Thursday, December 29, 2011

I'm So Blue (as in COLD...not sad!)

If you've been paying attention, you may have noticed that it's been several months, one hurricane, and one freak October snowstorm since I last posted on this blog.

There are several reasons for my absence.

First, the Streetleague Skateboarding competition was AWESOME!  So awesome, in fact, that I had tons I wanted to say about it and a gazillion photos to post.  But Hurricane Irene arrived and our power went out (along with most of the Northeast), and by the time our power was restored, I couldn't recreate the post I had been planning.  Then, after an unexpected one week delay, school began, and suddenly I was too busy (and too tired) to write.  And one thing led to another, and I fell out of the habit, and suddenly this blog was in serious need of updating...

And then Sk8terdude took a tumble on the last run of a beautiful blue sky morning at Jennings Beach and suddenly we were out of skating for a few weeks while he nursed a broken thumb...and before he could fully recover from the thumb, he fell going UP the stairs at our house...and broke a toe...and he broke it in such a way that he couldn't put weight on it, which meant yet another cast, and crutches, and by the time we were done (last week), he had been out of skating for three entire months.

So I haven't had much to say...until today.

It's holiday time and school is out of session and I promised Sk8terdude he could get back into the parks with some serious board time.  But with Vertigo and Haven both out of business, Connecticut in the cold weather is not exactly a skater's paradise.  So Sk8terdad took him over to 2nd Nature the other day for a few hours and then I packed up and made the trip to New Jersey for two days of indoor skating.  (Why New Jersey?  Free lodging courtesy of Sk8tergrandma!)

Yesterday I spent 3 1/2 hours at Shields Skatepark in Flemington, New Jersey.  With approximately 18,000 square feet of space, the park was a great place for an extended session - for Sk8terdude.  For me, not so much.

The "parent lounge" (and I use the term VERY loosely) consisted of a few tables and some metal folding chairs just outside the fence that keeps the skaters separated from the skateshop, hallway, bathrooms, etc.  Since the space isn't separated, it's maintained at the same temperature as the rest of the park which, yesterday, was just barely above 50 degrees fahrenheit.

If you've never spent a few hours sitting on a cold metal chair in that temperature, without a coat, hat, or gloves, well, I don't recommend you try it.  Even the mom who DID have a hat and gloves left to drive over to Wal-Mart (conveniently around the corner) so she could buy warmer socks.  For the first time in my life, I truly understood the phrase "catch a chill."

It took HOURS for me to thaw.  Seriously.  And that was after riding in a car for 45 minutes with the heat cranked all the way up to 75 and the heat seater on high and several more hours in the house with the heat at a normal temperature and at least an hour in bed under two blankets and a comforter.

And just when I thought I had finally defrosted, we arrived - today - at our second destination:  GardenSk8.

This is our second trip to GardenSk8, but our first since they expanded, adding a second section which Sk8terdude assures me is "sick!"  Last time we were here it was during a horrible ice storm, but we took refuge up the road, visiting Sk8tercousins who live nearby.  Today I thought I would just unpack the laptop, settle into the sofa, and get some work done.

Yeah, right.

Because once again I am freezing my you-know-what off...

My nose is running, I can no longer feel my toes (and I am wearing a thick pair of socks), and in between sentences I have to put on a pair of gloves and wait until my fingers are warm enough to keep typing.

I asked the guy (owner? manager?? dude hanging out in the office???) - only sort of joking - if they didn't have a space heater or something they could rent out to the frozen parents suffering on the sofas.  And he seriously thought I was out of my mind.

Okay, I understand that they can't afford to heat the entire warehouse to a comfortable temperature for sitting around and, even if they could, it would be too warm for the sweaty skaters.

But here's what I don't understand.  In order to survive, all skateparks have to hope that new generations of kids learn to skate.  And until those kids are old enough to drive, the skateparks have to depend on parents willing to drive them.  And for those of us who need to wait while our kids are skating (either because we live too far away or because our kids are too young to be dropped off and left on their own), we would appreciate just a little consideration!

I'd be much more likely to stay longer, visit more often, and spend more money at a park that at least pretended to care about my comfort.  A simple space heater would do the trick (and at this rate I might invest in my own and bring it with me in the future)...even a blanket would be nice....

Is it too much to ask?

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