Mark 'Spanky' Gutierrez's Blog

It's Me.. Honest Its Me!!

Sledding in Nebraska

Where does the time go? My little sister currently residing in Texas brought her family up to the frozen tundra for Christmas, and their family is almost all grown up. One ready for college, another in the throws of high school and yet another wading through middle school. They were all toddlers just a while back!

In my mind I don’t feel old. I am still as quick and limber as I have always been but some days my body tells me otherwise. This might be one of those days!

My son and I took my brother in-law and nephew sledding at Memorial Park yesterday. The girls would have come with us but they were having an afternoon tea party. This left plenty of room for the boys to go play. The temperature on the hill was a balmy 23 degrees and it truly felt warm after having been out in 7 degree weather the day before. We pulled the sleds out of the back of my little car and headed for the hill. Sled selection is one of those personal choices… do you want no control at all or maybe just the illusion of control that’s about all you really get. We had sleds that were of the “no control” variety, just to ensure that the thrill would be real.

My nephew’s first view of the hill cooled his jets just a little at first. It’s a long hill and it’s steep. The hill is used by a lot of folks here in Midtown Omaha. The snow was already packed down and ice had formed on the fastest runs. He had spent the last two days begging to go sledding again and now staring down the hill, a certain hesitation over took him.

My son the veteran sledding master sat down on the little purple plastic mat, gave himself a little push and waved goodbye. My nephew quickly picked up on the demonstrated method, sat down and followed him all the way down the hill … backwards. The boys laughed as they recanted their thrilling descent stories on the long march back up the hill.


Look Out Below!!!

My brother in-law Tony took his turn on a plastic mat. He sat down and started his run. It looked awesome at first, he had excellent form. Sitting cross legged, back and shoulders straight, facing downhill but the middle of the hill presented a bit of a problem for him. There were a series of bumps that turned him around so that he was going backwards down the hill. The last bump caused him to take a new position: back flat on

the ground, head pointed down hill, both legs pointed straight into the air. The new position was reminiscent of the cartoon character death position. Where Daffy or Bugs pretends to get shot and dies with their legs up. Tony continued to slide in this position for at least twenty more yards, he stood up and took his bow and

the crowd at the top of the hill all cheered, all in all a great run and a definite crowd pleaser.

Texans on sleds are like two year olds that just discovered how to run. They are not sure where they are going to land but they love the thrill of the descent, which is probably true for all of us.

Yesterday was a bone jarring, organ rattling day. Today, I think I will spend the afternoon playing ukulele on my couch wrapped in a thick blanket, and downing Advil every two hours!


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