I laughed. The giggles kept me warm against the unfamiliar cold snap that invaded our typically mild Southern winter. Mama also kept me warm, her arms and legs pulled tight around me as we situated ourselves on the red plastic sled.
Our normally gravelly street was slick with fresh ice, and a sled that rarely saw the light of day was dragged from underneath the house and given a chance to reveal its true purpose. I had never seen so much snow. Later, the snow fall would earn its own name: The Blizzard of '93. But to me, a ten-year old with a bowl cut and a boggin, it was simply paradise.
Daddy tested the sled first, slipping down the hill fast and laughing like a little boy. Barney, our Basset Hound, was right behind him the whole way, baying at the top of his lungs. Looking back, I guess Barney was just laughing along with us, but it was us who got the last laugh when poor Barney couldn't make it back up the slippery hill. Daddy had to carry him back up, and after that initial sled launch, we learned that someone had to hold Barney's collar while the sled glided its way down the hill or else we'd be stuck carrying eighty pounds of Basset Hound up and down the hill all afternoon.
I laughed then. At the joy of sledding, the silliness of a family dog, the simple happiness of an afternoon with my family.
I laugh now. At my Mama and my sister's matching perms, my puffy lavender coat and ugly white boots, the memory of my Daddy carrying Barney up that hill.
I treasure the laughter and the memories of that Southern snow, now frozen in time forever.
Author's Note: This was written in response to the following prompt from Write on Edge.
Everyone has a favorite photo of themself, whether it’s a childhood snapshot, a professional graduation or wedding photograph, or a close-up taken amongst friends.
Some say a photograph steals the soul. This week, show us yours: take us into the moment that photograph was taken. Show us who you were then and what the photograph means–in 300 words.
What memories do you have of sledding?