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Talking it over: winter games

After what seemed like an endless period of extremely cold weather, the weekend felt almost like spring. I saw many people outside enjoying the warmer temperatures and many children and young adults were also enjoying some winter games.

I heard that several people took advantage of local sliding hills and ski resorts. It was perfect weather for these fun activities. Closer to our place, I noticed my niece and her boys out on the ice where she was driving a four-wheeler and pulling the boys on a sled behind.

This made me think about some great winter activities we used to do on the warmer winter days. Quite often, my siblings and I would trod out to the hill behind our house. It sometimes took a few times sliding down the medium size hill before we made a perfect trail for our tobaggens and saucers to follow. The trip down was so much fun. Going back up was a different story, usually wearing us down pretty quickly. The hot cocoa Mom had waiting for us when we returned was almost the best part of the excursion.

Other times we would get out the snowmobile and hook up an old car hood taken off one of the old cars parked permanently in the grove. The driver would pull us around the yard pretty sedately as Mom and Dad watched. However, when we ventured down to the lake and away from watchful eyes, the ride got a little more risky. The snowmobile driver would drive fast, then turn sharply and the hood, along with its occupants, would literally fly over the snow and ice. Quite often the result was bodies flying off the hood and landing in the deep snow. It was lots of fun, until someone got hurt and we had to explain what we were doing to our parents.

A few times we would clear the snow off part of the lake and go skating. On a couple occasions we invited friends and even had a bonfire on the lake. This weekend my granddaughters wanted to walk on the lake so I went out there with them. I was terrified the entire time that they would fall through the ice. I never felt that kind of fear as a teenager, even with a bonfire burning hotly on the ice.

I guess in some ways it is okay to be a little fearless as a teenager because you can have some good clean fun. However, now I can see why our parents were pretty cautious about our winter games and tried to instill in us a bit of that respect for the elements and what can happen when you throw caution to the wind.

There are many great winter games to play but remember to respect the elements and surroundings. It is also a good idea to respect your body by being a bit careful sledding, skating and simply walking in winter. Winter fun and games would not be worth it if we find ourselves sporting a pretty white cast on parts of our bodies.