I grew up in a house that's literally built into the side of a hill in northern
. In the winter, we would sled down one of
three courses -- the "bunny" hill in front of our house, the big hill
across the sandy creek from the house, or the "jump run" alongside
the house. The "jump" on this
last hill had an upward curve in the middle that gave us just enough lift to
bruise our backsides on the landing after we caught air and occasionally to
throw us off our sleds. All this has
been great fodder for those "remember when ..." family stories. In recent years, we've resurrected the old
sled runs for my children to make memories on, as well. Illinois
I'd never considered using this family fun in a book. Then stuffy marriage therapist Caleb Paden showed up on Olivia's Wells doorstep in the middle of a snowstorm. He desperately needed someone to teach him how to have a little fun. Olivia and her six-year-old son were just the people for the job. And what could be more fun in the snow than sledding? As far as I'm concerned -- not a thing!
Here is Caleb's first experience sledding in Mr. Forever:
“You’re not scared, are you?”
lips curled in a sneer. Austin
“Of course not.” But to prove it, Caleb had to sit down and trust his life to a flimsy piece of plastic. He could do this. As her guest, Olivia would stop him from doing anything that wasn’t completely safe. He hoped.
Olivia shouted something about steering, but it was too late. He was already flying down the hill toward a group of trees. He was gaining speed. The trees were getting closer. He had to stop. He had to get off this thing. Now.
He planted his feet on the ground in front of him. They stopped, but the sled carried the rest of his momentum forward. The world became a white blur of upside-down trees as he tumbled head-over-heels down the hill. After what seemed like an eternity of hurtling without control over the speed or direction of his body, he came to a rest face first in the snow. Extremely cold snow.
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