Categorized | The Past

Skating Ponds of the Past

Now-a-days such a deal is raised over the quaintness of outdoor rinks. Where and when I came from, there wasn’t any choice in the matter. If you wanted to skate, it would be outdoors. A guy from the town came with a water hose and would keep putting on layers of water and freezing it again and again, until finally it was done! What an exciting time for the neighbourhood kids. Out came the skates. Down to the rink we went. We sat on frozen cold benches, in the wind, to put our skates on. First everyone had to get a shovel and plow, push or kick snow, but somehow get it all piled and scooped of the surface. By then you were definitely warm! Then you could skate until supper and hurry for home. Sometimes you tarried too long and ran home with your skates still on. What good that did I don’t know.

The ice was a fair bit bumpy, but we didn’t know any better. I don’t recall where I got the idea that I could do fancy stuff, but I had a lot of fun trying to spin, jump, stop and all.

When the town put in a covered arena one year, I was curious enough to take a peek inside. The ice was a sheet of fine glass.


The new rink was a splendor that is taken for granted now


No snow to remove, warm rooms to change in, lights above. It was a fairy tale picture. If I had skated there first, I would never have appreciated the magic of it. I still used the no-cost outdoor one for a long time. There weren’t many people on it after that, and I could move at will in my own icy dream world. 


To truly find joy in the end, you should first experience a rough beginning.


Now maybe my kids will understand why I didn’t mind bringing them up in the wilderness without power, phone or running water. We had nothing when most others had it all. Their school friends didn’t even know such a world existed.

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