So, yeah. I live in Boston. In case you haven’t heard, we’ve gotten a lot of snow recently…like, over 6 feet of snow fell in 17 days or something ridiculous like that. My neighborhood is basically a maze of snow tunnels and the snowbanks are taller than me. Multiple lane roads are down at least half a lane, many sidewalks are just wide enough for one person, and don’t even get me started on the bus stops. There’s a crap ton of snow on the ground and literally nowhere to put it. Oh, and we’re getting another storm this weekend. Joy.
Today I’m going back to a time when snow was not a burden. It could be dangerous, yes, but it was generally just fun and left you with mostly fond memories and funny stories. It really seems like the only way to get through this.
From third grade to seventh grade, I lived in a house with an amazing sledding hill in the back yard, which backed up to a large wooded area. I spent many an hour out there, alone or with friends, sledding during the winter months. I mainly utilized the bottom part of the hill that was tree-free, but if you really wanted an extra thrill, you could trek up into the woods to this rock that jutted out a bit over the start of the hill (it was more of a rock ledge, really). If you perched your sled on the edge of the rock, balanced yourself in the sled, and then slowly leaned forward until the sled tipped over the edge and started down the hill, you could pick up enough speed to make it down the hill, through the back yard, past the house into the front yard, over the retaining wall at the front edge of the yard, down onto the sidewalk and out into the road. I’m super bad at judging distances, so I don’t know how far it was….but to a kid, it was really far!
The thing about starting up on this rock was that it was surrounded by trees. There was a straight path down the hill, but if you happened to veer off course you were in trouble. The rock itself had a small tree growing up out of, off to the left. It was really a baby tree and didn’t look like much of a threat, but it was still a tree.
One evening, Rachel and I were outside sledding during the early evening. I’m guessing we were 9 years old at the time. The dusk was turning to dark and it was likely almost time for both of us to be heading in for dinner. Given that it was dark, we probably shouldn’t have been in the woods, but we were feeling daring that night. We decided to start from higher up in the woods than we had ever started before. We climbed up the hill and got situated in our sled, Rachel in the back and me in the front. We pushed off with all our 9 year old strength and picked up a considerable amount of speed right away. It was great….until it very much wasn’t. My memory is fuzzy, but I remember going straight and then suddenly not going straight anymore. We crashed right into the baby tree. Upon impact, the sled stopped moving forward but I, sadly, did not.
I bet you’re thinking “Oh, no, she smashed her head into the tree! Concussion! Stitches! Profuse bleeding because head wounds always bleed profusely! Did she knock out some teeth?!??” but you are wrong. My right leg went to the right side of the tree; my left leg to the left; and my genital region crashed into the tree. Hard.
Yup, my genital region. I was violated by a tree. Or, depending on how you look at it, I violated a tree. Either way, it was not pleasant. I imagine it would be like falling with both of your legs on either side of a balance beam, but with more force.
I thought I broke my vagina. I was sure I was bleeding. It hurt so bad that I saw stars….and just to reiterate, my head was fine. I made Rachel come inside with me so I could see if I was bleeding or broken in some way, which involved taking off her boots and snow clothes and then having to put them all back on again to walk home, since our sledding adventure for the day was obviously over.
I was totally fine and the only lasting damage was psychological.
So, if you have to be out shoveling snow (again) this weekend, just be glad that you’re not crashing your genitals into things. Unless you have an unfortunate mishap with a shovel. Or if that’s just what you’re into.
Song of the Day: Benson Hedges by Fun.