My Ice Capades

 Snowy sunshine this morning as I rearranged my bookshelves. A little treasure Jim gave me one Christmas fell out from amongst the big books...Twelve Kinds of Ice by Ellen Bryan Obed. I sat on the floor reading it and recalling all my years of ice skating...just as this author so beautifully writes of her childhood. The first kind, as winter settles in, is that thin layer that breaks easily as soon as you poke it. The second kind is a bit thicker, but a hard kick can break it. As the temps drop and ice thickens, the fields and streams are soon skate-worthy. But the best kind of ice is the perfect ice created by snow and smoothing and a garden hose, which is what my dad did every winter in our backyard. I’m about ten in this photo. It’s where I learned to skate. Where I practiced being Barbara Ann Scott and dreaming of the Ice Capades my grandparents took me to each year.  Instead, my escapades moved on to the Rouge Park rink in northwest Detroit where my high school pals met for nighttime fun.
Jim and I shoveled a rink every winter on Crooked Lake so the guys could play hockey and our kids could learn to skate. When our cross-country moves began, both kids were playing hockey and their dad was coaching. Lots of indoor rinks during our years in Kentucky and Massachusetts. But there was one year, one once-in-awhile year that the weather and black ice were pure perfect for skating on the Ipswich River, the fish and seaweed visible beneath our gliding feet.  

I skated with Jim at indoor rinks over the years, but no photos were ever taken. It was always fun but not the same without snow or wind in your face or seeing the stars above while you skate...outdoor skating is the best!
We grow along and the years go by and suddenly we have grandchildren...I wanted all five to know how to skate. There’s  a picture of me holding onto the railing at an indoor rink in Georgia where I took my first grandson. Yes, I like a railing for the first couple go-rounds these days, but I can still skate for an hour or so. My granddaughter and I spent a sunny morning on Rockefeller Center ice in New York City in 2014. Tracy and I took her three kiddos to the Avalon Ice Rink in Alpharetta a few years ago and last year I skated Millennium Rink here in Portage with my youngest grandson. No railings here, so I have to start slow and carefully until my legs remember how to slide and balance on the shiny, slippery surface. There’s a group of senior ladies that skate here each week. Think I’ll go and join them next time the ice is smooth and the sun is bright!

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