Where can you possibly find such joy as gliding across a frozen pond, with what feels like a mile of open ice ahead of you, and nothing but skate marks to guide your way? The ominous growl of the ice creaking, the dangerous looking holes that are now coated over with clear ice, the huge cracks, like earthquake marks…I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing on a February afternoon.
After the report of the near-sunken ice boat, and so many people chiming in (‘Why don’t you just go to an ice rink??”), I feared that my fantasy of frozen pond skating would melt like the snow. Driving by Lake Wyola on Sunday, my heart lifted when I saw a few people skating. I also saw a makeshift rink that had been smoothed out…and players were beginning to drift over.
I took my long, leisurely skate past the empty houses of summer vacationers, with their docks rolled back up onto their yards. Far away in the distance I saw what looked like an ice-fishing house, but this lake is pretty big, so it was a long way off. After some warm up skating, I came back and borrowed a stick. I was ready to join the game!
It was four-on-four, with a young woman named Jessica gamely joining in, and a little Mighty-might of about ten whizzing around showing great puck control. But mostly, it was guys like me. Some who had played hockey (the gloves gave it away) and some well, not so much. I spent a fair amount of time as a youth playing the game and it was a thrill to wind my way up the ice handling the puck…and one sweet assist to a wobbly looking gal who scored!
When we took a break the same handy man who had built the goals (wooden boxes with two small shooting holes in them) went out with his human Zamboni, cleaning the ice with a piece of plywood.
At one point someone asked “what’s the score?” The answer was classic Shutesbury. “It’s 522 to 522!”