Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Winter Ice

How I love the Olympics! Perhaps it stems from the time we spent on Grandad Loxley’s frozen pond. Neighborhood kids gathered dragging skates across the field to the once gravel pit. Boots slipped and slid across the frozen water. My father skated here as a boy.

Dad took me back to the pond with the pair of new figure skates I’d gotten for Christmas. I was sure that I would be as great as the skaters we watched on TV. Skates had been a part of our lives since we were kids, so I had no doubt that I could create figure eights right off the bat. Little was I prepared for the pick on the toe of each skate blade. I tripped. I fell. I loved it. I never tackled a figure eight much less use the pick to step across the ice. I felt like an Olympic star.

My youngest granddaughter loves to skate. Her petite body falls on the ice, and she pops back up like a jack-in-the-box. She is resilient and determined. Small bodies fall all around her yet she moves forward ignoring any possibility of joining them. I know that Dad and Mom would be laughing to the point of falling off the bench watching her. Were the rink closer to home, I know she would live there.

I started with double edged skates that strapped onto my feet. I’m not sure what I wore in the interim before my figure skates. I probably got the beat up hand-me-downs from my sisters. Regardless, my childhood winters were spent on the ice.

I watch the Olympics remembering and wondering if anyone now skates on the old pond. I know that the ghosts of winters pass still glide over the winter ice.

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