The brisk, cold air of winter filled my lungs as I walked out of the door into some freedom for the day. I got up early so all my chores would be done by 8 am. I promised my best friend Gertie I would be at the ice rink early today. My mother wasn’t going to allow me to leave but my dad got between us and said I could go.
I dressed warmly since last night we ended up with over 6 inches of fresh snow. I throw my ice skates over my shoulder and walk out our front door into the icy winter air. The ice rink is over a mile from my house maybe even two miles. It is a long walk to get there but so worth it.
I think of skating all the way to the rink. I love to twirl and twirl in circles. I love to hold my leg straight out and spin around the ice. We all show off our moves out there. I secretly hope a boy I like will be there so I can ice dance with him again. Waltzing on ice is not as easy as some think.
It is cold walking to the rink but I love looking at the way ice forms on the trees. It is so pretty. It looks like a Christmas card. The brilliance of the ice and the shapes it creates on the branches are like fancy art. I like seeing my breath coming out of my mouth like smoke. It is so cold my breath is freezing on my walk to the ice rink. I can’t wait to see Gertie. I can’t wait to talk to her.
I finally arrive. It has been a long walk. I sit on a snow bank and remove my warm boots. Good thing I have wool socks. I put on my ice skates and lace them up high. You need to make sure your laces are tight before you get on the rink. I notice Gertie talking to a boy.
She turns around and then notices me lacing up my skate. “Come on. Let’s go. You are so slow today.” she says to me with that smile of hers. “I’m getting it. Hold on.” I get it laced up tight and out to the ice I go. Gertie and I skate around the rink, hold hands, and spin. It is so much fun. We twirl in circles going faster and faster on one foot. It is like ballet dancing and we both pretend we are ballerinas.
Then Gertie looks to the side of the rink. “Oh no Lil. You are never going to believe who showed up.” “Who?” “Don’t look.” “Who?” I said getting angrier. ” Oh my, it is Elmer Walsh and his big bear coat.” Gertie starts laughing up a storm. She knows how much Elmer likes me and I like Elmer but I sure don’t want to date him. He always looks funny in his big bear coat and he stutters when he talks. Not saying he isn’t a nice guy but not really my type.
He sees me and skates over to Gertie and I. “Hello Lil. Enjoying sk-sk-skating?” He stutters everything. Gertie and I roll our eyes and giggle. “Yes Elmer we are enjoying skating.” Gertie and I take off on him and skate around the rink several more times. Elmer goes off and talks to other girls. There are a couple of girls who really like him and think he is the greatest, but not me.
Gertie and I both have afternoon chores waiting for us and supper soon. We go over to the snow bank and remove our skates. “Well, maybe I will see you tomorrow.” Gertie says to me. “Maybe. But It won’t be this early. I know my mother will have extra chores for me. My dad step in and she hates it when he does. That means I will have more to do tonight when I get home and tomorrow.” “I hope to see you anyway, Lil.” she says. We walk up to where we have to split to go home, hug, and say our goodbyes.
I take in all the winter beauty as I continue my walk home alone. I dread getting there. I day dream about all the fun I had at the ice rink today. I dream about doing the perfect spin. I dream that I am a ballerina on ice and I have an audience applauding me. I know mother will have a ton of work for me to do immediately. I will have to get supper on the table because I know mother will be extremely mad. At least for a few hours, I was able to be a free woman with no work.