Just kind of drifting today. Like snow falling. Lay in bed this morning thinking of things I hadn’t thought about or remembered in ages like skating on the frozen ice in the Menomonee River Parkway with my friends. This is the time of year when most of the public elementary schools would flood a portion of their cement playgrounds creating a makeshift ice rink and set up a little ice skating house at the edge.
Each shed would have a wood burning pot belly stove. As I recall the fire was monitored by an older gentleman who would come and go. Upon arriving all bundled up with your skates tied together over your shoulder you’d go in the little shack and have a seat on one of the wooden benches where you’d change out of your snow boots. You’d pull a heavy pair of socks out of your skates, don them over your regular socks, then put your skates on and lace up. Your boots and blade guards would go under the bench and out the door you’d run (as well as one can run in skates on a wooden floor) for hours of “flying” fun.
I say flying because that’s what gliding madly around the rink felt like. Of course there were older kids who were really good skaters and could skate backwards or twirl in a circle. Each year you found yourself watching them, practicing and getting a little better. Still remember the first time I skated fairly effortlessly backwards across the ring, I was so excited. It was all a matter of blade control and maneuvering. The first successful twirling in place was another milestone.
If after a while you were a bit frozen, one went into the little shed to warm up. Often laying mittens on the top of the stove or opening the fire box door and draping wet mittens over it. There was nothing like the smell of wet wool warming up and putting your frozen little fingers into nice toasty gloves.
Still remember how one’s toes burned once you were home and really warming up. Often wonder just how close many of us came to minor frostbite. But no one was overly worried. It was just the way life was lived. Funny how soft and comforting some memories are. You can just curl up and surround yourself with billowy warmth and happiness.
I finally took leave of my reverie and faced the day. Checked my gmail account and found an email response from a friend. He had snow falling on his blog when I visited yesterday. Immediately emailed him begging to know HOW? Turns out it’s really easy!
If you have a WordPress blog, go to your dashboard, scroll down the left hand column to Settings and click on General. Scroll all the way down till you see the word Snow. Click on the box to enable snow until Jan. 4. As my friend said, he doesn’t understand why the arbitrary end date since it’s still winter. But it’s fun while it lasts. Also when viewing a post you can direct the flurries to fall right or left just by where your mouse sits on the screen.
Last, I’ll leave you with this video. It’s so peaceful. Enjoy!