Ice skating on the pond. Ninth of twenty-six posts in the April 2017 Blogging From A to Z Challenge on the theme “Whispering Chimneys: My Altamont childhood” — where my genealogy journey began. Wish me luck!
I started out with little double-bladed skates that buckled on over my boots — tottering around on the ice while my parents yelled, “Slide, slide!”
It took a while to get the hang of it, but eventually I was sliding along with the children of my parents’ friends who visited our farm for multi-family skating parties.
The beauty of skating on the Altamont farm — and pretty much anywhere in upstate New York — was that all you needed was bitterly cold weather and ice skates, and you were good to go.
Preparing the rink
Mom and Dad grew up in the Adirondack foothills, so they knew the drill. First up was clearing snow off the pond — usually by pushing a shovel along the surface of the ice.
Once the rough clearing was done, out came the long broom to fine dust and finish the job.
Then, for the comfort of guests, a fallen tree was hauled onto the ice to provide a log seat to rest on. Refreshments were packed up and toted along — avoiding a long walk back to the farmhouse — and the skating rink was ready!
Of course, ice skating had to be done carefully — which my Dad learned the hard way by trying a creative leap over the log. He spent the next two days in bed sitting on a hot water bottle.
However, I kept at it — and soon enough I graduated to single-bladed figure skates. So did my little friend Kris, who was in my dance class.
In the winter, when my parents visited Kris’s mom and dad — friends of theirs from college — Kris and I would repair to the creek across the street from her house for some serious skating.
We’d sit on a rock and lace up our skates. Then we’d scoot back and forth on the frozen creek — practicing our stops and teaching each other maneuvers — until our parents called us in.
Cold air, exercise and gliding, dance-like moves — an invigorating foundation for a young girl to build on.
Up next: Jets overhead promise and portend. Please stop back!
© 2017 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.