I wonder if, in this age of computers, Xboxes, iPads, iPods and all other forms of entertainment technology, do kids in the wintertime still have snowball fights? Do kids today even go outside when it is snowing or when there is enough snow on the ground to make a snowball? Do kids today know what a real snowball is, or do they think it is a sugary treat Mom buys for them at the store?
I just got home from putting my motorcycle away for the winter and was feeling a little sad about having to wait another six months before I could again enjoy the freedom of riding my motorcycle. Then my mind flew back to when I was a teenager and living in St. John’s, where on most days, snow permitting, I was able to ride my bike year-round. With skis U-bolted to the frame and a chain on the rear tire, and no more than five or six inches of snow on the roads, I went wherever I wanted to go.
As a child, I wished for the snow to start flying so I could go outside with other kids in the neighbourhood and play our favourite winter games. Doing something outside in the snow, just tossing snowballs at each other, was far better than crayons and a colouring book on the kitchen table in the house.
One day, after a heavy snowfall, my brother and I were out in our backyard tossing snowballs at each other when a light rain started. Rather than go inside, we decided to make a bunch of snowballs out of the slushy snow for future use. Overnight the temperature fell below freezing, and by the next morning our slushy snowballs had become ice balls. “Wow, this is going to be a really good snowball fight!” my brother said.
Me, not one to back away from a challenge, said, “OK, let’s go.”
The first five or six ice balls that we threw missed their mark and we only had a few each left. Well, my kid brother was not going to get the best of me, so with my last ice ball I wound up, in Sandy Koufax fashion, and let it fly. SMASH! The window in my parents’ bedroom exploded in a shower of glass.
“Mom is going to kill me,” I thought. Thinking on my feet I whispered to my brother, “Follow me and say what I say.”
I ran up the lane and started yelling, “Come back here! I saw you and I am going to tell my dad! I know who you are!”
When we went home to face Mom and she asked what happened to the window, I lied and told her, “A guy from Mundy Pond threw a rock or something at us and broke your bedroom window. I never saw him before, but he was bigger than us and I couldn’t catch him.
“Well nevermind,” Mom said. “Come on in the house. Dad will fix the window when he gets home.”
I think that was my last snowball fight. Do kids today still do this kind of thing? Snowball fights, that is. - Submitted by Randy Toope
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