Sunday, November 14, 2010

Rubber Ice

The first year I was away from home in the 50's two little boys in our hamlet went through the ice on a pond next to the railroad station. One died. My brother Ken, there at the time, raced to the station and called my dad who ran out with a rake and walked into the icy pond and remained for many minutes, to try to probe and find the body in time. He never succeeded. In a small town like ours there were no ambulance persons, or rescue, or police. People did what they could. It was a tragedy! The pond was covered by rubber ice at the time of the drowning. Children, despite warnings, are impatient to play pond hockey. In many small towns, pond hockey is a necessity, not a choice! Rubber ice announces it's presence when you step on it. It groans and moans and squeaks! It also undulates as it speaks to you. Being impatient and failing to heed the warning sounds were drummed into us over and over again but the tendency for the adventuresome is to "try it out". It's a bit like life in general isn't it? There are always those who think they may get away with skating on thin ice and there are those who always wear both a belt and suspenders so they will never get caught with their pants down. Standing on rubber ice is fatal. At the first sound, getting down on your knees or better still on your belly will distribute the weight over a much larger ice area and save your life. People rescuing can put a plank or a ladder out to you to rescue you! There always has to be the first person singular to "try it out". It's inevitable and necessary when it's thoughtful! Let's just say, no matter what, plan B should have both belt and suspenders! When trapped on rubber ice, never jump, kneel, crawl and slither! Provide tough love for your kids!

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