What Happens When You Get Off Track

March 6, 2018 by

Eva Hormann’s letter to a young friend about a Valentine’s Day long ago ended up being our most popular blog post in February. Excited by that success, Eva shares another letter to her pen pal Kiera, this one inspired by the unlikely snowfall they recently received in England.

Dear Kiera,

Winters in Connecticut were packed with snow when I was a child back in the 1970s. Do you know where Connecticut is? Find a map of the United States and look along the east coast. When you’ve found it, try and spell it. Most people shorten it to CT.

It was February and I was out tobogganing with my friends. We had been riding down the track for about an hour when my cousin Katie and I decided to try something more exciting. “Let’s go down right next to the track,” I said. “Look, it’s more icy and bumpy and I bet we’ll go farther.”

Katie agreed and climbed on in front. There was plenty of room for me behind her. Someone gave us a shove and we were off. Down we sped, yelling at kids in our path to MOVE. As they jumped clear of our sled, a seventh grader shouted at us, “You guys are crazy! You’re gonna hurt someone!” We were not supposed to be on this lane used for pulling sleds back up the hill.

Image of a young girl sledding

No time to get back on the track now. Our toboggan was zipping along faster every second. “We’ll beat the record this time, Katie!” I shouted. “Think we’ll get all the way to the road?” I didn’t hear her answer as she was hurled off at a big snowy BUMP! With Katie gone from the front position, the toboggan careened out of control at top speed. Next thing I knew I was sailing high above it as it ski-jumped over a ploughed drift at the edge of the road.

When I landed, I knew something was wrong. I couldn’t move my left leg at all; it felt like cold jelly. I lay in the snow and howled. My friends came sliding over to see what had happened. “Leave me alone!” I screeched. Tony, the plumber, heard me from his shed nearby. He wasted no time, bringing a board with him. “Don’t touch me!” I yelled at him. “My leg – my leg!”

My mother heard me all the way from the kitchen and hurried out into the cold to see what had happened. “Mama, leave me alone!” I said. “Don’t touch me. I want to stay here all night!” Fortunately, no one listened to me. Mama helped Tony splint my leg to keep it from moving, and someone heaved me back onto the toboggan.

“She’ll have to go to the hospital,” the nurse told my mother. X-rays showed that my leg was broken. And guess what – I spent the next six weeks on crutches as penance for going down the wrong track!

Kiera, I hope you got the message in this story: Stay on the right track.

Love from your pen pal,


Eva lives with her husband, Hans-Peter, at Beech Grove, a Bruderhof in England. Eva corresponds regularly with Kiera, her pen pal who is in second grade.


About the author

Eva Hormann portrait

Eva Hormann

Eva and her husband, Hans-Peter, live at Beech Grove, a Bruderhof in England.

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  • It is always nice to share our experiences with our friends. We tell them our happiness and sufferings. It makes us feel happy. It is wonderful memory between Eva and Kiera. Thank you Eva.