hay-wagon ride out to a nearby snow-hill. It was a group activity for the youth of our ward and the leaders of the deacons had decided it was time for a little outdoor fun. (Their group was in charge of this activity.)
The challenge was the freezing temperature. For a couple of days, it had hovered below zero. It was somewhat warmer the night of the wagon adventure, but not much. A few brave souls still gathered at the church anyway, most of us dressed like a character from "A Christmas Story."
Despite the chilly temp, we still had a lot of fun. We met out at a local dairy, and climbed aboard an open hay wagon. Bales of straw had been set in place on top of the wagon for our riding comfort.
Two larger sleds were attached behind the wagon and the even braver souls among us, took turns riding on them. They were dumped out along the way, but seemed to enjoy the spontaneous spills into the snow.
Finally we arrived at our destination near a good-sized hill of snow. Everyone unloaded and helped carry off the containers that had been stashed. These were filled with refreshments for later on, and included a butane stove to warm the hot chocolate.
Earlier, a farmhand had lashed several large posts and slats in place, forming a tall teepee This was lit on fire after our arrival and it formed an impressive bonfire. This aided in keeping everyone warm.
Then most of the youth grabbed their respective sleds and headed for the hill. It proved to be a thrilling ride for them. The cold temperatures had effectively crusted the snow. As the kids came down off the hill, most went flying . . . and loved it. Only one disgruntled deacon returned to the fire grumbling about the cold weather, a few bumps and bruises, etc. He was shamed into trying the hill again by some of his peers and leaders, and he had a wonderful time. ;)
Later, we all gathered around the fire for the much-needed hot cocoa and doughnuts. And about the time we decided to head home, our fire collapsed. The good news is that no one was hurt. The interesting news is that it resembled an art-form featured at this year's Winter Olympics in Vancouver. We took it as a sign that we had done well that night. ;)
Friends and family will be delighted to know that I, for once, was not injured in any fashion during this adventure. Everyone was proud of my accomplishment. =D I mostly wandered around, taking pictures, minding my own business. See, miracles can happen! ;)
What a fun blast from the past. During these days of hurry and scurry, it's a refreshing change to savor an enjoyable pastime from days gone by. We loved the wagon ride home, and I, for one, was sad to see this adventure end.
If there are any lessons to be learned from this experience, I think it would be to reflect on what was missed by those who didn't participate. Taking the easy way out isn't always the best thing. Sometimes you glean grand opportunities by going the extra mile and risking a little discomfort. Remind me I said that. ;)