Clinging to the Ledge

I went ice skating for the first time on Monday. Well, I tried to ice skate at least. For a gal who has very little coordination, I was simply thrilled to stand up in the skates. I was pulled toward the rink, where kids and adults flew past me in effortless abandon. It took me back to junior high, when I’d tried to roller skate. It wasn’t a good memory. Balance is not my strong point.ImageI slipped into the rink. Slipped, yes. I held onto the side of the rink. There was a narrow–I wouldn’t call it a rail–edge of the wall just below the plexiglass. I think I made claw marks.

I froze. My legs would not move.This is impossible, I thought. I am going to die. Those were my thoughts. I’m not ashamed to admit it. Much.

I looked at my daughter, holding onto the puny ledge ahead of me. She looked back and grinned. “Come on, Mom!” she encouraged.

If she could cling to the sides and find joy in it, then certainly I could make myself do something. I pushed my heavy foot forward. Both feet decided to slide around.

Yep, I’m going to die. More claw marks. More petrification.

I looked up to see daughter number two a quarter of the way around the ledge. She was a pro in my eyes. My other daughter was waiting for me. “Are you coming?” she asked.

‘No,’ I wanted to say. ‘I’m high-tailing it back to the warmth of the snack counter.’ Then I looked toward the snack counter and met my husband’s eyes. They were laughing eyes. That irked me. He wasn’t even getting on the rink! How dare he laugh at me? That’s when I decided I would skate. I would skate plastered to the ledge for one whole lap.

I’ll show him, I thought.

So, around the rink I dragged myself, gripping the ledge for dear life and moving with snail-like velocity. Then the inevitable happened: I found someone as terrified as I was. She was moving in the opposite direction.

“It seems we’ve come to an impasse,” I said, looking at her–the fear on her face mirroring my own. You might be wondering why I made such a stupid observation, oozing with social ineptness. She didn’t. She could care less what I’d said.

“I’m horrified,” she got out.

I tried to nod in understanding and almost lost my balance. I backed up until she could reach an exit, looking forward to using the grooves her nails had etched in the ledge. I felt like a hero when she escaped.

I met a man on the other side of the glass who kept thwacking his knee. “My knee is fine!” I assured him, but he couldn’t hear me. I finally realized, halfway around the rink, he was trying to tell me to bend my knees. I tried it. I almost died.

But I made it. And would you believe I kept going? I slip-skate-slid around the rink five times. I even let go of the ledge for short, slippery intervals. My girls skated around and across the rink. They were my heroes.

I want to go back.

photo credit: <a href=””>Anomalily</a&gt; via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>cc</a&gt;

Here’s the Catch…

You guys know I love to cook. My daughter likes to cook with me. So, when a program came up to learn more about cooking for the girls in our church, I thought she would love it. Her twin sister wasn’t so enthused.20130604b20130604d

One of the criteria in the program was to gather 100 recipes for a personal cookbook by asking members of the congregation to contribute. Here’s the funny thing: My not-really-into-cooking daughter excelled at this. Her apron-donning sister, on the other hand, hardly collected any. Why? It was all about talking to folks. She said it was too embarrassing and hard to go up to people and ask for recipes. She’s good at cooking, but that wasn’t what she needed to succeed in the program.

This is so much like the writer’s dilemma! Joshua A. Sipper discusses the things a writer has to do to in his post, Life of a Non-Salesman, and gives some great tips to help a writer get his/her work out there. The bottom line: It takes more to excel as a writer than writing the story. Hey, we all know this! Unfortunately, that doesn’t prompt me to leap out there and take risks. Rather, I’m like my daughter, stepping back and shaking my head.

“You’re ruining the joy!” I wanted to say to the cooking program creators. “Why can’t you just let her cook?” But that wasn’t the sole purpose of the program, and we had to reevaluate.

It’s the same with writing. Every time I get to the point where my craft requires me to do something I absolutely hate, I have to remind myself, “Why I am doing this? What will I get out of this? Is it worth the end result?”

The answer is it’s worth it because it means more opportunities to write, which is all I want to do!

Lost in the Move

Doesn’t it feel great when you’re unpacking a box and you reach in to find the box is empty? That you unpacked it all? Yeah, I start humming, “Another One Bites the Dust.” Of course, there are about 5 bazillion more to go, but that’s okay because I am so in love with my new house! The storage and rooms are smaller. I’m finding that’s a good thing. I’m having to declutter. Be warned: I’ll probably go rogue for a few posts and tell you some neat little tricks I found for saving space. I might find it on Pinterest. (Did I really break down and join Pinterest after that rant about ridiculous Pinteresters? Yes, says the ridiculous Pinterester.)

Trashing all the things I didn’t have the courage to trash before is quickly becoming my favorite perk of this move. You know, like that book about how to decorate your entire house using nothing but household junk, such as gum wrappers, lens caps, and old toothpaste tubes. Okay, so I made that up. But I bet a book like that would sell! And someone would end up giving it to me for Christmas. Seriously, though, there are things people have given to me—which I do not intend to name because some of those people read this blog…or so they say—that I chucked during this move. I cannot tell you the freedom I felt when those things hit the wastebasket. It’s the whole “I’m never gonna do that! And as long as I have that [name of item concealed to protect me, the culprit], it will dangle in my brain as that completely useless project that I, maybe, should’ve done but never did!” I know this is totally me. No one else has niggling reminders all over the house that they never get around to.

The beauty of tossing these things is, if someone asks, “Hey, what happened to that electric ponytail holder stretcher I gave you?” I can say, “Um… I think that must’ve gotten lost in the move.” And it’s totally true! It was trying to make its way over and took a detour to the local dump instead. It’s in ponytail holder heaven now.

Well, I better get back to the boxes. They seem to multiply when I’m not looking.

2014-01-07 12.36.22P.S. Here’s the view of the backyard from my desk. Do you see houses? Me neither. I feel spoiled. The kids said they heard a rooster crow this morning. That could be interesting.