Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I want to Skate.

I remember cold crisp mornings as a child and my only wish was to skate.  I learned to ice skate on a small patch of ice on our front sidewalk.  It would snow and freeze leaving patches of ice in odd spots.  Back then, Dad was still using his other means of transportation, a bicycle so the driveway was open territory for me.

My 1st pair of skates were from the Salvation Army store, a boy's pair of figure skates that dad found on his excursions to the second hand store.  Mom painted them with white shoe polish so the end result was a silvery gray color.  It didn't matter to me, all I wanted to do was skate.

That winter, it snowed so badly that school was canceled, a momentous event for us, as Michiganders are pretty prepared for almost any type of frosty weather.  The walkway to the house, the driveway and the sidewalks were a glisten with bright sparkling ice.

Carefully, I mapped out a complete circle to "race", being sure to mark in my mind the slim spots that might cross my path.

Naturally, my favorite book was Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates and when Walt Disney made the movie, I cried and cried all through it.

Now was my chance, I skated the circle over and over again, once I even got ahead of ol' Hans, Gretel was beside me, we glanced at each other and smiled and then I was off again.

I skated all afternoon and when the sun finally began to wane, I was still madly racing around and around.  It didn't matter that my toes were completely frozen or that my my mouth was dry and crackling.  I had to win the race.

And then it happened, my glasses slipped off my face and onto the ice and I skated over them.  Suddenly the spell was broken.  I was just some dumb little kid standing in front of our house, poised on some secondhand skates and my only means of seeing were completely shattered to pieces.  It was dark now, I was the only witness to this tragedy as I tucked them into a snowbank for retrieval later.

"Mommy", I cried, and she, who had been watching me from the window, suddenly appeared.   

She wiped my tears, covered me with her big strong body and guided me into the warm house.  "Tomorrow is another day!  You can win the race tomorrow."

Such memories!

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