Nov 30, 2022 • 5M

A Winter Eden

Robert Frost (1928)

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When I was a boy in Pennsylvania, we had some cold and snowy winters, and back then, that meant sledding. One of the town’s workmen, who lived at the end of a steep road with a 90 degree turn at the base, would put up sawhorses in the way of cars at the top and at the bottom, so that the kids could sled without any worries about traffic. If you didn’t negotiate that turn, you’d go flying into a curb and a fence, but that was your lookout, not his. And that is where we’d be, long after the sun had set, shouting and laughing.

Before there were automobiles, though, boys used to toboggan down a half-mile long hill into the center of town, its course delightfully interrupted by two train-beds, which would act as ramps and send the tobogganers flying in the air. Jacob Riis, the social reformer, once wrote about how New York City came alive after a snowstorm, and the youth of America would spend the whole night long sledding, skating, building snow forts for snowball wars, and sailing along …

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