Photo Credit: IPFW ContentDM
I looked far and wide for a picture of the Reservoir Park Ice Skating Pond - the one that *I knew* and experienced however, I didn't have any pictures in my own collection and a web search yielded very few results.
I picked this picture (yes, even though it is from almost 100 years ago) because it comes close to how I remember the place that my mother used to take me and my sister skating to. I remember the "big hill" (which is what I called it), the crowds of people (young and not so young), and the odd shape of the ice pond. I even had my own pair of ice skates! No rentals for me!
I've never talked to my mom about Reservoir Park - if she went there often as a child - but I got the distinct feeling that she had been there a lot. She was very comfortable with where everything was and when we first stepped out on the ice (one hand each in her hands), I felt like I was with a pro.
She glided across the pond with ease. Me - not so much. I fell. Lots of times. She would tell me - Kris, you need to bend your knees a little bit. Don't stand so stiff. It's advice my husband STILL repeats today and advice that my body still ignores (thus the number of times I still manage to land on my butt - not while ice skating but while navigating the ice outdoors). By the way - my sister Patty was a pro also. She's always been WAY more coordinated than me. Ice skating, gymnastics, cheerleading. Yep. She inherited my mom's coordination gene.
When I think about Reservoir Park and ice skating with my mom and sister, I am reminded of something that I purposely ignored in my teen years (and later in my adult life).
My mom - who had me when she was seventeen - no high school diploma - second child within 11 months of me - married to a man who didn't have a high school diploma and many times - not even employed - worked at KMart and at other places...well...she really did a lot for me and my sister. She made sure that we experienced Fort Wayne - probably - in all of the ways that she had. But of course she was working with a budget of practically ZERO.
And for that, I am grateful. Even if I forget to tell her :).