We Vermonters are still being told that gathering indoors with anyone outside our family bubble is not allowed.

Luckily for all of us, it was one of those “perfect winter days” today.  Temperatures were up just enough to be rather pleasant, with almost no wind and bright, bright sun reflecting off the snow.

It’s Saturday, and I fit in a long walk with a friend. 

At the pond, we paused to watch the activity on our hill.  The slope is perfect for sledding.  The run down takes several minutes, with a small spot where it is not quite as steep and you get a chance to correct course if needed before you careen down the final part.  Many a sledding party has been held on this hill in the past fifteen years or so. 

Our neighbors have copied our favorite trick, too:  we use snowmobiles to get to the top of the hill. You can do a whole lot more sledding if you don’t spend ten minutes trudging through knee-deep fluff. The hike up is undeniably a great workout, and some purists inevitably insist on making the trek, at least part of the way.  Eventually most give into the pure joy of speeding up faster–and coming down more times. 

Today’s group also built a bonfire.  Around it, they set up a few chairs, all spread the now customary six feet or so apart. 

For extra fun, the high schoolers constructed a jump, right in the middle of the run.  This is a new, original twist I have not seen before.  It certainly takes the childlike sport of sledding up a notch, which seems particularly appropriate this afternoon. 

After all, this sledding party is to celebrate their son’s eighteenth birthday.  It seems like an inspired, COVID-safe celebration filled with pure Vermont style and flair.  Score another silver lining for pandemic-caused creativity!