Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Snow Party

Today is Susie Skillman Lyon's birthday. Especially after she turned 90, we made the effort to celebrate her birthday on The Hill. The 90th birthday, the family got her a Troy-built rototiller, since gardening had gotten hard on her knees, afflicted from arthritis. David always remarked on the year she was 80, a tree was the gift and she outlived the tree. She lived to 98 and at that party, we sure felt we would celebrate 100 with her. That was 20 years ago, so I guess she would be 118 today.
David's cousin, Betsy, also was there with her family. Bill, her husband, is a great outdoors man. Family skiing vacations were not uncommon. During one of these parties, snow began to fall. Before we knew it, Bill had his daughter outside in the few inches to slide around. The genesis of snow party.
I believe the next year, more snow had fallen and the birthday party officially became the snow party as sledding down the hill in the yard- not The Hill. Munchies provided by us all and hot chocolate warmed us after the outdoor activity. Several years, we made the trip on the weekend around Grandma's birthday.
After Grandma's death in July of 1992, we moved the date to around Aunt Twila's birthday, which coincides with President's Day weekend, how convenient.
One year, as it tends to do often, a great snow storm visited that week around Valentine's Day. By the time of the weekend's Snow Party, although it had been quite wintry with frigid temperatures keeping the white stuff on the ground, the sun shone on us that Saturday and heated up the air. In fact, my neck got sunburned. We shed outer wraps, sat on the crunchy crust, as Aunt Twila served us cherry pie on china with silver forks. No scrimping on the finery, even though we ate it outside. Aunt Twila also rode down the incline on the old toboggan.
As we talked about this, I realized how long it has been since we did this, since my 17 year-old does not remember these parties at all. A rumor went around at Christmas, Snow Party may be resurrected.
The older grandkids got busier with school and activities. To get away any weekend proved harder as children get older. These older kids now are married, some are parents, scattered over the world.
Maybe it is time for the great, great grandkids' trip down the hill on an old toboggan.
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