Wintery tales

Winter scene

“It’s cold.”

A few million other people and I have been mumbling those words for weeks now. The only one who’s not buying it is my dad.

“The winter of 1934 was worse than this. If you live through something like that, only then you can complain.”

Winter scene Strawberry Fields

I’ve looked it up. That was a cold year with record lows that have yet to be met again. The Great South Bay froze over and my father at 12 played hockey with his friends on it. A priest who haled from a northern climate had taught them to put duct tape at the end of their hockey sticks. This was in case someone fell in. Then the sticks would be taped together and pushed towards the hole for the poor soul to hang on to as he is dragged out. As luck would have it, my father was that soul. He remembers there being about a foot of air between the water and the bottom of the ice. Just enough room for his head to bop up and assess where he was. That’s how he knew where to swim to get back to the hole. His teammates above the ice had already taken the steps taught to them to make a successful rescue. How my father was able to get back home without catching his death of a cold I’ll never know.

Winter scene Sledding

My father trained my sisters and I never to go skating without a hockey stick with tape around the end. We weren’t as athletic as my father nor as adventurous. We looked a tad bit foolish carrying a hockey stick around and I have no doubt the ponds we skated on weren’t any deeper than our knees. Still, we were ready and trained in case of emergency.

Winter scene Bridge

The photos in this post I took yesterday in Central Park. They look far more foreboding than the park actually was. The days have been averaging 18 degrees and it seems only the tourists are venturing out into the park. I was there again this morning cross-country skiing and sadly, my shoe fell apart in the midst of it. Granted, it is a 30 year old shoe. Yet, I may be able to rescue it for the season with a bit of glue. Fingers crossed.  I love that these are my only problems!

We still have two months between now and the end of winter. I am hoping that 1934 remains the coldest one on record.

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7 Responses to Wintery tales

  1. Greg says:

    30 year old shoes? That’s impressive!

    • maesprose says:

      It’s funny you should say that. I met a fellow skier on the trail and was bemoaning my bit of bad luck with the shoe. All she could say was, “30 years? Your shoes are 30 years old? That’s the best investment I’ve ever heard of.” No sympathy, just amazement.

      • Greg says:

        Haha. Oh, it must have been pretty awful to have a shoe break on you out on a snowy trail, but it sure sounds like you got your money’s worth!

  2. marydpierce says:

    If you’d only had a roll of duck tape with you!

    I grew up in a small town called Star Lake in the Adirondack mountains. As kids, we skated on the lake throughout the winter. I never heard about the hockey stick/duck tape precaution. Kids did play hockey, so many of them did have the sticks with them. But no one ever fell in while I was growing up there. It was cold!!

    Love those photos!

  3. LB says:

    Do you still have your hockey stick? 🙂
    Stay warm, Mae!

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