Time Capsule: Skating Tale

[While searching desperately for holiday bows in the basement, I found an old email about skating wedged into a box on my “wrapping center,” which started out as an empty table with plenty of room for wrapping but now contains the following: 9,462 pieces of kiddie artwork; assorted holiday decorations that we never put back in their proper storage places; and an old wooden Thomas train collection that we’re afraid to touch because of the lead paint recalls, even though none of those specific models was recalled. Anyway, here goes, from the time capsule.]

Nothing says happy holidays like the thud of small children smashing into the walls of a hockey rink amidst wreaths and twinkling lights. Or so it seemed, on our recent skating adventure, during which no one appeared to mind the occasional fall or bump, due to the festive mood.

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Husband dazzled everyone with his fancy moves. He has not lost one bit of skating savvy since his high school hockey golden days. I, on the other hand, had to concentrate strenuously just in order to remain upright and forward-moving. Which is weird because when my sister and I were little, we could skate backwards, do twirls, and so on. I even briefly entertained the idea of going pro (okay, that’s a lie but I did take lessons, learned how to do figure eights and tiny jumps, and–most importantly–had fluffy pink pompoms on my skates). However, quite inexplicably, it was like I had never skated before. Ever. Well maybe a little explicably…after all, I am (cough cough) years older.  Or perhaps it was the loaner skates that made me as wobbly as a newborn colt.  In any case, after much flailing, I eventually managed to produce a respectable glide.

During the Zamboni’s re-icing event, we headed over to the snack bar for some refreshing hot cocoa, as we were chilled to the bone. There were four teens “working”; I use that term loosely, as two were having a broom fight, one was staring into space, and the other one was handling orders, which mostly consisted of telling people that although there were signs all over the place for popcorn and pizza, they did not have any popcorn or pizza.

We ordered hot cocoa, which cost $425 dollars for a cup the size of a thumb. The water? No warmer than a recently melted icicle. The chocolate? Powder congealed in a sad lump at the bottom of the cuplet. It was neither “hot” nor “cocoa.” That snack bar is at risk of being sued for false advertising, what with the popcorn/pizza snafu and the “hot cocoa” deception. Not that we would sue them. But someone might.

We skated a bit more, long enough to realize that it’s a good thing they play music to signal Happy Fun Time, or else we might notice that we were all just going around and around in circles. Which is kind of what it feels like to work on the same writing project for an extended period of time. And a sense of flailing about on a slippery surface can happen at any point in said project, too. Come to think of it, skating may be a perfect metaphor for writing. So: Happy Fun Time Wishes to You.

37 thoughts on “Time Capsule: Skating Tale

  1. I can totally relate to this! I wasn’t a great skater as a kid but I was decent. I’ll never forget the first time I skated again as a young adult. I clung to the side of Wollman Rink in Central Park while my friend visiting from sunny Texas skated around me. With my family, Jer played hockey from like, birth through college, and Eliza took figure skating lessons. I wore knee and ankle pads and am still one step away from using those skating walker things they use to teach little kids.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for sharing! I was surprised to discover that the skills had faded away. Same thing happened when I blithely did a cartwheel after my kids were born and realized when I was upside down that it probably hadn’t been a good idea. I managed to land it (awkwardly), then added it to my list of Things Better Left In The Past. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Heh, I was an awful skater. The only way I could stop was to run into a wall or a snowbank (if outdoors). Needless to say, I didn’t skate much.

    And yes, the snack bar is at risk for a suit for false advertising.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. A “wrapping center” is my daydream (one room devoted to all things wrapping: paper, ribbons, bows, scissors, tapes, boxes, packing materials; all neatly positioned on shelving; a large table in the center of the room).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That would be lovely. Instead, I’m in the office, trying to keep the paper on the package with one hand while groping around to find the tape that’s buried underneath the work things on the desk. Sigh.

      I hope your dream comes true!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I don’t have a room, but I do have a wrapping closet! It has saved my life more than once. Everyone laughs b/c I save “special” wrap and bows and cards, but then they’re the first to raid my stash. (It is also where I hide the extra Scotch tape dispensers.)

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Love everything about this, Cynthia! I’m a little jealous of your wrapping center and pink pom poms. (Although I should’ve worn the poms on the seat of my pants, since it had more contact with the ice than my skates!)

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I did a little ice skating, but I did more roller skating as a kid. Which I’m sure has it’s own issues as an adult, especially since I have no sense of balance these days. If my two feet aren’t perfectly on the ground, I’m sunk.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh! Roller skating was such a big thing! Thank you for that reminder. May need to address that in a future post. 🙂

      And I hear you on the feet-on-the-ground. Kind of a bummer that while growing older brings experience that is valuable in other ways, it simultaneously reduces the ability to do all of those things we used to do without even thinking twice…


  6. Lol Cynthia!
    I also skated as a kid, and cannot do it now if my life depended on it. And the way kids zip around these days, it could! I could never do anything other than move forward, whether it was on blades or wheels. I am such a klutz I had trouble putting one foot over the other to turn corners!
    I have a gift wrapping cart in my basement, does that count?

    Liked by 3 people

  7. What a great analogy, Cyn!

    I like skating even though I’m not very good at it. In college, I even took a course and eventually bought my own skates–without pompoms. (Of course, my husband, who never took any classes can still skate circles around me.)

    I still go ice skating, but I must say that those skates are a lot tighter around my feet now!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You took a skating course? That sounds amazing, Jen! Applauding!!

      ps: It’s never too late for pompoms.

      pps: Unless that was just a fleeting fad back in the day.

      ppps: Which could be brought back, though! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I took a bowling class in high school. I know it happened, but it sure seems like a fuzzy memory. It was, I think, part math and part PE credit. Or at least it should have been.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I was a horrible skater, but I loved going with my high school pals on occasion, mostly just to have fun watching us all do prat falls on the ice like in some slapstick movie. Oh, and a guy I had a crush on used to go with us, so there’s that, too…

    Liked by 3 people

  9. This is hilarious, Cynthia! I’ve only ice skated a couple of times but it never really worked for me as, it turns out, my ankles are two thin strips of linguine. Who knew? I was, however, an excellent roller skater. Even though I toyed with the idea of roller derby for awhile, I refuse to get back on skates because I’m (cough, cough) years older, but also because I want to bask in the glory that was my roller rink prowess. To carry on with the writing metaphor … the story idea is so often better in your head than when trotted out for the world to see.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Aw, I loved this, Cynthia! I guess many of you already know that I was a competitive skater. So I am all in for that rink cocoa and (Kathy, this is for you) red licorice rolls and of course the French fries from the snack bar (can they make them any greasier?). I recently had my old skates refurbished and was determined to rejoin a skating club this fall, but…they are closed. I took a few spins around the ice last year

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Whoops, that sent before I meant it to! Adding: “…and I was pretty nervous, but found it’s best to fool yourself into thinking you are still your younger self. Really helps with the balance.”

      Liked by 2 people

  11. What a lovely metaphor! I took ice skating lessons for two seasons and bought figure skates. The result was the ability to occasionally skate backwards. Aaaaaaaaaaand…that’s it. But my skates were beautiful!

    Lisa, I’m hoping for a con (when/if those happen again!) that allows us to see your skating expertise!

    Liked by 1 person

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