There is little comparison between the winters of my youth and today’s winters. It makes me a definite believer in global warming.
For one thing, in the past 10 years, there have been very few times that a pond of water has frozen over with ice thick enough to skate on.
I remember every winter when I was younger we were able to go ice skating on our farm pond. It wasn’t as deep as some of the surrounding ponds, but it was always a source of fun for me and my siblings, and the youth group from our church.
We would always invite our friends to go ice skating, but only after Daddy made sure the pond was frozen solid. We went ice skating sans ice skates. In fact, I knew of no one who actually owned a pair of ice skates; instead, we used rubber galoshes and thick-soled shoes or boots on our pond. These worked just fine for all of us. There was the usual falling down and laughter. We always built a huge bonfire and brought hot chocolate out for everyone.
Just the thought of all the fun we used to have skating on the pond brings back happy memories. I wouldn’t dare get on a pond now during the winter.
While school was out over Christmas break, I took my two grandsons, Hayden and Landon, ice skating over in front of Rupp Arena. My sister-in-law took her youth group from Spring Street Baptist in Mount Sterling for an outing and we went along also. For the first time in my life I put ice skates on. I felt as though I had to, because I might need to help the grandsons out. You could say I literally froze on ice! Nothing felt so scary and foreign to me as putting on that pair of skates.
I¿thought it would be like roller skating and that I’d be OK. Wrong. Roller skates are a whole lot easier for me, although the last time I put those on I was either in my teens or early 20s. Fast forwarding 40 years, either my reaction time isn’t the same or my feet don’t work the same. If somebody would have taken off with one of my grandkids, I guess I would have learned to skate pretty quickly, but that’s the only way my feet would have moved. It didn’t take me long to realize I was crazy for putting on those skates.
Hayden took to the ice like he had been on it all his life. He would fall, pick himself up and skate all over again. He passed me about five times at the place I started out with him. Landon was a bit more cautious, but he, too, learned to skate. Luckily for me, Hayden’s mom and dad decided they might need to be an extra set of eyes that night, and they came over to observe. They were shocked to see their son skating around the rink since it was his first time ever on skates.
Some man watching from the sidelines came up to me and asked me if I would like to know how to skate and I told him yes. He told me to take his hands, promising he wouldn’t let me fall and that I would be skating in no time. After some tips on how to steady my feet, we took off, and I actually did get to skate around the rink about four times. A better way of putting it is that this kind man was actually holding me up and pulling me along the rink.
It looked good enough for me to get a picture to show my husband. The man was right. He did not let me fall down, and I can honestly say I didn’t fall down all night. I begged tiredness, knowing his good intentions were to no avail for me, and got off the rink. I was shocked at how tired I really was.
It was still a fun night and the boys enjoyed themselves. We did wish we had added a few more layers of clothing because there is a constant breeze there. I guess being on ice makes it colder, and that may be another thing I have forgotten as I’ve aged. When you are young you feel invincible and nothing seems to bother you.
I can also say that will probably be my one and only time on ice skates. From now on, I will be observing from the sidelines. I think I will enjoy it more that way.