Showing posts from March, 2012

Skating Lessons

The temperature hit 15 degrees Celsius yesterday. Last weekend's skate at Harbourfront was definitely the last Great Skate of the season.

Here's what I learned from my Great Skate 2012 Project:

The only think a skating rink needs is frozen water. Everything else is a luxury.Falling down is part of learning.If you go with the flow, you're probably going counter-clockwise.Skating makes good memories.Any chance to skate is a Great Skate.
This blog is going into hibernation (if that word can apply to a dormant state during warm weather).

Many thanks to all the friends and family members who helped make the Great Skates happen by joining me on the rinks, smiling indulgently while I rambled on about this project, and making encouraging comments about the blog. It wouldn't have been the same without you.

See you next winter.....

Great Skate #13 - Harbourfront

The wind on Saturday, March 3 was blowing 67 km an hour - perhaps not the best conditions for outdoor skating. But since this was probably going to be the last Great Skate of the season, my ever-intrepid friend Cathy and I decided to make a go of it. We met at the Natrel Rink at Harbourfront.

Harbourfront is one of my favourite rinks. It's has a blobby, organic shape, so you aren't skating in the usual circles or long ovals. It's right on the edge of the lake, so you get a great view of the Island and the planes landing at the airport that is just across the water. There's always a neat mix of people skating there: families, groups of teenagers, tourists in rented skates, and usually at least one figure skater practising loops and twirls.

The rink also has lockers, washrooms, a snack bar, a skate sharpening service, and a place to rent skates. The latter came in handy when Cathy realized she had brought her son's skates by mistake. For $8, she got a pair of skates …

Skating Memories: the farm on Boxing Day

I spent most of my childhood Christmases at my grandparents' in North Bay. On Boxing Day, we'd go to my aunt and uncle's farm in Powassan, and there'd often be a family shinny game on the frozen pond.

These photos were taken in 1984. That's my sister in the grey snow pants, my uncle Steve on the left and my cousin James in the middle.

See how far away the barn is? The house is closer to the barn than the pond. Skating on Boxing Day meant taking a long walk first. It also meant trying to keep up with the hockey skills of our uncles and cousins.

The little guy in the second photo is my cousin Luke. Aunt Linda is there too.

I asked my dad why we don't have photos of Boxing Day skating from other years, and he said "probably because it was too bloody cold."

Too cold to take photos, not too cold for skating. Another memory I have of Boxing Day skating is trying not to cry as my feet thawed in the warm house afterward. Good times.

Skating memories: Trout Lake

When I was growing up, my grandparents lived at Trout Lake in North Bay. We spent our Christmas holidays there, and the weather was nearly always cold enough to have a rink on the lake in front of the house. I think this is where I learned how to skate.
The date on these photos says 1978. Note that we're still in the era of non-snazzy snowsuits for kids.

One winter, Trout Lake was frozen but there was no snow - we could skate all along the shoreline.

There was also another place to skate at my grandparents' house: a pond created by a beaver dam in the bush behind the house.

We were very lucky kids.