Ice skating

Dear Dan,

It snowed again. Ugh. We haven’t gotten much this winter but a single flake is one flake too many. Don’t you find it funny that neither you nor I like winter and snow, but we loved ice skating.

You and I got ice skates one Christmas. We couldn’t wait for the creek behind the house to freeze over so we could skate. The great thing about skating on the creek was that Mother Nature built in a Zamboni. Late in the day, after we spent the entire day out there skating, the ice would sink a bit. You and I used to stand together and watch the water flow down, making the ice smooth for the next day.

There came a year that, for the first time in our short memories, the creek didn’t freeze. That was the year we learned about the temperature at which polluted water will freeze.

One year the borough put an outdoor rink in a run-off reservoir. We skated there, and then would go to the Village Dairy to get a hot beverage while we waited for our ride. That was open for only one year.

Another place we skated was a pond across from a friend’s house. I don’t remember what industry was next door to it, but they dumped something (toxic, no doubt) into the pond that made the ice pink. The older kids in the friend’s family would test the ice to make sure it would hold all of us. They would build a barrier so we wouldn’t get too close to the unfrozen side.

Of course the favorite place to skate was the rink on campus. You took lessons for a while and learned to do a snowplow stop. You used that at every opportunity to spray the rest of us with ice shavings. Boys!

By that age, you were too cool by then to let your sister hang out with you. However, when the Zamboni came out, you and I would lean against the railing and watch together as it went around.

I would give anything to stand beside you now, watching a Zamboni.

I love and miss you, my brother.

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