Having a Red-Cheeked Day of Cold and Loving It

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Skating on Puddle Duck Pond


Sometimes we need those days where we feel nine years old, where we are blown away by life and its majesty, where we grab our skates and go skating beneath the bright blue skies, where we have a red cheeked day of cold and frigid knowing we are wearing flannel lined khakis with the sweater we knit years ago and skate and skate and skate.

On Saturday, 8 January, I went to bed knowing I’d had a carpe freaking diem day…where I skated at Puddle Duck Pond in Portsmouth, had thrown my blades in my bag and had my daughter drive me to the beautiful outdoor rink knowing I had laundry at home, dusty bureaus, untouched papers to grade.

But it’s vital to carpe, musers, carpe, carpe, carpe. So I laced up my skates and glided for hours on the ice, listening to music, moving,moving, moving, celebrating the ice blue sky, feeling the sun on my face, grateful to be alive, to be healthy, to move, to move, to move.

Susan Dromey Heeter

It’s the beginning of my second go-round of the 1000 Hours Outside challenge. It’s a site that encourages everyone to get outside, to get off screens, to spend more time beneath the sky, the stars, the sun, the moon. (www.1000hoursoutside.com) I’ve started to keep my chart and yesterday was a great day. I walked all over Portsmouth after my skate, ate a grilled cheese from Bennett’s Sandwich Shop with salt and vinegar chips and a Diet Coke. Brilliant. The sun was so warm, I was gloriously hungry from all that skating, grateful to be outside, outside, outside.

And then I took the bus back from Portsmouth to Dover and walked home.  I felt nine as I was reminded of  when my friend Joan and I would skate at Porter Lake in Springfield, Mass.’ Forest Park and often take the Sumner Allen Bus to venture around the city.

It was good to be nine yesterday, to carpe the hell out of this life that can be overshadowed by Covid. Not yesterday, C-19, no power over the outside, no power over ice skating, no power over living a wonderful life.

So, dear musers, if you can, get your skates sharpened, take the bus, get outside.  Carpe the  F – out of this day. Start keeping your own 1000 Hours Outside Chart, your 31 December self will thank you profusely. And skate on, dear musers, skate on.

Susan Dromey Heeter is a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white. Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.  Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards.

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