Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Slip sliding away..

It was a greasy day in the neighbourhood today. Just enough snow, to make Mr. big honking horking van do a few "figure 8's" on the road. But, she was on top of her game. When we down the road a bit, she did the Hammel Camel, and topped it off with a "quad" on Pembina Highway. No one was hurt in her performance, and we only got an 8 out of 10 from those damn Russian judges!! She's got the state of the art boots on her...12" tires, which makes her a little cumbersome, but she has a certain eloquence about her that makes her special. I think I will start calling her Grace. Not because she is graceful, but only because she tries so hard. She is cool, never backfires in face of a car behind her, she lumbers along, trying to make friends with all those little teeny cars on the road beside her. She is the friendly giant. After today's performance on the ice, I remarked to her, "let's do this again sometime." You were awesome. I told her when I was young I always wanted to be a figure skater, and now in my raisin years, I have my own gas powered pair of skates. She nodded, and said "balonie, don't ya be worried, I will try to live out your dream for you." I loves her!

What a nice thing for her to say. We are becoming good friends. We are probably gay in a van kinda way.

When I was young my dream was to be a figure skater. I got my first pair of skates when I was 8 years old. My dad made a skating rink in our back yard for me. We didn't have running water at that time yet, so he made a hose that diverted my mom's washing machine water to the back yard, and then he also used our precious water we had in our cistern to complete the job. It was a rough rink, you tripped up on lint and stuff from the washing machine, and it had some boils and bubbles in it, but it was my own special skating rink. I loved it. I thought I was Barbara Anne Scott, my hero. We used to have a winter festival at our rink in town, and everyone had to dress up and skate around and they would choose the best skater and costume. I will never forget the first one, my mom dressed me up like Little Bo Peep, she made me a dress, and she also made me braids!!!! She took some of my old stockings and braided them up and attached them to a hat and I had long beige looking braids. I don't think I have ever been more excited in my life. I always wanted braids!! All the girls in my grade had braids except me. Mom always kept my hair short, because it was so thick and I would have a fit when she tried to comb it. So, braids it was...I loved it. I don't think I won anything, but I can remember gliding down the ice with my braids flying in the air behind me, carrying my basket of flowers. I was Barbara Anne Scott!

When I was about 12 I got my first pair of "real" figure skates. I damn near killed myself with the piks in the front of the blade. But once I got used to them I was "hooked." I spent every night at the rink, trying to emulate figure skaters. We didn't have programs for that in our town, you just tried to "figure" it out yourself. Most of the time I was on my ass. But I didn't stop trying. But, then I got interested in BOYS...Damn it, all I wanted to do was hold hands and skate with anyone that would ask me, do "crack the whip"....And sniff out more boys. There went my dream.

About five years ago, my friend Janis was living in a place that had an outdoor rink and asked me to come over for some hot chocolate, and relive the dream. I found my old pair of figure skates in the basement...All scuffed up with memories... I accepted the invitation, thinking..how hard can this be? It was only 30 odd years since I put the boots on. It's like riding a bicycle isn't it?..you never forget. I took me 10 minutes and I was on flat on my face on the ice, and had a two inch gash on my knee. What she didn't tell me was that this was a community hockey rink that hadn't been flooded with new water for sometime.

Ouchiessss... just as I was doing the Hammel Camel.

In my dreams I'm still Barbara Anne Scott...sorry Dorothy.

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