Memories of childhood days take me back in time. I remember when I got my first pair of ice skates. They were black with black laces. I knew they were hand-me-downs from one of my uncles, but that didn't faze me a bit. I was ecstatic. Finally, I could join the others skating on our neighbor's pond.
We headed out, skates in hand. There was my aunt, my brother, my uncle and me. We made our way across the road and down the lane to the pond. My uncle tested the ice, slowly edging out farther to make sure it was safe for us younger ones. We put on our skates and laced them up. Under the wooden bridge next to the pond was an old wooden chair. It was there specifically for those of us who were learning to skate. I pushed that chair around the ice doing my best to keep my ankles from bending to the side. Even at a young age, I realized that the blades of the skates had to touch the ice in order for you to skate.
For several weeks I pushed that wooden chair around until I felt confident enough to try skating without it. At first either my aunt or uncle would skate with me to help me keep my balance. Then one day my brother and I went skating alone. We put on our skates and I ventured out onto the ice on my first solo skate.
I fell a few times, but got up and continued on my way. I was determined to skate gracefully around that little pond with no help from anyone. It wasn't long before I was flying around the pond, enjoying the bite of the cold on my face.
The following year, I enjoyed "crack the whip" with the older kids and we had a lot of fun on that pond. Our laughter would ring in the cold winter air and we'd skate for hours. I always enjoyed skating at night when the full moon beamed down on us, lighting our path around that pond.
Today, many of the kids I skated with there have passed on, but the memories of skating on that pond will always be with me.
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