Blustery cold winds blew clouds of snow across the playground. Happy to be out of the classroom for recess, my classmates and I burst out of the school building ready to play. I stopped and realized it was too windy for jump ropes or kick balls. What games could we play?
The mittens Mom had fastened to my coat so I wouldn’t lose them, and a large cotton headscarf tied tightly under the chin kept me toasty warm.
The snow wouldn’t stick together, so we couldn’t throw snowballs or make a snowman. I shrugged. Our teacher wouldn’t let us do either of those things anyway. Sister Florence gloomily scolded, “A hard snowball can take out a person’s eye if you hit them in the face!” Making a snowman was completely out of the question since our playground was the church parking lot.
A classmate named Jimmy found a perfect place to slide on the far end of our play area, a stretch of gently sloped blacktop covered in packed snow. Yelling at the top of their lungs, several of the boys took turns running to that spot and suddenly stopped to slide. I watched with interest. Before long, the slide looked like a dark, shiny ribbon of glass.
Everyone on the playground wanted to take a turn sliding on the ice. True to our grade school training, instead of fighting, we formed a line so everyone could take a turn at our homemade carnival ride. With shrieks of laughter, some of us fell into nearby snow piles. We tumbled and rolled in our bulky woolen coats, landing unhurt and unconcerned.