Skating Rink of Dreams

Melvin and I  (okay well, mostly Melvin) made a skating rink last weekend.  We took shovels down to the frozen river and just started shovelling.

I wondered if it had been cold enough for several days, to freeze the river thick enough to skate on……..until I saw a truck pulling an ice ‘shack’ down the river!   Well THAT answered my question!   According to the Lifesaving Society, our River’s ice needs to be at least 4″ (12cms) thick to walk on and 12″ (30cms) thick to support a vehicle.  We were Safe!!

Melvin learning to skate 1997

The last time we had shovelled off an ice rink on the river was 2006 -the year Chris was diagnosed with cancer.  That rink was huge with a skating oval around it – rink for hockey and the oval for just skating or a game of ice Bocce!  For awhile, we had the help of our snowblower or snowplow truck to get the heavy snow off before we scraped it down to the ice, and it still took us 4-6 hours every time it snowed!  But it was all worth it to see the kids, neighbours and friends skating!  We even put up spotlights on the trees along the river’s edge for night skating.   Our favourite event was our annual Skating Party where friends, family, and neighbours would gather at our place for a day of skating and other winter activities like curling or dog sledding (poor Yukon wasn’t too keen about this role), plus a winter bonfire, and followed by a pot-luck supper.

Around the bonfire @ our Skating Party

It was a great time……..and I thought those days were gone forever.   Until 17 year old Melvin said that he wanted to make a rink on the river this year!  And last weekend it happened!  I had forgotten how exhilarating it was to be out on the river pushing snow!  Melvin did most of the shovelling, with me just pushing the little rows, that fall off his shovel, towards the bank.  We put some 5′ bamboo poles with some streaming flourescent orange trail-marker tape, into the far banks to keep any skidoos off our rink.

Granddaughters Kalia and Olivia were already here for their ‘sleepover’, so I put their skates on them (not as easy as it used to be BTW), and helmets and off they went!  Sturdy plastic lawn chairs helped them slide along the ice and stay upright as they re-learned how to skate, while I helped Melvin finish shovelling.  It was absolutely wonderful to watch them skate!  On Sunday, when Kristi and Mike arrived with their boys, the rink was busy again with skaters!   We should be able to get in 6-8 weeks of skating, as long as we can keep the snow shovelled off.

And today we’re getting our first real snowstorm with 15-20+ cms of snow!   I guess I know what we’ll be doing tomorrow…….


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. grammomsblog
    Jan 13, 2012 @ 18:24:56

    Some difficulty posting a reply today for some people, so I just copied these comments:

    Stacey: Good memories Linda. Paige and Katie both skated for the first time on Chris’ rink and we loved the parties. Let us know the next time the girls are over – I’m sure that Paige and Katelyn will come over for a skate!

    Linda: Sure I’ll give you a call Stacey·

    Iona: Awww… remember the days when our dad made the rink for us on Eaton Place… we were the hit of the neighbourhood!!

    Iona: And way to go Melvin…for helping to keep this tradition going… Your dad would be proud of you…

    Linda: OMG it was great! And Chris used to make one when he was young too…..So it’s no wonder we LOVE making skating rinks!! lol It’s in our blood!


  2. Andrea
    Jan 13, 2012 @ 18:41:38

    What a great time we had the few times we were out and remember when JJ Clarke came for the weather report?


  3. Penny
    Jan 16, 2012 @ 07:39:45

    Great post Linda! And great work to you and Mel!
    What lucky grandkids!


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