Sunday, January 25, 2009

Frozen Smiles and Toes

The temperature was -15C today and with the winds it felt - 27C. But that didn't stop us from heading down to City Hall for a skating party for my niece. If I had any initial doubts about going ... they vanished the minute I saw my niece's shining, wide smile. She was clearly loving having her cousins, brothers, mama and other friends and family together to celebrate her 20th birthday. As we donned our skates and I took to the ice, I immediately felt invigorated. There is something "survivalist" about skating in the depths of winter; a "we come - we conquer" kind of attitude.

And the sting of the frigid air in my lungs and the tingling in my cheeks brought me back to my childhood when I would walk 4 blocks to the outdoor rink in my skates and then home again with wooden feet. The needles and pins that would come with the thawing out of those frozen feet - my mother rubbing them vigorously between her hands - would end in howling and tears.
OK - it's been about three years since I've skated so I was a little slow out of the gate. Wobbly at first then stronger - around I went. The girls propped one anther up, lending an arm to those who needed it. My Elmer Fudd hat was a hit (thank you to sister 2 who gave it to me). I looked hot in it -- OK -- I felt hot in it!

We teased and chided one another as we skated by. About half an hour into the skate the complaints of frozen fingers, toes and noses started. We braved a few more laps and then we started dropping off like flies - making a beeline to the warmth of the changing room.

Now as I sit by the fire - my tummy full, my toes warm and cheeks still aglow - and the drowsiness from a satisfying day spent in the sunshine, I say a silent thank you. A day spent with people I love and another memory to share with my future gra ... oops - best not to be presumptuous.

With rosy cheeks and a warm heart I bid you good night.

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