Outdoor Writing Contest: Memory slope

I just woke up

Too excited to change

Into my day apparel

Wearing pajamas and snow gear

About to leave

Walking to the big, maroon Ford F-150

I feel the excitement building

With hot cocoa in hand

I put my hat on

Then gloves, then scarf

The cold awaits me

The warm truck

My dad driving

Me in the front seat

Brother and sister in the back

Sleds in the bed

Finally, we are there

We jump out of the truck

Not even in park yet

We grab our favorite sled and run

Over the hill, looking down

The wide, long fairway

Hole one

U of I Golf Course

Blanket of snow covering invisible grass

Awaiting our arrival

We start marking out tracks

Already getting cold

Not caring, having too much fun

Snowflakes falling

With the gray, early morning

Laughs fill the air

Smiles shoot back and forth

Snowballs here and there


Hoping our hard work will be as great as we think

Finally we finish the paths

Each of us grabs a sled

Our dad watches over us

Laughing and smiling as he does

We all push off

Who will win?

It’s Preston

Oh, little brothers

We all start to climb the hill

Only to do it again

Next comes the train rides

Holding on to one another’s sleds

I have a feeling this won’t work

We do it anyway

We crash into each other

Flipping and tumbling

Rolling down the hill

Cold snow in the face

Back up the hill

Now it’s his turn

I sit down

He sits right behind me

Gives us a push

Down the hill we go


Playful screaming

Smiles, wide as the ears

Back up

His turn with Preston

Then Emily

On this went

For the rest of the day



Our family

The cold finally got to us

Looking back at the hill

I see all the tracks

Snow angels

And boot prints left behind

Laughs and smiles

Still float in the air

Light snow, gray clouds

Picking up the sleds

Shaking off the excess snow

Blue-ish lips

Rosy cheeks and noses

Shivering teeth

Soaking socks, gloves, and hats

Nice warm truck

Heading home

To a warm house

Warm blankets

Hot chocolate

Nothing to do for the rest of day

But movies and naps

Memories of the day

Stay forever

Within the heart

Years later

He’s gone

But the memories are not

He died two years ago, today




One of my favorite memories



We haven’t gone back there

The U of I Golf Course

I still smile

When I think about that day

Don’t talk about it much

But that’s okay

Tears come and go

When I think about it

Wish I could re-live it

Have that much fun again

Be that happy again

Smile like I did

Laugh like I did

See them smile and laugh

Be free. Let go

I wish I could go back

We haven’t gone back there

The U of I Golf Course

I still smile

When I think about that day

Don’t talk about it much

But that’s okay

Tears come and go

When I think about it

I wish I could re-live it

And have that much fun again

Wish I could go back

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Rich Landers

Rich Landers

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