I am calling this blog "ice follies" because, as much as I loved ice skating, I was never very good. But I really could not share memories of winters growing up without mentioning going to skate. We had a wonderful place to do this. Every winter the fire department would bring one of their pumper trucks up to the athletic field behind the high school and spray the field with water to form a nice ice surface on the field. The boys and girls gym locker rooms were kept open for the skaters, too, so you could have a nice warm place to put on and take off our skates and store any personal belongings in one of the empty lockers. If there had been a lot of snow, the village maintenance people would come up and lightly plow the snow off the ice, too. This picture, taken by my Dad, must have been taken the first winter I tried to indulge in this activity as I am wearing the hand-me-down "learner" ice skates that one of my parents' friends gave to them for me. Notice that the blades are dual so you weren't actually trying to balance on thin ones. Also notice that the laces are obviously well used and not long enough to lace all the way up. But that didn't matter to me. As long as I wasn't falling down, I was having fun. I later got a good pair of real skates for Christmas one year and had them for years, in fact long after I was married, though I don't think I ever wore them as an adult. There were lights over the rink area, too. When I was in middle and high school my friends and I would often go up to the rink to skate after dinner. I never learned to twirl, or even skate backwards, though I did learn to glide on one foot for awhile. I am thankful to have lived in a community that encouraged the young people to have this kind of winter fun.