So I thought Friday was the perfect day of the week to relax the content of this blog and just share some of my personal rural flashbacks (I got the idea from this great blog). Yesterday was a winter wonderland in Central Illinois… and I was one of the lucky few who did not wipe out on the ice. But it got me thinking about some of the times that I had unfortunately fallen on the ice.
There is nothing like ice-booting on a frozen pond with a life jacket on. Ice-booting is the four-year-old version of ice skating where one wears snow boots to slide around on the ice instead of skates. Which makes me wonder what is the smallest size of ice skates one could get? Life jackets are not only a summer necessity but also a winter one in case the ice isn’t thick enough to support you. Luckily, we never had any incidents of falling through the ice but I’m sure my entire extended family looked pretty silly out there on the ice with out life jackets on (better safe than sorry!). Unfortunately, my ice-booting experience never prepared me for ice skating because I am terrible at legitimate ice skating to this day.
My other favorite winter activity is sledding. I still go every single year. Last year was incredible after an ice storm struck and covered our road in two-three inches of ice. To get to the intersection over a mile away (our stretch of road is two miles long) one simply had to put the car in neutral and it would literally slide the whole way there! While it may not be ideal driving conditions, it is ideal sledding conditions! My dad wets down the metal runners of our sled, that is probably older than both of us, and lets the water freeze so we have ice to ice contact. We begin at the top of our short, steep driveway that is perpendicular to the road and try to make the hard turn onto the road keeping up our momentum…. and then continue all the way down the road as far as possible. Our part of Central Illinois doesn’t have amazing hills to sled on so we resort to using the road.
One interesting impact on our sledding has been the installation of wind turbines in the area. They removed the road that couldn’t support the weight of the turbines and put down gravel during the installation process. However, when they repaved the road they leveled it out at some point so our little hill is even less of a hill today. We still make the best out of it though and I can’t wait for all the sledding years (and ice-booting years) ahead of my family and I.