The People’s Quill

Published 4:20 pm Saturday, January 7, 2012

A grandmother takes her grandson on a sledding adventure in December.

All the way down

By Betty Benner

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It was December, sunshiny, below zero,

Colder than sin.

Four-year-old Ross wanted to go sledding.

We walked the few blocks to Woodridge Park

pulling a little red snow saucer.

The snow squeaked as we climbed

to the top of the hill.

We stood a minute, watching chimney smoke

rise straight up in thin white wisps.

We could see across town to the highway.

“Push me, Gram,” Ross said.

He hopped on the saucer expectantly,

holding onto the side handles.

I gave him a push and off he went.

Part way down he hit a bump,

went off to the side into a clump of weeds.

“Grandma, you pushed me crooked,”

Ross shouted, jumping up and down,

his face red with anger and cold.

Pulling his cap down close to his eyes,

he picked up the sled,

slammed it down on the icy hill,

throwing his little body face down on it

with all his force.

He went flying down,

hanging on for dear life,

straight down the middle of the incline—

It was a long way down.

At the bottom he stood up,

turned around and waved his arms,

shouting and jumping up and down.

“Gram, I made it, I made it!

All the way down!’

At the top of the hill, I shouted and danced

in the winter sun with him.  You made it, Ross.

All the way down.

Let praise and joyful noises fill the crisp air.

We were surrounded then,

by an intangible something,

a feeling, a spirit,

that came from beyond the chimney smoke,

beyond the distant highway, beyond the sun.

We were enveloped by a force field of love.

Ross smiled all the way home,

and drank two celebratory cups of cocoa,

with little marshmallows on the top.