Friday, January 8, 2010

The Smell of Ice

I can smell ice. I can't smell it coming, but the smell that wafts in the door, I can tell by the scent. It smells like metal and you can taste it in the back of your throat.

Snow is similar, but not as metallic.

We got snow yesterday. It came down in an impressive way. Big fluffy flakes that poured from the sky...dropped like lead. It was crazy. But it covered and was powdery...unfortunately, not wet enough to stick...No snowballs or snow-men for us! The kids are seriously disappointed. But it is GREAT sledding snow. Too bad we don't have a sled.

Thankfully, we have a broken snowboard. All three kids lined up on it because no one was willing to wait for a second turn. They went down and it caught (from the weight of all the bottoms) and dumped them all off at the bottom. The howling and crying that ensued should have awakened my protective motherly instinct, but it awakened my fatherly side and I started laughing.

I remember sledding when I was a kid. I remember being stuffed into a snowsuit that pulled up funny because I was too tall for it, and having difficulty moving at my joints...I remember the metallic smell in my sinuses as we pelted down Dead Man's Hill. So called, because the legend was, some guy fell off the 3 foot drop at the end and into that lake and died from hypothermia. Was this true? Maybe. Very plausible. Was this a story made up by my father who believed everything was more exciting with a little danger wrapped in it? Very possible.

I remember the ice that got stuck in the wrists of my mittens and sleeves that hurt. I remember sweating as we walked up the hill to race down it again. I remember my father pulling us on the toboggan (the SERIOUS sled kind, not the little beanie caps) up and down major hills to the sledding one...huffing and telling us that it wasn't really that cold...that we had no idea what cold was, as it was a measly 17 degrees...and it wasn't really cold until it was -28 degrees...that he grew up in Wisconsin and North Dakota....and this was positively shorts weather...

I remember getting back home and getting our snowsuits yanked off and the wet socks sticking...I remember the hot bath where our fingers and toes BURNED as they thawed. I remember the hot chocolate, while we listened to stories of when my Daddy Was a Little Boy...I still think he is one of the best story-tellers of all time. He could and can make ANY story hysterically funny. Whether is really is or not.

So, as I heard the yelps of my children as they were thrown off the snow-board, I got a flash of tearing through the brambles at break-neck speed and getting sticks shoved through my mittens...and remembering my own suffering...and told my kids that they "were fine!" and if they'd stop whining, I'd make them hot chocolate after they were done sledding...and smiled...trying to decide if I would torture them in the bath...


  1. Ahhh, yes! The memories! All true and all delightful to recall from the comfort of the toasty sofa and warm fire! Yet, Tiffany just called to say she's up for another jaunt of fun with the kidos in the snow! The legacies of delight we pass from generation to generation! I feel warmly blessed! and yes, Tiffany's daddy is the funnest daddy in the world - likely where SHE gets it from. I'm blessed to live 'in their wake." :D

  2. Thank you. I have always said that I could smell snow and my dad always teases me about it. This post is giving me flashbacks and I may just have to go write my own about playing in the snow. Thanks for the idea!