A true story dedicated to my sister, Tara, in remembrance of a time that was so much simpler than the moments that life has now grown to be.
Heavy boots sunk deep into the winter’s first snow as my sister and I trudged our way through the ten acres of yard behind our home. Frostbite was immune to us in all the layers of clothing. My mother was, of course, the concerned one, buttoning, tying, and covering us up from head to toe before we went out into the cold weather. The hat about my head was a bit big, having to frequently push it back on to my forehead as I followed in tow behind Tara.
We had made our way down to the side of the creek bed as we ventured further on our “hike.” We both loved the snow, making snow angels, throwing snowballs, and dragging the dog about as we went sledding. Every year we looked forward to the big snow, and finally, it had come.Creeping upon the frozen part of the creek, we saw before us, the most tremendous, downhill, frozen ice slide we had ever seen.
Two pairs of feet began in a hurry towards it, doing our best to keep our balance as we prodded each other along. Tara was the first to reach it, being older gave her the advantage of quickness and longer legs. One foot slid up too far from the other and a yelp fled from her lips. Crashing down onto the ice slide she slid to the bottom. The laughing of both her and I echoed through the hills as I tried so hard to catch my breath. The image still comes to my mind where I thought her foot was going to go over her head.
Of course, I was soon to follow, but a bit more cautious. Slowly, with a bit of a wobble, I lowered myself down, arms behind me like I was sitting on a sled. I pushed myself down the ice and could see my sister waiting for me, a smile on her face. The smile faded into a roar of laughter as I toppled over, sliding down along my side and stomach.
After we had gathered ourselves together, able to breathe, and wiping the tears of happiness from our faces’, the same thought rang true in both minds. Hair a mess and clothes already soaked, my body was starting to freeze but I couldn’t get myself to care.
Almost at the same moment, we started to run forward. Every vision before us a blur, gloved hands grabbing at nothing, feet sliding along the ice, the happiness rising in the air. My sister and I urged each other to make it up the hill. Pushing and pulling each other, every attempt ended in failure as we slid back to the bottom. Our cheeks hurt from smiling, our belly’s from laughing, and our eyes from squinting.
It was one of the best days I had ever spent with my sister. There was no arguing, no dirty looks, no awkward silence. It was laughter, joy, and the true meaning of Christmas, or at least the Christmas season. Spend time with your loved ones, take nothing for granted, and take advantage of what you have. I had my sister that day and my best friend wrapped in one. Well, actually, I still do. We both still think about that day in the snow and ice. When you’re younger, nothing is impossible, including making it up an icy hill.
Written by Tammy Lee
December 16, 2004