When I was young, there was only ONE decent sledding hill in the whole neighborhood...so location was never an issue. My family owned two sleds - one a shiny aluminum saucer with canvas straps to hold onto, and other a beautifully varnished Flexible Flyer - that you steered with your feet. Dad had taught us to clean the runners each season, so that it never showed a bit of rust.
There were different techniques for sledding. My brothers (older by seven years) would usually just grab the Flyer, jump on belly down and hand steer it down the local high school hill. I prefered the disc - which could rotate wildly on the way down - but face it...that was half the fun!
The trick was to steer sharply at the bottom of the hill - or risk piling into the large cast iron fence at the bottom. Funny thing - I don't remember anyone ever telling me...you just KNEW. Some of the kids acquired plastic discs, in an array of colors - but they didn't move like the metal one did.
Snow days were strategic matters...once it was ascertained that it was too nasty to go to school, we were already layering for the sled hill. (And yes, back then you needed SERIOUS snow to get a snow day. Nothing under a foot would work.) There was also the matter of the cold. I remember when gloves ONLY came in wool - and that was a limiting factor. You had to use your hands in the snow - sometimes to shove off at JUST the right angle - so woolen gloves and mittens would get loaded up with snow. Body heat would make that melt...and after X amount of time, you HAD to return to home base...if just to get feeling back in your fingers!
I recall trying to wring the gloves dry, and laying them on the radiator, hoping they would dry before my parents noticed. In Summer, the rule was no swimming for an hour after eating...so we didn't eat! But in winter, you were not allowed to go out with wet gloves. Sometimes, my day would slip me an old pair of his---too large for actual wear...but if I couldn't sled, I COULD make a snow man on the front lawn. It was a consolation prize...nowhere near as cool as whizzing down the hill at insane speeds...but better than being stuck indoors.
So to the grown up kids out there...where was your favorite sledding hill? Is it still available for use today? Did you ever take your kids, or even grandkids there? And what was your favorite sled like? Runners? Disc? Or did you have a hybrid that carried you through the snow drifts like nobody's business? What about snow forts? Snowball fights?
When you get that first really GOOD snowy day, what do you remember? I'm giving extra marshmallows (or whipped cream!) to the best stories. On your mark...get set...GO!