One warming winter afternoon, Will skis with his brother to a secluded and sleepy hamlet, encountering more of the past than the present. More
All right then, said Will. He gripped his poles harder and pushed down on them, anchoring himself as he slid his skis back and forth to loosen them in the snow. When he was ready he sucked in a deep breath and pushed off the little ledge.
The run came at him fast; he bent his knees only a little until past the ramp towards the bottom of the hill he crouched into a low tuck, the poles up under his arms and trailing behind like vestigial wings. The momentum from the hill took him all the way to a fence at the far edge of the field at the bottom. To the left stood a tarpaper shack with a windowpane of dull tin with a dark hole where a smokestack had once been. A driveway went down a steep slope behind the last house to the road opposite the shack. Another house of mustard stucco stood directly ahead. He turned to wait for his brother who just then pushed off from the top of the hill and followed, going around the ramp close by the concrete projection. He came across the field and then the two of them stood quiet and watched as a purple snow machine followed down the slope and cut a wide turn, leaving a trail in the snow before going back up the hill.
I live on a small and mostly defunct farm in western New York, where the events of a typical day include writing and walking my dogs--items not necessarily listed in order of priority. (At least not from the dogs' point of view.)