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Simon Matt SledRight now, I’m about 2/3 of the way through Tete-Michel Kpomassie’s memoir An African in Greenland. I last left Tete-Michel in Sukkertoppen (Maniitsoq), where he has arrived in September, just in time for the”the polar hysteria of the arctic autumn.” Basically, the arctic is difficult in September because the sea is too full of ice to kayak, the young ice is too fragile to allow for sledges, the light is eerie and faint, and everyone is horribly sleep deprived after months of endless arctic sunlight. So they sit around cooped up inside their tiny houses and go mad.

After two weeks or so of what seemed like endless drizzly weather here in Louisville–our own little “midwestern hysteria of the Ohio Valley winter”–I could identify. It hasn’t been warm enough to go out and enjoy spring, but we hadn’t had any fun snow to play in either.

After two weeks or so of constant overcast, dreary weather, things finally looked up. We got several days that were warm and dry enough to take Simon out for long walks in his stroller. And then yesterday and today we got a genuine winter wonderland in the form of 12″ of glorious, pure, powdery snow.

Once the snow stopped falling around noon today, we gave Simon his lunch and headed out to play. Funny thing about pulling a sled in the snow: it’s much easier to do when you have a thin layer of ice over an inch or two of snow. A month ago, our sad little snow made for fast and easy sledding. Today, with a foot to tredge through, it was prettier but very slow going. We found that things actually worked best when we took to the streets, that is until we hit a dry patch on Bardstown Road where the sun and cars conspired to melt a bit too much.

Thus we had to abandon our plans to haul Simon all the way to a cafe. Which is probably just as well, as we had no idea what to do with the sled once we got there and would have all overheated quickly in our many layers of clothing. So instead Matt and I (mostly Matt) pulled Simon back home, I made my first snow angel in ages, we all enjoyed some hot cocoa (Matt and me more than Simon, who was confused by it), and thereby carried out an important winter ritual. Now I’m ready for spring.

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