Jim and I both have many fond memories of skating when we were children. Jim remembers skating with his cousins at his grandparent's farm. I remember several open winters growing up that allowed my brothers and I to spend long spans of time skating on ponds and even a section of river. Skating conjures up good memories for both of us. I think that is what prompted Jim to devise how we could have a pond on our property for skating some years ago. The back end of our large field is quite swampy so he figured it might be a good place for a shallow pond. An excavator was hired and a shallow pond was dug. Jim figured a 3 foot deep pond would be a good, safe way since the primary purpose of it was for skating.
We have had plenty of problems with our pond. After the ice froze, I went down and chopped down the cattails that had grown up over the summer. We just don't get down there in the summer to take care of it as we should.
Sometimes it's hard for the edges to freeze well. It's difficult to get a water source to refreeze the top to make good ice. Lots of things have been tried: chopping a hole in the ice and pumping water up to cover the ice and refreeze. That didn't work because there is not a constant water source moving through all the time. Jim keeps working at figuring out a good solution. He has so many iron in the fire as it is and it takes a lot of time to keep the pond up. Our sleigh rides and cabin rentals are sporadic and weather dependent. Sometimes we wonder if it's worth the time and effort it takes.
But then we remember all the ways the pond and cabin have been used to make memories. Last year a local photographer hired Jim, the horses and the cabin for the day and had a photo shoot. She used the ice as a back drop and took a lot of beautiful pictures for families. We have had groups from church come and spend the afternoon playing on the ice. Jim placed a roller he had from the sawmill at the edge of the pond and kids have had fun rolling down onto the ice with sleds. Our family has had quite a few family gatherings there over the years. It is heartwarming to see families out playing together in the good, fresh air. Our cabin guest book logs family names and groups with comments of times and experiences that were had at the pond. Talk of pondside bonfires, marshmallows and hot dogs, skating and being together. It's satisfying to be able to offer a place for people to be together and just have fun. It makes the effort worth it and gives motivation for us to keep going. I guess the moral of the story is, somethings in life are worth the effort and we just have to keep plugging along!
This is a picture of the back of the woodshed used to house wood for the bonfires.