This is exactly where all the action is right now. On a thirty by fifty foot sheet of ice, just outside our door.
It's been a labor of love by Calvin and Steve, made especially tricky by the snow and cold temperatures that this winter seems to be missing. But nevertheless, it did eventually get up and running, this backyard ice rink of theirs. (They built up the side "banks" with snow, and laid down a 9mm sheet of plastic before filling it with a layer of water.)
They're out there just as much as they can be. In all combinations of children, at all skill levels, with any friend they can convince to join them, and at any time of day. Ballet on ice, hockey on ice, tag on ice - you name it. Their favorite is skating by headlamp after dinner. I joined them for the full moon evening skatefest this week, and oh, it really was lovely. The bright moon, the crisp air, the sound of those skates on ice.
I must confess, though, that I haven't been on the ice this year. I much prefer the softer-landing onto snow that cross-country skiing provides when I inevitably fall. Besides, someone has to be the one to make all the popcorn and hot cocoa that's required by such a sport as this, yes? And put the skates on, and take them off, and warm up fingers and toes that come in. And if I'm very, very lucky, everyone will be content on ice - or watching those on ice - just long enough for me to cheer happily from where I sit, knitting just a row or two.
Yes, we all quite like this backyard skating.