Friday, January 25, 2013

Skate on a Puddle, Skate on a Pond

The winter blast has swept across the United States from Oregon to Ohio. It seems that when we have cold, Ohio has warm, then the opposite applies. Every time I hear that Ohio had chilling temperatures, I think immediately about the frozen puddles that sat low in the lane that lead back to the house on Neff Road. Brenda and I loved to test the puddles with our booted feet. First a tap to see if the ice was fully formed. Then we would stand back, get a good start and glide across the 2 1/2 foot puddle. It was well worth bundling up against the cold for just a few glides across the ice.

Grandad's pond had been a skating rink for children since my father was just a boy. He often told of he and his brothers skating across the ice. It probably had to do with that bit of Swiss blood that ran through our veins. The old quarry was dark and deep, yet when winter came, it's beauty was unsurpassed. The woods gave the pond a lovely backdrop that blocked the wind for chilly skaters. We sailed across the deepest parts of the pond feeling the power over its depths. A pond that had seen a few generations.

Often the Stager, Lavy and Loxley kids dragged boots and skates across the fields to the pond. Dad loved any excuse to take us with his skates slung across his back. He would pile us into a wagon and drive across the frozen field not only taking the kids but also bringing along hockey sticks and pucks.  Kids of all ages slipped and slid, skated and spun across the frozen pond. We skated on that pond from the time we could walk until the day we walked away from Neff Road.

Winter embraces Ohio once more. The puddles in the lane disappeared when Dad tiled the farm. Two little girls grew up and became grandmas. But still we remember......skate on a puddle, skate on a pond.

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