We just had our first real snow fall a few days ago, so winter is here.  And that got me thinking.  Because I remember when I was a kid I could not wait for the first real snow fall to happen each year.  And the reason for this was, because I liked skating.  I liked sledding but I liked skating more.  It was always I couldn’t wait until the ground was totally solid and just ice.  I remember one year asking my mom, “can I put my skates on today?” and she would say no not yet.  The ice of the ground wasn’t formed yet.  And I’d ask her for two or three days until finally she’d say yes, it’s good now.  I didn’t understand at the time why I had to wait.  But she later told me that if I went skating too early, my skates would get stuck in the padded down snow and I could hurt myself.  And I actually tried it once and realized that she was telling me the truth because I had a terrible time skating.  It wasn’t fun.  And I remember that Dorothy Hamill was big at the time and I’d watch her skate on television and I wanted to be as good as she was.  I wanted to learn the turns, flips and twirls she did on the ice.  She was mesmerizing on ice, to me.  But in all honesty, I was never that good at it.  It’s funny now but back then I was totally and utterly serious.  I never completely learned how to skate backwards properly, some thing I desperately wanted to learn but my legs wouldn’t cooperate with me.  And so by the time I was thirteen, I gave up.  And I lost interest and gained interest elsewhere, as teens do.  But that’s what first snow reminds me of.  The girl who wanted to be like Dorothy Hamill.