February 1, 2009

Skating At Penn's Landing

It was quite chilly at Penn's Landing yesterday, ice skating at a rink on the river.
It was "The Blue Cross/Blue Shield ice rink," which I thought extremely a propos since I fully expected I'd be using our BCBS card later on that evening at the ER. I tore my cartilage bowling, what kind of damage should I expect from this outing? I kept wondering, in the name of all that's Dorothy Hamill.
Here's Stan and Sean holding each other up below.
I'm no dummy. I only relinquished custody of my camera while I was standing still.
Below is Seth and his friend racing by. We went with two other families who had planned the trip and asked us along because it was my birthday and they wanted to remind me that my body is in desperate need of attention or I will be falling completely apart before my next one. My shin muscles, my feet, my butt and my ego got the message loud and clear.
Lukey's long skinny ankles didn't last long in those hard plastic ice skate boots, but there was hot chocolate inside.

Notice where the photographer is standing - on the rubber mat outside the rink. I found that standing on ice in boots with a blade on the bottom is very slippery.

Here's Mr. B challenging Seth to a throwing match. Every time they threw a big chunk of ice a seagull swooped in and tried to capture it.

The ole Ben Franklin. Walt Whitman is south of the city. I love that the two bridges to the city are Whitman and Franklin, I love those guys. I loved reading Ben's autobiography while I was deep into the whole homeschooling thing, I loved singing Walt's Song of Democracy in All-State chorus in high school (I'm singing it now while creating this post, over and over again) and I love how their spans let us out of New Jersey once in a while.
'Round the time our feet were crying like kites in an electical storm and our stomachs were writing poetry about hamburgers and fries, we all gathered on the Delaware and walked over the highway in search of a warm place that would feed us heartily. All 13 of us, 3 to 49.

Our story at Mad River pub is a long and sordid one involving tired rambunctous little tots flinging pretzel nuggets, teen girls getting indignant at the twenty-some year old girls giving them nasty looks from across the way, Sean clearing out that end of the group with his intestinal issues, wrong orders, our friend peeking into the kitchen to see where our order was because the one and only waitress in the joint was stuck behind a crowded bar and we were stuck with the above issues while our food was stuck in the kitchen with no one to carry it out. Soon the cook, Stan and John were making a line from the kitchen to the tables carrying our food to the hungry masses and the cook ended up getting the hearty tip while the waitress whined "It's never this busy in here!!!!" Hey, the chicken wings were the best I've ever had and they gave us all the drinks on the house! Go to Mad River by the river. It's...interesting.

Song of Arnica

There is an herb called Arnica that comes in gel or cream form. If it's applied very soon after muscle strain, bruise or injury it can diminish the problem before it even gets started. Hence, I was able to walk today, the first day of my 45th year.

Song of Democracy:

An old man's thoughts of school,
An old man's gathering youthful memories and
blooms that youth itself cannot.
Now only do I know You,
O fair auroral skies - O morning dew upon the grass!
And these I see, these sparkling eyes,
These stores of mystic meaning, these young lives,
Building, equipping like a fleet of ships, immortal ships,
Soon to sail out over the measureless seas,
On the soul's voyage.
Only a lot of boys and girls?
Only the tiresome spelling, writing, ciphering classes?
Only a public school?
Ah more, infinitely more.
And you America,
Cast you the real reckoning for your present?
The lights and shadows of your future, good or evil?
To girlhood, boyhood look, the teacher and the school.
Sail, Sail thy best, ship of Democracy,
Of value is thy freight, 'tis not the present only,
The Past is also stored in thee.
Thou holdest not the venture of thyself alone,
not of thy Western continent alone.
Earth's resume entire floats on thy keel, O ship,
is steadied by thy spars,
With thee Time voyages in trust, the antecedent
nations sink or swim with thee.
With all their ancient struggles, martyrs, heroes,
epics, wars, thou bear'st the other continents,
Theirs, theirs as much as thine, the destination -
port triumphant;
Steer then with good strong hand and wary eye
O helmsman, thou carriest great companions,
Venerable priestly Asia sails this day with thee,
And royal feudal Europe sails with thee.
And royal feudal Europe sails with thee.

by Walt Whitman (1819-1892) , from "An Old Man's Thoughts of School", written for the inauguration of a Public School, Camden, New Jersey, 1874


Mom said...

Happy birthday. Looks like a cold, wonderful day full of happy memories.

Paul Nichols said...

Well, I forgot your birthday is about now. Happy birthday, Mija.

I quit having birthdays. This Friday I will celebrate the 27th anniversary of my 39th birthday. My brother will celebrate his on the 4th. We're going to a fancy-schmancy restaurant where the cost of a meal per person begins with the Number 5.

This was a good and warm post.

rosemary said...

Happy, happy Jennie...good to see your family fun and celebration...did you do lunch/dinner/drinks with the girls?

Lea said...

Love the pictures.... and the smiles... Love you!!!