Today we headed over to the park for our town's Winter Carnival. It would be our first time having Sugar on Snow, a Vt tradition I have wanted to try for some time, but have missed out on due to intense dislike of crowds. I forgot my camera, so imagine this:
A big bowl full of snow, snow which I had to try to forget is made of space dust*, a Styrofoam cup full of hot maple syrup, a plain doughnut, and a dill pickle spear. Stick with me. It will make sense in a minute. You bring your pile of seemingly random foodstuffs to a table, ignore the fact that your toes are freezing and that holding a plastic fork while wearing insulated gloves is almost impossible, and get set up. The plan is to pour some of your syrup on the snow. This syrup has been boiling or a while, so when it hits the snow, most of it turns into a taffy-like goo. This you scoop up with your fork and eat while trying not to let the wind whip your hair into your mouth. (I failed at this and have the sticky hair to prove it.) You alternate bites of maple-y snow with bites of doughnut and pickle. The pickle part seems totally ridiculous until you try it. Trust me, it makes both the syrup and the pickle taste even better than normal.
So that was an exciting sugar rush, after which we did a little sledding while waiting for the candy chase and the sky divers. What else would you top off a bowl of sugar coated snow with but candy? My brother-in-law can attest to the sheer insanity of a bunch of bundled up children chasing after candy that is practically frozen into the snow. He was lucky enough to attend the Easter version of this 2 years ago. On the word "go" the kids tore off after bags of Tootsie Rolls, one girl even leaving a boot behind in the mad rush.
Then came the big excitement. A large red "X" was laid out in the outfield of the softball diamond while the snow blind multitudes scanned the sky for the plane bearing 2 skydivers. Jeremy decides to wonder aloud about how terrible it would be if one of their parachutes didn't open. I said, "That's why they always have a backup." He presses on about what would happen if they both failed. The plane drops the warning flag, which sails slowly toward the highway, well off course from the softball field. It's a windy day, they obviously need to test where to jump, much murmuring in the crowd.
The plane makes a second pass and the first guy jumps out somewhere over the pool where he should be blown back to the field. Shortly thereafter, the second guy jumps. Oohs and aahs. Suddenly, everyone realizes that the first jumper is heading toward the road very fast. He pulls a cord and the parachute dips quickly, and he is caught in a tree. A collective gasp. Sebastian starts running across the field with many of the onlookers. I have to chase him down. The second guy lands to minimal fanfare exactly on the X.
A full 45 minutes later, with 3 police cars, an ambulance, 2 ladder trucks from the fire department and a cherry picker, and they still didn't have the guy down yet. When we left, he was standing on a transformer on a telephone pole.
Christine and I both blamed Jeremy for thinking about there being a tragedy, but he refuses to take responsibility.
* It's true. When I did my snowflake nature program for the kids, I learned that every snowflake starts with a piece of dust, whether it's dirt or volcanic ash or dust from outer space. Also, the largest snowflake ever recorded was 15 inches across! You'd only need a couple of those for sugar on snow.