Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Coast to Coast

When a person says 'I went tobogganing with my Daddy on Christmas Day' I can imagine it would bring to mind images of a little girl dressed like the Michelin Man and her Daddy carrying her up the hill while pulling the toboggan behind him. Not so this Christmas Day. I had to walk up the hill myself and pull my own sled; however, the Michelin part is about right. Although there are 30 years to separate the ages of my Dad and myself I think it would be hard to guess who had a better time. My mom obliged by taking photos of the day and managed to capture some great shots of not only me, my Dad and the dogs, she also got the view of the water in the background.

The dogs thought it was a strange ritual we were performing and didn't immediately catch on that they needed to get out of the way or they'd get the legs taken out from under them. Esme was almost used as a speed bump on the first run so after that she made a point of sticking pretty far off to the side when we were heading down - she's the little black speck by the treeline.

In Pictou County tobogganing is called 'coasting' and apparently in Newfoundland it's called 'sliding', I have also heard it called sledding. Whatever you call it the process is the same; bolting downhill on flakes of frozen water while sitting on something smooth and flat. Crashing is also part of the 'fun'.

As happened the last time we did this Leeloo thought it was pretty stupid although on Christmas Day she insisted on running next to me for most of the trips down, I think she liked 'holding my eye' while she ran.

I could tell she thought it was silly but she was game for a run every time and never failed to keep close tabs on my progress. Or maybe she just wanted to show off her pretty new pink collar that she got from Santa.

Boy was a little less focused on me and a little more interested in winning the race to the bottom after which he'd tackle me and attempt to mash me into the snow.  I think he could probably make himself more useful by pulling us back up the hill ... maybe next year.

My Dad and I had races down the hill and there was a little unsportsmanlike conduct - for one of the races there was a photo finish - this one was my dad by a nose. Cora thought the whole thing was terribly confusing but since she is a puppy she took it all in stride and had a great time.

The top of the hill was a bit of a gong show because the dogs never did seem to figure out that we were preparing to head down hill. They'd cross over and stand on the track waiting for us to do something interesting besides sit in the snow. Raimi was big on giving kisses before the race ...

In all it was a riot and although we were only out for an hour it didn't feel that long. Neither my Dad nor I are young folk so the haul up the hill pretty much determines how long we'll be out. I think a tow rope is in order for next year!

If you ask me that's a pretty nice view to behold as you are screaming down a hill of snow with 3 hundred pounds of dog breathing down your neck. If careening down that hill looks a bit treacherous it's because yes, that's a highway at the end of the driveway and also a stand of trees and beyond that the ocean. I think to get to the ocean is a largely unobtainable goal but both my Dad and I did reach the fence which borders the highway, it's still debatable who got the most distance at the end of the day. Based on ground covered I think the dogs safely beat us all by a long margin even though they weren't sledding.

I have some pretty amazing childhood memories of Christmas with my parents but I think it's just as important to enjoy each other's company as an adult - whether at Christmas or any other time of year. Going 'coasting' with my parents and my dogs for Christmas 2011 ranks pretty high up there as an experience to tuck safely in my memory banks.

No comments: