Just in case there’s some confusion out there with me posting pictures of the beach, here’s a nice wintery one of me and my brother in keeping with the season. That look on my face is something that got passed down to my daughter and her daughter. Sort of a snarky little smirk. There must be a dominant female gene for that somewhere in our family.
The story I have about winter happened a few years later, when I was four or five but there’s no picture of that day. Obviously my mother, unlike me, didn’t race for the camera first whenever disaster struck. That’s okay, because my memories of that day are larger than life. I told mom once what I remembered about that day, watching the look on her face change from frowning confusion, to bemused, to snorting with laughter. The conversation went something like this.
Remember when Ron and I went all by ourselves way across the fields by the riverbank to go toboganning when we lived on that farm beside grandmas? (You went by yourselves?) I don’t remember anybody being with us, or even close by. Ron had a new toboggan and we pulled it across the frozen river and up a steep bank. He’d find a good place to slide and I’d get on behind him. He told me there was no way I could be in front because he had to steer. It was SO much fun, climbing up, sliding down. (I would never have let you go to the river by yourselves. You must mean the creek beside the house. ) Oh. Well anyway, Ron found a place with a really steep drop off and he set the toboggan at the top of it, he got on, I got on and we were teetering on the edge. He leaned forward and WHOOOSH!! We went straight down. We hit the bottom, I banged into Ron, he cracked his face on the wooden front, and I went tumbling off into the snow. When I got up there was blood everywhere! I started to scream blue murder! (I do remember that now. Ron had a nosebleed.) I kept on howling, even when I saw dad coming to rescue us. Ron was really quiet, holding his snowy mitten over his nose. I think I felt like I had to make enough noise for both of us. Dad thought I was the one that was hurt. He picked both of us up under his arms and headed for the house. I didn’t stop wailing because now I was watching my dad’s boots crashing across on chunks of ice over the raging river. (Lin, it was just a creek. Maybe six inches deep.) Are you sure? Because I remember later seeing a picture of Paul Bunyan and thinking, wow. That’s exactly what my dad looked like the day he saved us. (Snort.) What? That’s how I remember it! He was my HERO! (That’s a great story. Tell it to your children some day.)
I give her one of my best snarky smirk looks and tell her I will. Paul Bunyan image, raging river and all. Because that’s how it happened.