Daughters of Promise November/December 2014 - Page 59

MARLENE BRITTANY Our area of Virginia is not known for its snowy winters, but one activity that I have enjoyed in the past is sledding. There is something about bundling up and joining a crowd of friends on the top of a tall hill for an exhilarating time of fun. Sometimes we have taken our plastic cattle trough out of its metal frame and piled a row of people in it in lieu of a toboggan. That usually results in a pile of people spilling out once we reach the bottom! Then it’s up to the top of the hill again for round two or three or four! RAE I grew up in southern TN, where snow is a rare and delightful treat. Now I live in southern VA and the forecast is about the same. Wintertime can get long and morose, but I enjoy finding ways to experience its unique beauty. Several Decembers ago, my brothers and I went camping with some friends. It was frigid, and one of their pups pooped in the tent during the night, but we made some amazing memories huddled around the campfire swapping stories and sipping cheap hot chocolate. When it snows, I love loading into the back of a 4x4 truck and exploring snowy back roads, seeing how close we can get to completely stuck. A family tradition is to make snowcream (milk, sugar, and fresh snow). It is also great fun to gather a group of friends for a starlight hayride through neighboring fields, or around the community to visit people. It’s become something of a tradition for my husband and I to plan a winter walk after dark in the snow. The group varies from year to year but the ingredients stay the same: a Coleman lantern, snow (often knee deep), a moon, and lots of warm winter clothing. It can be quite a workout in knee deep snow, so plan to have hot drinks and a substantive snack afterward! But there’s nothing quite so magical and surreal as the exertion in crisp air accompanied by moonlight and lamplight. It’s something completely different than the everyday modern experience; perhaps that’s why we continue it, year a