Grandma’s Sled

Grandma was an adventurer. She lived on a primitve outpostĀ in Alaska in the 1940s when my mother and aunt were young girls and later in Germany and England. She brought home many treasures over the years. As children, we loved – and she encouraged us – to explore her ancient attic for these treasures. One such treasure was the small wooden Davos sled. This sled had metal runners and was used as a tracker or transport sled. I was surprised to read that these sleds were made in Switzerland and were used by German soldiers to carry ammunition through the snow. This theory is possible as Grandma did live in Germany in the 1950’s.
My siblings and I grew up in flat coastal Virginia and spent summers on the beach or riding our bikes to Grandma’s home to play in her pool. Fall never really seemed to occur, we went straight from summer to winter. Snow days off from school were very uncommon and exciting. It seemed like a Christmas holiday if schools closed for “snow.” Even just 1″-2″ snow could close our city down. But – it was S.N.O.W.!

Imagine the five of us siblings trying to rummage up snow gear so we could play outside. My mom made us all wear plastic bread bags over our socks (to keep them dry), layers of clothing, hats, mittens, scarves and boots. We looked like mini Michelin men. We marveled at the taste of snow on our tongues, argued over who made the best snow angel, and valiantly struggled to pull each other up and down the street in shallow snow on Grandma’s small wooden sled. We were very popular kids as we had one of the very few sleds around. Three generations have used this sled. My daughters, nieces and nephews have all used it on those rare snow days off. The children are grown now and the sled resides in an attic again.

This Christmas I had my husband go up in the attic to bring down the sled and dust it off. Being such a great guy he didn’t point out that there wasn’t snow. I placed it under the Christmas tree as vintage decoration. It’s funny; we never really have had much snow to properly use the sled. However, we all sat around the Christmas tree and reminisced about all of the fun we all have had using the sled. So, a comforting little piece of Grandma (and Great Grandma) lived on this Christmas in our hearts!