Thursday, June 28, 2007

Z is for Zamboni

Only four more days. The ice rink opens July 2 for six weeks.

I have been awaiting this day since they melted the ice mid-March, turning the space into an indoor soccer field. I miss skating. And I have never, ever ice skated in summer. What does one wear for a 50- to 75-degree differential?

This past year, ice skating proved to be the most wonderful break from my NordicTrack workouts. I would skate for one hour solid, then make myself go back to my workday, as with any other workout.

I am not any good. I can skate forward, fairly quickly, without falling. Occasionally, Fat Red Ant (remember her?) skates with me. Fat Red Ant used to teach figure skating. Chick can jump if she wants to. Someday maybe I’ll get up the nerve to let her really teach me how to skate backward.

The only time last winter that I didn’t get my full hour in was the day the ice was so beat up that rink officials felt they had to stop the action and bring out the Zamboni. I was only 10 minutes out, maybe, from the end of my hour, and I could have stayed, watched, and made up that time on the newly glassed surface. But I’m a boring, working-class adult who really didn’t have time, who honestly needed to move on and get to work, who needed to count her blessings that she had enough control over her tight schedule to get to the rink in the first place.

So it’s been years since I’ve watched a Zamboni (or its generic equivalent, the ice resurfacing machine) at work. And because I now have a second opportunity to use the word squeegee (see end of previous post, “Y is for Yesterday”), I would like to note that a Zamboni shaves the ice, dumps some water on it, then smooths it with a squeegee.

Skating out onto that smoothness is a joy, and I had many opportunities last season to be part of the deflowering of virgin (or nearly so) ice—even though I hadn’t seen the Zamboni make it so.

And here’s a bit of Alphabird trivia: I have a friend who has a sailboat christened Zamboni, a boat that has often been his Baltimore address.

Four more days. I can just hear that Zamboni engine turning over.


Deloney said...

Eckie Driesal (remember Eckie Driesal?) was the best skater I ever knew.

It's sad to reach the end of the alphabet.

Helen said...

Did I ever mention that one of my dreams to is drive a zamboni?

Helen said...

PS What kind of ice rink opens in July?!

Indigo Bunting said...

D: I do! He's got the name I love... and he can skate too? Dreamy.

Stay tuned.

H: I am officially in awe of you.

And an indoor rink is the answer to that question.

If it had been open two days ago, they would have had to physically remove me.