"Shhh." My wife hushed me with a kind smile. Her eyes wrinkled in the corners as they met my gaze.
I cocked my head to the side in confusion as I paused in the doorway. I waited for an explanation in silence.
My wife's smile broadened, and her eyes twinkled with joy. Then she pulled her gaze from my confused form and nodded to something outside the scope of the porch.
I followed her gaze until I saw the young neighbour boys as they played in their front yard.
They were tightly bundled in head-to-toe winter suits with colourful mittens and boots. The two boys had built a snow ramp to race their sleds down.
I smiled at their creativity and quietly closed the door before I sat beside my wife on our front porch. I handed her a mug of coffee as we continued to watch the boys from behind the steam of our mugs.
We could hear the older one, Ralph, shout orders at the younger one like a misinformed drill sergeant. Until he was satisfied with the course they had built and they headed to the 'starting line', as they called it.
"Ready, Randy?" The older one asked.
"Ready." The younger agreed with an excited nod.
"Set go!" The older one called out, and they launched their sleds onto the snowy ramp, winding down their front yard towards the road.
Then, with the squealing sound of the tires coming to an abrupt halt, everything changed.