Here in western lower peninsula of Michigan, we have had two snow falls of over 20 inches each. In between the snow has melted away. We are accustomed to snow on the ground from January till mid April. Not so this year.
In my home town of Northville, The area on the east side of the state was referred to as the Swiss Alps of Wayne county. Glaciers left deposits of sand, gravel and dirt, forming the hills surrounding the town. From one hill, you can glimpse the tall buildings of Detroit 24 miles away.
My dad tells a story about skiing with his sister Marian holding onto tow ropes, while their mother drove down the deserted Edward Hines Parkway.
I recall wading through waist deep snow to take cookie orders for my girl scout troop. The pity factor was in my favor. I sold over 100 boxes.
Near the Horse race track, the local recreation dept. flooded the small parking lot to form an ice skating rink. It had lighting for skating after dark.My whole family skated. I was embarrassed because I had hand me down hockey skates. My skates were black instead of the white figure skates like the other girls wore. To get them to fit, I had to wear two pairs of heavy socks.
There were several sledding hills in the parkway. My favorite was at the end of Eaton drive. If you slid too far the hill ended at a spring that never froze. The water hazard lent excitement to the run.
The parkway also boasted a toboggan run. Whole families would race down the steep hill, to slide into hay bales to help them stop.
The former site of a tuberculosis treatment center became the Mayberry State Park. The wooded paved paths were perfect for cross country skiing. I would drive to the park to ski from the staff entrance. Often ,I would have the park to myself in the early dawn.
This year, people can take walks without worries about slipping on the ice and snow. Perhaps there is some truth to global warning.
Alone with Myself
Morning sun broke over a sparkle filled woods.
Carrying my poles and skis, I searched for a place to sit.
A long fallen trunk offered a purchase.
Jamming my poles into the drift, I slipped on one ski then the other.
I stood with the help of the poles, ready to push off.
The rhythm of the skis gliding made a soft swish in the quiet of the day.
My mind was free to ponder as long trained muscles took up the remembered cadence of moving.
I saw the low hanging branch and swerved to the right.
Snow and ice crackled underfoot as I crested the rise.
Tucking my poles under my arms, I raced down the hill to the pond.
The clear, smooth surface called to me.
I turned away fearing I would break through.
Instead, I rested to let my breathing slow and listen to the sound of my pulse in my ears.
Worried thinking vanished as I joined nature awakening to the sunrise.
I breathed long gulps of chilly air.
Renewed in body, mind and spirit.
Carolaspot@aol.com copyright 1-23-2023