I'm a Minnesotan by birth. As a result, snow and cold weather play an important part in making the year end holidays seems...official. For the past two years, my family have migrated back to the midwest to spend the holidays with my parents. Last year we were sorely disappointed to find that Iowa had no snow or cold weather. My parents had moved to Coralville, Iowa to be closer to one of my sisters, and to be in a "warmer" environment. I guess when you're moving south from Minneapolis, Coralville, Iowa could qualify as a warmer climate.
Coralville is next to Iowa City, home of the Iowa Hawkeyes. Our trip started off with little snow. All this changed during the two hours spent indoors watching the Iowa Hawkeye women's basketball team play Western Illinois. It was fun to watch a midwestern basketball game...even more fun to come out and realize we were in the middle of a blizzard!! The winter holidays were about to get a right and proper kickstart. I was all of a sudden very happy to have brought our snow bibs!!! A quick visit to a local thrift store outfitted the kids in sorrels. I borrowed some Korean war era "bunny" boots and was ready for some good healthy snow play.
My parents live near the Brown Deer golf course which has some stellar sledding hills.
We woke up in the morning to discover that Iowa City/Coralville had been blanketed in a good 6 inches of snow.
Time to teach the kids how to shovel snow!! It had been years since I "did the walk" for my parents, and being out in the brisk winter weather shoveling snow felt refreshing. Believe it or not, shoveling snow was never something that I loathed. After getting the driveway clear, we bundled up, grabbed our sleds and headed for the hills.
The Wind had blown some of the snow into a nice icy glaze which made sledding nice and fast. Everyone, including my 72 year old Father got into the action. We spent a could couple of hours sledding the first day, and every day thereafter. When you have to drive 3-4 hours to get to snow, having it every day is a novelty.
A great time was had by all, and then it was time to walk home.
We did have one mishap during our sledding fun. There's a river/creek a short ways off the bottom of one of the better hills. My youngest got in luge position, laid down in his little red sled and flew down the hill...straight into the river. I had visions of George Bailey running across the ice to pull his brother out after falling through the ice as I charged down the hill to rescue my son. He was hanging onto the ice and only had, "Daddy, I got wet!" to say. With the kind help of a generous person in the pro shop, we got our son home and into a hot bath in no time. All's well that ends well and it didn't damper his enthusiasm for snow sports. Now they want to head up to Tahoe to learn how to snow board!!! Sounds good go me!! After years of trying to get them out into some sort of snow sport the Iowa winter fun finally succeeded!!!