Hooked on Snow

Snowhook Blog

Hooked on Snow

Posted on February 25 by Jo Storm in Fiction, Kids, Recent Releases, Teens
Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Pinterest

Its 7:30 AM, and still dark out. The dogs mill around, looking out the front window as if they, too, are wondering if they want to go for a walk. It’s the eighth day of temperatures in the -20’s, and I certainly don’t.

But when you have five dogs and a small house, you go outside. You go outside in every type of weather, at every hour. A few years ago I was out walking my dogs in the winter, thinking about snow, about how most of my conversations at the grocery store or the library or the training facility where I worked centered around it — not because it was expected, but because it really is an important part of our lives up here in the north. I thought, could you even write a book about the weather? I also thought about how people said, “I can’t believe you go out there alone all the time.” I loved it, the adventure of it, each walk its own separate story. I had been doing it since I was about ten and lived in Muskoka. Back then it made me mad that any adventure story I read was always about a boy. I thought, We need more stories about girls having adventures.

That winter, too, I had been learning to dogsled. It was way, way harder than I thought it was going to be. The least of my worries was teaching the dogs to pull; most dogs naturally like pulling and tugging. But everything else - the lines, the lingo, the poling with my foot, controlling speed, not capsizing my tiny kicksled at what felt like Mach 5 - took so much concentration and physical effort that when we all got back home, a nap of the longest and deepest order was our first priority. Once, I just lay on the floor of the living room after wrestling off my boots and fell asleep. I woke up to all the dogs lying up against me.

One day while sledding I fell over, and I was going Mach 5. I was alone, on a trail with a ditch on one side and train tracks on the other. I remember, as I flew through the air, seeing all the times in my life I had crashed—in cars, on bikes or skates or skis, off of roofs and ladders and scaffolding. I remember thinking, well okay, you can handle this, I mean, at least you’ve had lots of practice?, and all those moments of crashing were suddenly weirdly linked through space and time like little kernels of knowledge. It was a strange thing to think about, but after I had landed, after I had gotten my breath back and made sure all the dogs were okay, I put the sled aright and…well, we kept going. Later I found scratches and scrapes and lord, the bruises!, but in the moment there was just the next thing, a sense of continuity that was both present and past, linked to the future. Like a meditation, or a prayer.

And that’s how Snowhook was born.

 

 

Jo Storm

Posted by Kendra on March 27, 2018
Jo Storm photo

Jo Storm

Jo Storm is a writer, dog trainer, and dogsledder. She has trained dogs in agility, competitive obedience, and scent detection. She lives in Sudbury, Ontario.