view counter

Our Creek Passed the Ice Test

I have told my children many stories about the way life in Annapolis was back in the 1960s and ’70s. I grew up in a neighborhood where there was water access at the head of a creek: Romar Drive on Aberdeen Creek. I remember catching crabs off the community pier pilings the first week we lived here. When I caught my first doubler, I was shown the difference between a male and a female. “You can’t keep the female. You have to put her back so we can have more crabs next year.” I was told this by another 10-year-old.
    During the decade from the winter of 1967–’68 through 1977–’78, it seemed like we had sufficient ice in our creek to skate most years. The parents in the community had strict rules for their children to keep off the ice until there was six to eight inches. We had to stay where the median high water was no more than four feet. We had to have a minimum of three people. We were told what to do if there was an emergency. We had basic safety equipment on hand such as a rope, ladder and plywood.
    Once the ice was thick enough, we would clear a rectangle out of the snow and play ice hockey.
    Each year we would hand down or exchange our skates with neighbors to find a pair that fit. If there was a pair needed, my mom would go down to the West Street Goodwill and find a pair that fit.
    On February 23, 2015, our creek at Martin’s Cove passed the test. We had enough ice, school was closed and we had a recent snow. I told the kids that with the extended forecast, the next few days would be our only chance for 2015. My kids joined me in clearing a rectangle and called their friends for some ice hockey. We had a blast and ended the afternoon with s’mores around the fire pit.

–Mike Strandquist, Annapolis