The Tuesday before Christmas.
We’ve noticed the ice has frozen smoothly this year, with a very cold but dry November.
Cross country skiing will most likely not happen soon, unless the storm brewing in the West dumps some snow on us later in the week, as the meteorologists tell us might happen.
This leaves ice skating on the frozen water’s edge. Our cabin sits on a small, freshwater lake in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Two of our family of five own ice skates. My oldest son got a pair a couple of years ago, as a present. I got a pair around the same time. Even though I enjoy ice skating, I’ve never been good at it.
While growing up near Lake Ontario shoreline, I skated with friends on this great lake when winters were like this – cold but little snow. As a teen, I skated once or twice on the Erie Canal where it ran through several towns near my home. We would stop at a park that lined the edge of the canal, don our skates, and step gingerly on the ice. The gently sloped sides, leading to the iced over water, provided easy access.
After we moved to Wisconsin, when I was a new mother of three, I took my oldest to the indoor skating rink in the next town over. There, we could rent skates, and glide around the ice to our hearts content. I, with visions of Tara Lipinski in my head. And, my son, with whatever visions a six or seven year old boy has while on the ice. I know, more than once, we hoped we would see the Zamboni clean the rink. I am sure while I held his hand, I was holding him back, although I don’t think he would recall it that way now.
Last semester, this same boy, now a young man of 26 took an ice skating course at the university where he attends graduate school. It was a good way to get some socialization during the social distancing norms of the COVID-19 pandemic. There, he learned to skate better, while enjoying some time with others. This, time with his peers, was something that had become unfortunately uncommon.
I know when I think of college, I think of my friends, time spent laughing, going to parties, studying with others in the dorm or at the large library tables. I didn’t need to take a gym class to socialize. No, I had to take two gym classes as elective credits during my nursing (BSN) curriculum.
We’re all doing what we have to do to come through the pandemic as unscathed as possible. This means being creative, thinking outside of the box, and maybe, just maybe, getting back on ice skates.
Mine are packed, along with my son’s, as we head to the cabin for the holiday. His brother has been promised a lesson. And, I will most certainly need one too. We know the ice is there waiting for us, clear, clean, and hopefully smooth as silk. Welcoming.
It’ll be a memory made for Christmas 2020, a gift as precious as those we unwrap.
Slice of Life Tuesday is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. Thank you for hosting!