Friday, January 16, 2009

The "S Word" - Sledding

Creating a Winter Essay right now, knowing how I feel about the "S Word," is rather difficult. Been there, didn't enjoy it, don't want to talk about it.

So I decided to select a rather benign photograph of winter as my essay. The photograph above is of my husband's grandparents when they were courting. They were sledding in Salem, Oregon, and there wasn't a great deal of the "S Word" around. Grandpa Palmer isn't even wearing a coat. Probably because compared to the plains of Eastern Montana this was balmy.

They were smiling then, but sledding would soon cease to be a courting ritual and become a necessity. It took both the newlyweds to run the farm in Eastern Montana, in all kinds of weather. When your first born is twins and you have chores to do, you have to fashion a method of taking them along. During the winter months, Grandma Palmer put the twins in a basket, bundled them up, attached the basket to a sled and pulled the sled behind her. It amazes me they lived, any of them.

I really have nothing to complain about.



Blogger Donna Hague Wendt said...

Fantastic photos of the snowy life. I can imagine those little babies bundled up and happy as can be - for awhile. Yes, it must have been a hard life in those early days. Thanks for sharing.

January 16, 2009 at 10:30 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...


The thing that amazes me most about the photograph is that the child wearing gloves sitting to the right of the basket is their mother. My husband's grandmother.


January 17, 2009 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Nikki - Notes of Life said...

What a great story and photos :) It must have been cold!

January 18, 2009 at 7:10 AM  
Blogger Taylorstales-Genealogy said...

Wow! I hate the "S-word" too, but after this story and those beautiful photographs I've got to stop complaining. I'm sitting in a warm house and drive a warm car wherever I need to go.. BRRRRRR.

January 18, 2009 at 9:43 AM  
Blogger Professor Dru said...

Informative story about sledding for pleasure and for necessity. It's great that your family has these photos.

January 18, 2009 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger Evelyn Yvonne Theriault said...

When I was a child in the fifties our family had a really large sled - a toboggan really. It was made out of wood and curved in the front and we could sit in three or four.
There weren't many ways to slide in those days. when we weren't using the toboggan we used an old, round top from a washing machine (the old fashioned kind). We called these flying saucers. They worked fairly well except they'd slow down when the little holes in the middle got full of ice!
A Canadian Family

January 18, 2009 at 3:28 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...

Oh Nikki-ann:

It gets very cold in Eastern Montana.



You can't look at these old photos and not think about how good we have it.



Every photo is a piece of history. I know how lucky I am. I wish we all had tons of photos.


The things we all used to do with old washing machines. Starting with putting my brother's hand through the wringer.

You and I must talk. The French side of my family Bone/Bohn came to Missouri from Canada. St. Louis was very French, of course, and we were just a little south.


January 18, 2009 at 4:13 PM  

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