Hey There Delilah…
Did you ever see something move out of the corner of your eye and then look quickly to see what it is? This happened to me recently. I was walking through my house when I found Clawdeen sitting on my mantel watching me! She had stopped by for a quick visit on her way home to you.
Just like you, I live in New York State in the town of Glenville, midway between the capital city of Albany and the city of Saratoga Springs, which is home to the oldest thoroughbred horse racing track in the U.S. In the summertime everything around here is “horse” related. People come from all over the world to watch the championship horse races. I wanted to take Clawdeen to the race track, but in the wintertime everything is snow-covered. So instead we decided to play in the snow! We have near-record snow accumulation for this winter season. It’s great if you participate in snow sports, but if you don’t, you just can’t wait for spring to arrive.
We decided to start having fun by playing in the snow. Fortunately, my sons (now in their 20s) had played with G.I. Joe (a “doll” for boys – actually is considered to be the origin of the term “action figure”) and we still had their clothes and accessories. I quickly helped Clawdeen put on a sweatshirt, sweatpants, and warm boots, and a hat I made especially for her.
She was eager to jump in the snow.
I told her we were going on a road trip! I love road trips, hiking, and the Adirondacks! The Adirondack Mountains are in Upstate New York, so-called to differentiate northern, central, and western New York State from New York City and Long Island. The former consists of mountains, lakes and farms, while the latter has the hustle and bustle of city life and traffic and happens to be where you live, Delilah!
We traveled by car for nearly two hours to a trail leading to a fire observation tower. A fire tower is a structure that was built many years ago, some going back to the early 1900s, so forest rangers could spot a forest fire and report it. Early reporting was necessary so they could be put out before losing too many trees, homes, barns and lives to the fire. The towers were built on the top of mountains for the best views. With the improvement of telephone communications, the fire towers were no longer needed. Many have been reinforced and restored to keep the history available for younger generations. They also utilize the towers for modern cellular communication technology. But they also have fantastic views of the surrounding areas when you climb them.
My husband, Clawdeen and I began hiking the trail of Belfry Fire Tower, located near Lake Placid, NY, where they hosted the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics.
The weather was very sunny and cold; a beautiful day to hike!
Every chance we got, we stopped and soaked up as much sun as possible to stay warm.
Then we saw the tower.
From the top of the tower, called the “cab,”we could see Vermont! It was extremely windy and very cold up in the cab so we couldn’t stay for long. She absolutely loved the view. It was gorgeous!
As we started down the tower, Clawdeen noticed the changing colors in the sky because the sun was beginning to set. She was watching the colors get brighter and brighter, then climbed a small tree to get a better view.
This is what she saw. Wow! We were all getting chilled so we headed down the trail and back to the car.
When we arrived home, we had a bite to eat. Clawdeen asked for some raw vegetables. I am so glad she did because eating vegetables is one of the best ways to remain healthy. I love them too. After sitting around and having a bite to eat, we all realized just how much the cold, windy weather and the hiking drained us of our energy. We decided to make an early night of it. We all slept like babies.
In the morning the weather looked sunny again and a bit warmer than yesterday with no wind. First we stopped at the park to see if we could play at the playground. The snow was not cleared from around the playground so we had to wear our snowshoes to get there without falling through the high levels of snow. Once at the playground, we removed the snowshoes and Clawdeen started climbing on the wooden beams. She said it reminded her of the park where she played with you, Delilah. She was so brave!
There was a very big green curvy tube slide and she went down it…all by herself! She was all smiles when she popped out at the bottom.
Then she ran over to the tire swing and jumped up on it. Do you have a tire swing at your playground, Delilah?
Clawdeen found these hoops for the bigger kids to hang from to go from hoop to hoop to get across to the other side. She didn’t have enough strength to climb across that way. So she jumped up on one and pretended it took her to the top of a small hill, like a chairlift at a ski mountain.
She jumped in a sled and slid all the way down the hill. She had so much fun. Have you and Jackson been sledding this year?
It was nearing the time for her to leave so we needed to get home. I was packing a sandwich, and some vegetables and fruit for her when I heard her laughing.
I went to see what she was doing. She was sliding down the banister! I hated to stop her fun but I had to explain that sliding down the banister can be dangerous if she were to fall off. She hadn’t realized that and was glad she didn’t get hurt.
She then saw the hula hoops we had. She grabbed them and said, “Watch this!” She started with one around her neck, then put one on each arm and she was rocking all three at the same time. She is so talented!
Before she left, we were looking at some pictures on the computer and she happened to see you, Delilah. She reached out to touch you but then realized it was just a photo of you —that you weren’t actually there in front of her. She was sad then suddenly very happy, because she knew she was almost home. She couldn’t wait to see you, Jackson, Mom, Dad, and the puppy dogs.
Delilah, you have a very special friend in Clawdeen. One thing I always told my sons when they were growing up was “just be nice” to your friends and everyone else you meet. If everybody was nice to one another, then everybody would be happy. I hope you and Jackson continue to be nice to your friends and have a very happy life with your very special family. Your Mom and Dad are so lucky to have you for their smart beautiful daughter and Jackson for their very handsome son.
Love and kisses from Glenville, NY (Upstate New York) – Sandy Hutchinson