One my best childhood winter memories is waking up to a lot of snow on the ground. Not only did it mean that school was likely to be cancelled, it meant that there might be a trip to one of my favorite places – Sled Hill. This was a large hill in town that was was famous for sledding. Kids and their parents would flock there on a snow-covered day to experience the thrill of sliding down fresh powder. Wooden sleds like this one were a blast, but were soon replaced by little plastic trays. Those didn’t have the steering capability that these did so you just pointed them in a direction and hoped for the best. The lack of control made the trip evening more thrilling. Sailing through the snow on any type of sled was such a blast and something I haven’t experienced since I was a kid. 


On a sunny day with an impossibly blue sky, the snow was blinding as though it were lit from within. I loved these days and although it was freezing outside, the sheer thrill of sledding kept me warmed with adrenaline. As much as I loved zooming down the large hill, the only way to repeat the experience was to grab your sled and make the trek back up the hill. That part was always exhausting, but worth it for the experience that awaited. I still remember the screams of joy from all the kids, echoing through the thin air, sounding like they were miles away. The day would always end with some form of hot drink and a little time in front of the fireplace. I loved it all! 

Though the snow felt almost dry as we were sledding through it, the return home was always a sloppy mess. Gone was the bright, brilliant white and in its place were clumps of brown. Looking back, I realize it was my mother who ended up dealing with the mess. We had moved on to hot chocolate and were still giggling about the events of the day. It was as though we’d been on an incredible adventure that nobody had ever experienced before. It was our perfect day, with thrills and chills that only came once a year. Just a group of kids, made happier from the simplest little thing to do on a winter day. That magical time that was simply called sledding. 

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About the Doodlewash

Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Indian Yellow, Burt Sienna, Ultramarine Deep and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with black ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.
 Day 2 - #WorldWatercolorGroup Winter wooden sled sledding in snow kids
Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

18 replies on “Sledding

  1. Whether swimming or sledding, it’s usually the moms who clean up the mess. But we do it so our kids can have wonderful times they’ll always remember. Your sled painting is terrific – the classic wooden sled made famous in movies and books.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh yes what a memory, the old wooden sled 😀For me Living in the forest was wonderful during snow days, so many hills to sledge down. I recall waiting at the school buss stop, if it didn’t turn up we presumed cancelled ( no internet in those days to let us know before waiting ) freezing we would run home, change out of uniform and dash to the slopes that the forest provides. Unlike your lovely wooden sled, we used old horse feed bags, plastic sort, and tough! They were fast, you could sort of steer by holding the two front corners like ears, but watch your bum! You can feel every uneven lump and bump on the ground. Thank you for the memory blast, I am smiling and giggling at some of the moments had…sadly we don’t get snow as good these days, so my daughter has only had a couple of similar experiences. 😀

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  3. We don’t tend to get that much snow around here, Charlie, so sledding is something I have never done. It sounds like fun, but I’m so clumsy I’d probably spend more time out of the sled. I like your painting – looks very traditional.

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  4. Beautiful sled, Charlie! This all just makes me inordinately jealous. We’ve never had the snowfall around here really to justify sledding, and I’m not sure it’d be all that on the perfectly flat Norfolk landscape anyway. I’ve always wanted to go sledding with some huskies, it looks incredible!

    A friend of mine once got pretty heavy sunburn in January thanks to that blinding snow. Be careful! 😮

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a beautiful sled! Another great childhood memory. As I read this post a song popped into my head – Bob Hope singing “Thanks for the Memory” !

    Liked by 1 person

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