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Slice of Life Tuesday: Snow forts

11 Feb


This week’s snow storm got me thinking about now much easier winter used to be. I didn’t mind putting on the boots and various layers to go outside to play. And we were expected to go outside and play. When I went on my little foray to the library and grocery store, I was refreshed and invigorated by being outside, and exhausted by the time I got home.

One of my favorite winter memories has to do with snow forts. We’d lived up near James Bay for 3 years and when we finally moved south again, we moved to a house on a dead end. Nowadays, it would be called a cul-de-sac, but I don’t think that term had been invented yet.

Because it was Canada, our roads were plowed frequently and the plow would drop all the snow it collected at the end of our street. After a while, the pile was huge and it became the perfect place to build a fort, since half the work had been done for us.

There were a lot of kids on our street and we did all kinds of things together all year. In summer we’d caravan by bike to the swimming pool and stop at Massel’s on the way home for candy. But in the winter, we broke up into teams, built forts on opposite sides of the snow mound and had a rest snowball fight. It was meant to be fun and I don’t remember anyone getting hurt. But I remember working hard to get the fort ready and working as a team to keep the snowballs coming. We were always leery of tunnels through the snow, although they seemed exotic and enticing. We’d all heard too many stories of kids who were trapped or hurt in some way. My second grade teacher told us how her brother cut her lip with a shovel digging a tunnel while she was in it and she had the scar to prove it.

Our snowfall this week wasn’t really big enough for forts or tunnels. A few snowmen appeared and a lot of sledding was going on. It’s nice to know that, no matter what, snow is an invitation to play.

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