Washtub Sled


During this time of year my mind wanders back to memories of my growing up.  Rather than press on with my book this week, I pulled out this piece to share.  May it stir some great memories for you or give you a better picture of what love looks like.

Feet scrunched together in rubber boots, we sat nose to nose with each other, my sister Ginny and I.  Peaked, handknit caps covered our heads, tied secure under our chins.  Bundled in woolen snowsuits zipped tight and mittened hands, we sat breathless with excitement in my mother’s large stainless steel washtub.  I was four and my sister two.  Our home was on a steep hill in the suburbs of Seattle.  It was winter and we were enjoying our most favorite pastime—washtub sledding.

(This is the only picture I could find of this time in our lives.)

There were always snowmen to create in our front yard, complete with coal eyes and other features from our coal bin.  Snowball fights were fun, but we were too small to pitch them like the bigger kids.  What proved to be our greatest thrill were the frightful, snow-blowing, speed-gathering, cheek-reddening, washtub-spinning rides we took down our hill-top street.

How many, “Just one more time, Daddy, please,” did our father have to endure on those snowy days?  How many times would he need to pick us up and dry our tears after a tub-over-toes dump in the snow?  How many laps back up the hill he trudged, only to release the rope and watch his two elfin marshmallow children careen down the ice, squealing, “Just one more time?”

As I look at this wintry memory, how grateful I am for the time and all-out fun he gave us without complaint.  He both loved us and like being with us.  Our fun was important to him.

It is the same with my heavenly Father.  It is no wonder that loving God and building a trusting relationship with Him came early in my life. I wish I could give the millions of children and adults who don’t have these kinds of memories, a snowy day on a hillside with a washtub sled and a loving father.  How much better our world would be.


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