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Thursday, January 30, 2014

What is January - and a Giveaway!

My Fun Facts for Kids
column for January

What is January?
      Knock knock. Who’s there?
     Wilma. Wilma who?
     Wilma hot cocoa be ready soon?
     January is a month named after the ancient god named Janus, which is the Latin word for door. He had two faces which allowed him to look both backward into the old year and forward into the New Year at the same time. He was associated with doorways, beginnings, and endings.       
     January is the month leading into the future of the New Year. It is special because it is the beginning of a long march of months that create an entire year for us to work, play, celebrate and journey through. It is the second month of winter and her cold days beckon us outside to play with Jack Frost and build snow forts and igloos.  Our house also beckons us to stay inside where it is warm.
     January is National Hobby Month. If you decide to stay inside and wait for warmer days, why not try out a new hobby each week. That way you can find out what you really like to do best.  Do you need some unique ideas? How about acting, board games, cloud watching, snowflake drawing, collecting, juggling, magic, storytelling, painting or writing. Once you find out what hobby you want to try, stick to it. Invite your friends over and share your hobby with them.  You and your friends can start a club and meet each month.  Check out books from the library and find out all about your hobby. Become an expert at what you love to do. Start out the New Year with a new hobby and step into a world of fun.
     I like to write. It is one of my hobbies. I write about kids, about my family and about fictional characters that do things and go places that I can only dream of doing. Writing takes me into a world of make believe.
     Your hobbies can take you into worlds of adventure, too. When your homework is caught up and your room is cleaned and you are free to do what you want, get out your hobby and create some fun and excitement.
     JANUARY IS. . . . 
     January is when snow falls like fluffy marshmallows from the sky and you build snowmen so fast you can create a village of frosty white figures before the sun sets.
     January is when the icy winds howl like wild wolves and your mom’s hot cocoa slides down your throat and turns your shivering body warm like a statue basking in the sun.

 Two-Lane Livin' is a regional magazine printed and distributed in West Virginia. 
So not all of my blogging friends have a chance to pick up a copy.
Would you like to get a free digital subscription to Two-Lane Livin' magazine?
Now is your chance.
Each month the winners will be able to read every column, see every picture and enjoy every page.

Just comment on this post and get the chance to win one. There will be two winners.
The winners just have to supply me with an email address and they can fly away with the prize!
I will draw the names of the winners next week.

Congratulations - Linda and Lil Red Hen
Posted by Janet Smart on Writing in the Blackberry Patch.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Snow and Sledding

We've seen a lot of snow and cold weather lately. Late tonight more snow is arriving.

But, I haven't seen much sledding.

When I was young, sledding was a popular past-time for all the kids in our neighborhood. It was also a popular past-time for my kids when they were growing up.

You know the routine - begging to go outside and  putting on layers and layers of warm clothes and boots to keep you warm.

Once kids were outside, they did not want to come back inside. But when they did . . .

You know the routine - standing on the porch brushing off the snow with a broom, coming in and peeling off layer upon layer of warms clothes, boots, gloves and scarves and piling them up on the floor, running to the closest warm air supply in the house and then going to the kitchen to drink hot chocolate.

Those were the good old days when kids were not inside attached to electronic devises playing games.

I wish I had pictures to post of when we played outside in the snow. We sledded on the common wooden sleds, large pieces of cardboard and even hoods from old cars. The latter was suitable for many kids to ride at the same time - the older ones sat on the outside edge so they could guide with their legs and feet if need be.

We built bonfires out of anything burnable to keep us warm.

We rode down hillsides (which there are plenty of in West Virginia). All the neighborhood kids gathered at the best places for riding. We had a person on watch at the bottom of a hill where we met up with the road. If the coast was clear, we continued on to the road to see how far the sled would glide before coming to a stop. The only problem was, the longer the ride, the longer the walk back to begin again.

Our kids made igloos and snowmen. When they were little, they even slid down small mounds of snow in our yard, sitting in their small plastic bathtub they bathed in as a baby. They also slid on inner-tubes - large and small. They flew down the steep hills, hitting bumps and soaring through the air.

1983 - two oldest sons sledding in their baby bathtub down a small man-made hill in the front yard. 
My dad watching on.


I can still hear their shrieks of laughter and see their red cheeks.

Do you have any snow remembrances to share?

Posted by Janet Smart  on Writing in the Blackberry Patch.