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The Sled

Life In An RV Story Submitted by Dennis Swart:

It is funny how one basically rectangular shaped object can evoke so many memories. Ours was blue and a two seater. Sad to say it did not make it through the first month of being in our family and I reckon it is all my fault. I bought it when I was dating Lu. I wanted to impress her and her young sons with my ability to be a good father. Oh the humiliation that sled brought me!

It was the week before Thanksgiving when we loaded up kids and sled and headed to my mom’s place. She lived at the base of the mountain near Garrison, Montana. We got to the top of the sledding hill. I carefully explained all the dangers to the boys and explained how to ride the sled. It was obvious with their rolling eyes that I made an impression. They wanted to head right down the mountain, but I insisted that I would take one of them down and show them how it was done. I carefully got on the sled and made room between my legs for one of the boys. Quickly he got on and we were off. Swooping down the hill with so much speed and momentum that when we got to the bottom we did not stop at the ditch bank but sailed across airborne and hit with a thud on a large sharp rock with excruciating pain to my tail bone.

Needless to say the impression I wanted to make was pretty shattered along with the boy’s hopes of sledding as I limped back down to the car. Assisted by Lu and followed by three disappointed boys pulling the sled.

Two weeks later found me volunteering to help them get a Christmas tree. The boys seemed skeptical when I suggested we bring the sled. I told them they could slide on it and I would pull them and then after we cut the tree we could haul it on the sled.

We had snowfall the night before. The air was crisp and the sun was shining brightly when we arrived on the mountain. We followed the snow covered road until Lu saw the perfect tree.

Well, until she saw the other side of it. So while she walked around inspecting one tree after another I pulled the boys on the sled. Finally the tree was selected, cut, and loaded on the sled. We dragged it down to the pickup and loaded it up. Then I sealed the sled’s fate when I suggested that my friend Mark pull me on the sled behind the pickup on the snow covered road.  The boys wanted to ride too but Lu felt like it was too dangerous.

We started out with very slowly with the boys cheering me on. I signaled them to go faster and when they slowed down to see what I wanted, I yelled out, “Faster! Go faster!” Mark picked up the speed and I was really going good, but suddenly things started to get a little warm on my backside. I waved to them to stop, but heard the boys tell Mark,

“Faster, he wants you to go faster!”

I could feel the gravel under the snow as the sled glided over the top if it. With the increased speed it was getting even hotter. I tried to get the sled moving side to side hoping more snow on the sides would help, but there was no hope. I bailed off. The sled suddenly free of my weight shot forward and as Mark came to a stop it slid underneath the pickup as though it was seeking refuge. Suddenly my butt was very cold. Amidst the cries of,
“Are you all right?”
“I’m next”
“Mom can’t we go?”
“Wow you sure bailed!”
I stood slowly up. Then the sled was retrieved from it’s hiding place under the truck. A butt size hole in it where I had sat silenced the boys for half a second.
“I knew it was getting warm.”
“Wow you ruined it!”
Then Lu ordered, “Turn around!” As I did so the was a moment of silence then,
“Wow! Good thing he had long johns on!
“Well, that is one way to break in a brand new pair of pants! Now they are holy jeans.

I felt my backside. There was an almost butt size hole in my brand new pair of jeans and in my long johns. The only thing remaining between my butt and road rash was the thin fabric of my shorts.

I did make an impression on Lu and her sons. Lucky for me she married me in spite of it!

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