When you're a child, the frigid winter air doesn't seem to bother us as much as when we get older. Growing up in Chicago, with the city's famous cold, windy winters just meant lots of fun. We would get our sleds and travel miles on frozen streets pretending that we were in Alaska. Those were the years that the TV program North to Alaska was popular.
We always worked diligently every fall preparing the empty lot on our block to become the best ice skating rink we could imagine. We leveled the ground and built borders to keep the water contained. At the first mention of frost, we dragged out garden hoses and started filling our hole. With any luck, it would freeze evenly and our world would be transformed. We were no longer inner city kids...we were out in the wide open spaces, letting our imaginations run wild as we flew across our rink. I was always a famous Ice Capades star. The boys played hockey. We would build our version of an igloo and store our thermoses of hot chocolate in it. Our Moms never worried about us, they knew we were safe in our play and imagination. We would stay out until, one by one, Mothers would call out our names to come home, time for dinner. I have wonderful memories of growing up in a safe world, no ipods or computers or gameboys, just some frozen water and hot chocolate.