Dear warm reader,
It’s official, whatever the calendar says. Winter has arrived. We have snow on the ground, the temperature has stayed between 5 and 25 degrees Fahrenheit, and the winter wind has been howling.
The good news? This means sledding season has begun. We have one of the best sledding hills in the land, if I may say so myself. And we have a pile of sleds, for when friends, relatives, and neighbors come over for the fun.
My favorite, though, is our Norwegian kick sled. They are terribly expensive to purchase new here in Alaska. But we were fortunate enough to get a gently used one from a friend. For those who have never had the pleasure of riding one, it’s a blast!
They are designed a bit like a dog sled, with runners, a chair seat where one person can ride, and a place on the back of the runners for another person to stand and steer. You can ride it on flat ground by kicking with one foot. But we prefer to fly down our hill on ours.
The bad news? The same hill that is so fantastic for sledding is also our driveway. When the snow gets deep or the ice gets slick, it isn’t nearly as much fun to drive up as it is to sled down.
And here enters our poor, rusty old 1978 Chevy plow truck. If you wanted to, you could run it like a Flinstones’ car, by sticking your feet out the rusty hole through the floor. Its tires go flat between snow storms, and Sam has to spend more time inflating the tires and trying to get the truck to start than he does actually plowing.
So the snow is here, and we’re both celebrating and grumbling.
P.S. I have some news from London I’ve been waiting to share — BBC Radio 4, one of the UK’s biggest national radio stations, has selected my debut novel The Snow Child for their Book at Bedtime slot. It will be adapted for radio and broadcast in 10 episodes in April. Other episodes have included some of my very favorite novels: Things Fall Apart, A Christmas Carol, On Canaan’s Side, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and many more. Can’t wait to hear that lovely British accent!