For all of us in the northern hemisphere, we typically associate Christmas/Hanukkah/whatever you celebrate with....well, cooler weather, and, as you deviate from the equator, a greater amount of snow. Last year, those of us in Texas were blessed enough to finally experience what was, for many (young and old) their first "White Christmas". Sure, it was only an inch or two, comparatively small next to our (multiple record-breaking) February snowfall of an ENTIRE FOOT. One foot of snow. Historical record.
To someone in, say, Virginia, Missouri, Kansas, Montana, hell, anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line (I only mention it because that's about where the snow starts accumulating), this would be nothing exciting, or life changing, but by goodness we were gonna make the most of this powdery substance falling from the sky!! Of course, Texans aren't as adept to driving in snow as most northerners.....resulting in multiple accidents, usually scoring in the hundreds by sunrise, although most of the snow typically (I say typically cause our February 12 snowfall didn't) melts by noon-ish, maybe late afternoon.
When I was young, we always went to my grandparents' house in Missouri for Christmas (St. Louis for anyone curious), after visiting my dad's parents near Denton, Texas. It of course was ALWAYS exciting for us to see snowfall during our often short stays (primary and secondary schools give horridly short breaks for such young children).
Well, one such holiday, we were in Missouri, I was probably about 10 or so. I will say this before I mention anything else- I had no experience driving. I was 10. Common sense.
We had gotten a fair amount of snow in St. Louis one particular day, and we were SO excited to see it (we lived farther south at the time), so we indulged ourselves in a sledding trip. Keep in mind, because we live in Texas, we have very, very limited contact with snow. We gathered up all our mismatched gear (hey, we had to search for our stuff, that stuff ain't easy to find down here!) and left my grandparents house for the hill behind my aunt's house that also happened to be behind a church.
I recollect watching my younger brother, probably 7 at the time, successfully maneuver his way down the hill. My sister was a bit young to be participating, so she was being entertained off to the side on the bunny slopes, entertained by one of the adults. The rest were watching us. My brother returned, and it was my turn.
I started out going just fine. Hey, this is fun. This is really, really fun! Then I hear shouts "Turn left! Turn the wheel to the right!! no, don't turn right, turn the wheel right!!! no, turn left!!! Like driving a car!!
I, of course, panic at the conflicting directions, and the reference to driving a car because.....uh, what the hell are they talking about? I don't know how to drive? I equally still had a hard time at that age determining my left from right, probably because they are equally strong/weak or close to it. Either way, I was perplexed, and, in my peripheral vision, I finally saw the tree, and everything clicked in my head.
Oh no, I'm gonna hit the tree!! Left!! Right!! Something!! [insert anything but curse words, because I really was a polite child]
Smack into the bottom branches of the tree. Messed up my face pretty badly. I couldn't help it!! How am I supposed to know how to drive? I'm only like 10!! Well, that was the end of our sledding outing that was supposed to be so exciting. One run and I hit a tree. My parents, to this day, don't let me live it down. Even though I'm a successful driver who has only been in 2 reported collisions in the past 6 years, neither my fault (although the second was contributed to me, thanks to the "witness report" from what appeared to be the woman's best friend (of course she ain't gonna rat out her friend!! What are they, nuts?). I'm actually a pretty decent driver, seeing as those are the only two major issues I've had driving 30 miles each way to school every day for school for 6 years (which has also racked up almost 60,000 miles on my car- good sturdy '99 Taurus).
I remember my lips bleeding. I remember all the frikken pain in my face that wouldn't go away. Excruciating pain. Ohmigod I'm gonna die kind of pain. Hot chocolate? No, I don't want hot chocolate, I want my face to feel better!! Band-aids! Whatever will make this stop hurting!!! Thankfully, I had no idea about pain pills at that age, or I would have been demanding them...the pain was that bad.
Then again, I tend to be a bit clumsy, as you'll see scattered throughout my posts. In some of my February snow pics, such as the one to the left, there is an obvious mark on my face. A few days prior, I was trying to "get in shape". Ha, yea, right. The basketball bounced off the rim on the first shot, and bounced out into the street.
Now, living in a cul-de-sac, I'm relatively safe from oncoming traffic, especially since there are only 2 houses on the circle (the other half is lake/creek/forest). I turn heel and run toward the street. I've mentioned before, I'm not exactly graceful. Well, I decided I had to prove it.
That day, I sprained my ankle, tore a hole through my jeans and my knee, and ended up scraping up my face in the place you can see in the picture. The one on my face is only slightly visible now, and only if you're reeeeally looking for it. The one on my knee? Well, I fell again in May. Walking across the street. Crosswalk. Light was turning red. I faceplant. Typical Ashley move.
These are the types of things that lead my sister to claim what she said tonight:
"Oh, I bet she hurt herself while learning self-defense today. She always hurts herself or falls or something." Gee, thanks Courtney, love ya back. Well, actually I do. During self-defense training for my internship, I did have an asthma attack (mild), and I did almost fall multiple times. I think I have balance issues. Anyway, that's just the clumsy type of person I am. Sometimes it's funny to kind of look back on this stuff that happened in the past and go......wow, I AM clumsy, lol. Then, the next time I fall, damn, I wish I wasn't so clumsy!! Alas, it is what it is.
If I do not get to it again before the holidays (which I probably will, because I will have an overabundance of completely unfulfilled and incomprehensibly, disappointingly empty time where I might write out a novel just for the hell of it)....Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, whatever people celebrate this time of year (I'll have to educate myself on that. There's an activity!!), and see you all soon. MWAH!