By Caroline Clemmons
Happy New Year! Optimist that I am, I predict 2023 will outshine 2021 and 2022. Here’s hoping for health and happiness—and I wouldn’t mind a bit of prosperity thrown in for good measure.
The first time I saw snow I was five years old, so I remember a lot of details. At the time, we lived in the San Joaquin Valley of Southern California. For some reason, our extended family took a one-day excursion to go snow skiing and sledding in the Sequoia redwoods.
I’m surprised we went with them. Most of the family members were very athletic. I was a sickly child and my mom was super overprotective. Doctors had told my parents there was no way I could survive many more years, and my mom was determined to prove them wrong. As you can tell, she won.
At the time, I was disappointed Mom wouldn’t let me ride the sled down the long, steep slope with the “big kids” and some of the adults. I was probably whining, because a lady named Lois Reed said she would take me sledding. Lois said we would stay off to the side and wouldn’t go far or too fast.
Surprisingly, Lois convinced my mom to let me go (which probably means my dad interceded on my behalf). I recall being so excited. We climbed on a small sled and off we went—not to the side but into the forest and headed for a huge drop off. At the last moment, Lois managed to turn the sled ninety degrees, but still into trees. Seconds before we crashed into a giant redwood, the sled flipped over and we fell off. I landed on Lois, so I was fine. Poor Lois landed on a pile of huge pine cones. Ouch! Mom rushed to help her stand. Lois admitted she had never actually steered a sled before, but had thought it looked easy enough. I was happy and didn’t care that we’d overturned. Not only had I seen snow, but I’d ridden a sled for an adventure.
What’s something you remember doing as a first?