When my two children were young, my wife had to leave town for a few days to care for an elderly family member in Maryland. "No problem!" I told her. "I can TOTALLY take care of things here." (Confidence. A sure-fire way to make something go wrong.)
It was the dead of winter, cold and dry, with several feet of snow piled up on the steep hillside behind our house. Perfect sledding conditions. So one morning, I put the kids in about 16 layers, topped the whole system off with a couple of brand-new winter coats, and sent the little cherubs out with their sleds. They were adorable, I must say. They looked like Hobbits in hazmat suits.
The kiddos stayed outside most of the day without incident. All was going well. Woo-hoo! Score another one for Dad!
And then. It happened.
After hours of sledding, the kids had packed the snow down into an icy path—jagged, slick, and wicked fast. Then, in a tragic turn of events, they decided to go down on the same sled.
This would have been awesome if the sled had gone along with the plan. Unfortunately, like a bucking mustang, the sled decided to kick the kiddos off somewhere near the top of the hill. Their little bodies flew down the hillside and crashed in a heap at the bottom, a tangled mass of arms and legs. Tears flowed. Screams echoed across the snowy hills of Vermont. It was awesome.
Luckily, no one was hurt. But the new winter coats the kids got for Christmas weren't so lucky. Each coat was shredded. And I continued my tradition of screwing something up whenever the wife was away.
Fortunately, the story has a happy ending. My wife returned, called the store where we purchased the coats, and asked if they knew of a place where the coats could be repaired. The store directed us to the Country Cobbler
, a small cobbler shop on Glen Rd.
We took in the coats and got them back a week or so later, adorned with sweet little patches in unique shapes and colors that gave the garments even more personality than they had before. The patches blended in perfectly with the design of the coats. Even the material was a match. The coats were a marvel of craftsmanship. They looked great and were tougher than ever. The coats held up for many more icy winter sledding runs.
The kids are nearly driving now, but we still have those little coats. I don't think we'll ever be able to get rid of them. And whenever we show them to anyone, we tell them the story of the fateful sledding run and the little cobbler shop that saved the day.