My family regarded snow as a miracle, every single time, when I was little. It wasn't just Kate and me getting excited as the flakes started to fall, it was my older sister Sherri, my dad, and when she was there, my mom. All day we'd tromp around the farmyard where we lived, hopping into drifts and making snow angels. We'd have snowball fights in which I'd inevitably get hit in the face and end up crying, the snow still stuck like an icy wound on my forehead. Dad would make his spicy chili, and we'd all enjoy winter together. NIght time, though, was the best time. After a dinner of soup or chili, Dad would put his winter coat back on, and Sherri would stuff Kate and me into our snowsuits again before finding her ow winter wear to keep warm. All of us would follow Dad's flashlight as he navigated our way to a hill about a quarter of a mile from our house across a big field. The hill was steep and led into a pond that held rain drainage that came rolling off of the corn and soy bean fields. This is where we'd sled.
One winter, we walked out to our normal spot, Mom, Dad, Kate, Sherri and I all bundled and laughing. Dad had brought a few different sleds, an innertube and a metal disk sled, and a few others. He and Mom were joking, and playfully tossing snowballs at eachother, kissing and drinkinng shnapps from a thermos. Dad and Mom sat down on the innertube sled and made the first trail down the hill, and I watched as they slid into the darkness below, disappearing except for their screams and then the sound of their sled gliding across the ice of the frozen pond. Sherri and I went next, on the metal sled, after Mom and Dad had reached the top of the hill again, Mom lighting a cigarette that looked like an orange lightning bug as she inhaled from it.