There's been a Facebook war lately between a few of us Long Islanders and some of our Floridian friends. We post pictures of snow and either comment about how pretty it is, or complain incessantly about how tired we are of shoveling, and they post pictures of themselves in shorts or swimsuits and say how lovely the weather is. It's all in good fun. Until someone gets pissed off.
But I really don't really care. I like winter and I like summer. I don't even mind shoveling snow (except when I can't shovel fast enough and it forces me to cancel my plans). One of the things I like best about winter, though, are the sleigh riding parties.
What? You don't know what I'm talking about? One winter when our kids were small, one of our neighbors called and invited us to their sleigh riding party. Don't you get cold out there, I wanted to know? Won't something catch on fire? I am a worry wort of the highest order. No, no one gets too cold, and nothing's caught on fire yet. We stopped by and had a great time eating, drinking and riding on sleds with the kids.
Now I look forward to it every winter, but some winters with the timing of the snow, it just doesn't work out. This year, this weekend, it did. To make it work you need a good amount of snow, but not TOO much (last year we had TOO MUCH all at once!) and your snow needs to stay for the weekend. Then you gather your man/woman power and hike all your supplies to your woodsy location. This takes some muscle and some time.
When night falls, you light the campfire, turn on the barbecue and take turns riding the sleds down the looooonnnnnng slope (with lighting along the sides and hay bales strategically placed so no one hits any trees). A snowmobile or two is available to take people back and forth to the house. Music and strings of lights add to the ambiance, courtesy of a very quiet generator.
Everyone had a great time. My husband had such a great time, he already posted all my pictures on his Facebook wall. I took a bunch of videos, but they're too dark to see much; you just hear people laughing and whipping by on their sleds, saying things like, "Holy crap!"
I loved every sleigh riding party we've been to. In my opinion, it's one of the highlights of winter. My Southern friends... sorry, but you are missing out on this one!