There is little snow on Minister Hill this winter, and part of me has been mourning the absence of sledding and snowshoeing. The road down our hill is mostly mud now.
Navigating the deep oozing ruts adds another five minutes to every little venture. Today, though, even the sight of the nearly naked mountains rising up over the muck as I drove down the hill was enough to slow our trip to the ice rink even further. If the road had been better, I would have worked harder to pilot and gawk at the same time, but the mud nearly forced me to a stop several times. I snapped off a couple photos, figuring I would do a sketch while I watched the kids during school skate.
We returned a few hours later to a road even more scarred from a wintry mix and other vehicles. I was a few sketches richer. Thing1, my twelve-year-old, increasingly pensive as he approaches adolescence, was cheerful after racing around a rink for two hours. Thing2, my six-year-old whose normal state is chatter and dance, was nearly asleep from his exertions.
The mud up our mountain, earlier the guardian of my mindfulness of the mountains, was now just another obstacle between us and home. Thing1 began pointing out the least treacherous parts, and the car’s rumble seat imitation began to rouse my younger passenger in the back seat. As we passed the horse farm that lies just below our driveway, the ruts in the muck became deep slick channels, and my only option was to keep accelerating and let the edges of the chasms help me find the least resistance.
Ten feet later, as the swells in the silt became more navigable, I was glad I hadn’t had much for lunch. I glanced at Thing1 who was now grinning and looking very twelve. In the rear view mirror, I could see Thing2 continuing to bounce, even though the car had stopped.
“Can we go again?” he asked, knowing full well that we will be ‘going again’ tomorrow. But tomorrow morning, when we head out on our slimy roller coaster ride, I’ll remember that, while the coasting has it’s appeal, the climb can be pretty fun too.