Have you ever looked back in your life and thought about all the stupid things you did when you were little and wondered…how did we survive and live this long?
When we were younger and living in Alaska, Ketchikan got a lot of snow during the winter. One winter afternoon, my sister who was 8 years old, my brother who was 5 years old and I was 11 years old, were out playing in our yard. At the time, we lived in military housing for the Coast Guard which was on Tongass Avenue. The yard was slopped because in Ketchikan almost everything is built into the mountains that are part of Revillagigedo Island. Needless to say, it was perfect for sledding!
We had one wooden sled and a metal trashcan lid to use for sledding. We would take turns using the wooden sled and for the most part my sister used the metal trashcan herself. I was too long legged and if I tried to crunch myself onto the lid, it just wouldn’t move…I was too heavy. My brother was too small to maneuver the trashcan lid himself. He had to ride with one of us on the wooden sled. Eventually, my brother got tired of sledding “piggyback.” He wanted to do it himself. Now, my sister and I, being the loving sisters that we are, didn’t want to give up our sleds so we made one for him. We thought, “this will be the best thing ever” because we would all have our own sleds…so we thought. What we did was, we got one big dark green trash bag from our storage room and stuffed my brother in the bag head first. We then pushed him down the hill. Well, the snow was now packed down from us sledding so much. In fact, it was like a sheet of ice and the little ledge that we used to stop our sleds at the end of the hill so that we wouldn’t go barreling onto the street was now more of a jump than a stopping mechanism. The first time we pushed him down the hill, the trash bag took off and my sister and I were laughing so hard because we could hear our brother screaming in the bag. Then the bag started for the snow bank that was supposed to stop him from going into the street. We both looked at each other at the same time with that look of horror “OH NO!” All, I remember is my mom coming from out of no where, grabbing the bag and my brother as it started to take air from hitting the snow bank so fast. My sister looks up at me and says, “we’re in trouble.”
That night, my sister and I couldn’t sit down for about a half hour from the spanking we got for that bright idea. We ate dinner in silence. We knew that if we spoke one word it would start the whole, “what were you thinking” speech over again. We just ate with our heads down looking at our food. Except for my brother, he was as happy as he could be…he just smiled from across the table like the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland.