Tomorrow is eldest daughter's birthday. Usually planning the family birthday's is left up to me. I tend to favour civilized birthday gatherings....... "come for coffee and cake".
Everyone arrives - in my nice warm house - we have coffee and cake - the birthday celebrant opens their presents - we have nice conversation - and more coffee - and in a couple of hours everyone leaves - I clean up the mess - and life moves along.
So with the upcoming birthday - I figured - coffee and cake and presents at my house.
BUT I was wrong.
Turns out the birthday girl (who is turning 36) wants a toboggan party. Yes you read that right T.O.B.O.G.G.A.N party........... which involves loads of warm clothing - hats - mitts - scarves - snow pants - boots - and ................. SNOW ....... and Youngest daughter picked up the challenge and ran with it (so to speak)
First thought I had - ' I'm wayyyyyyyyy too old to be sliding down some hill on a hunk of wood'
Then I started having nightmares................ all of them involving some sort of compacting unit - and things being crushed.......... I would wake up in cold sweats.
Then I remembered.............
Going sliding was my mother's favourite winter past time ............ every single winter (more than once each winter I might add) she and I would trudge off with her sister and my cousin to some hill and go tobogganing for the afternoon. My mother's attitude was You live in the Great White North - make the BEST of the wintery months!! (God bless my mother who always tried to make the best out of a bad situation. Personally I think they - being my parents - could have made the decision to move the family south - as far south as is necessary to reach a land of permanent sunshine and warm weather - but I digress)
I have vivid memories of those days sliding. ............ of being bundled up so well against the cold and snow and icy conditions that I looked (and felt) like the Michelin Man. When the toboggan reached the bottom of the hill - I couldn't easily stand up - and it usually involved a lot of rolling around trying to find something to grab onto to pull myself into an upright position to begin the long walk back up the very HIGH hill.
And sliding - for those of you who live in a cleverly selected country of origin with warm sunshine all year - is a hazardous sport. Trust me .. it is !! I should know!!! I have the permanent marks to prove it......
There was the time my mother was on the toboggan with me - I being the small Michelin Man was sitting in the front of the toboggan with my legs trapped under the over hanging lip .. my mother was sitting behind me - pressed up tight against me holding the ropes that went around my body to her hands...... (in other words I was squished in with no where to go) My Aunt gave a super human push and we were flying down the hill faster than the speed of light - past other sliders - past trees and park benches.......... and there looming straight in front of me was this wooden fence - I remember yelling and trying to wiggle free just as our toboggan hit that wooden fence full force - crashing through the fence and landing us in the parking lot
And oh ........ if that wasn't bad enough ....Another time.. my mother had me try out a new invention called a "flying saucer" ....... basically a round METAL cylinder type thing with handles on each side. My mother had me sit cross legged on this circular piece of cold metal - jammed my hands into the handles ... and then gave me a humungous push down the hill ..........
There was no way to steer this thing.... nothing to do but hold on for dear life and pray..... I hadn't gone more than a few feet down the hill when this circular piece of METAL started spinning round and round - like a merry-go-round gone wrong - and I couldn't see where I was going (in the long run that was probably a blessing) and then there was this crunch - and i was jammed tightly in between a huge Oak tree and wooden park bench that was frozen fast into the snow and ice .......... and it took my Aunt, my mother and some kind bystander 5 minutes to work my body loose from the flying saucer and from the tree and park bench.
A treat of marshmallows on my hot chocolate did NOT make the bruises and aches and pains feel any better at all !!
And now my daughter - who is turning 36 which means 'grown-up' no?? - wants to have a toboggan party. And of course that is exactly what the grandkids (of course!!) and youngest daughter have planned for this afternoon........ a tobogganing birthday party!!
I am not bundling up...... I am not getting on one of those suicide devices !! I am bringing loads of band-aides - maybe a back brace and a couple of splints........ my cell phone ready to dial 911....... and of course my camera!
I have a feeling my mother will be there today - looking down and smiling and yelling "WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE" every time one of the kids goes down the hill...........
I just hope there are no fences - or flying saucers available