Do you like winter? Caroline Abbott does. I do too, which made the third book of the Caroline series, A Surprise For Caroline, a lot of fun to write.
When the book opens, Caroline is facing a new challenge. Two other girls are staying in the Abbott home: Lydia, Caroline’s cousin; and Rhonda, the daughter of an army officer stationed in Sackets Harbor. Caroline has no trouble getting along with either girl, but when all three of them are together, things get tricky.
Caroline dearly loves to skate, especially the feeling of gliding effortlessly over the ice. She also has a cherished memory of skating by moonlight with her papa.
Unfortunately, Rhonda does not enjoy skating. Caroline struggles to find an outdoor game all three girls can enjoy.
Winter in the Canada-U.S. border region during the War of 1812 could be quite challenging. In February, 1813, one British officer wrote in his diary about visiting sentries on a winter night: “It was freezing very hard, the Thermometer somewhere like 30 degrees below zero. …The most distant sentry was placed near a wood which was our most vulnerable point from the United States—if a moose could have travelled in such intolerable cold.”
The officer thought he caught one of the sentries drunk—quite a serious offense in war-time! He later concluded, however, that the poor sentry had not been drinking; instead he was stumbling and slurring his words because of the severe cold. (Merry Hearts Make Light Days: The War of 1812 Journal of Lieutenant John Le Couteur, 104th Foot, edited by Donald E. Graves.)
I don’t imagine that Caroline would want to play outside for very long if the temperature was 30 degrees below zero. Still, kids in 1812 liked to play as much as kids today do! Whenever time and conditions permitted, children could be found outside skating, sledding, or making up their own amusements.
What winter fun do you enjoy?