The simpler things in life should be the most precious, and most memorable.
While shopping at a yard sale the other day, I stumbled upon a treasure: A pair of vintage metal roller skates.
Remember those, or did I just give away how ancient I really am? The metal kind that required a universal key to adjust them so they would fit on your shoes.
Back in the day, a kid was considered "uptown" if they had a pair of those!
With the advent of the warm temperatures of summer, the sidewalks in Carbon were filled with kids clattering and clanking their way back and forth on those rickety skates.
At 8-years-old in 1973, I was one of them. Even have a few scars from taking a tumble or two because of the sidewalk cracks all these years later. (Wow, that was almost 37 years ago! I am ancient.)
However, I borrowed the skates I wore from friends. BUT, I had my own key!
That was crucial, because, well, you couldn't change the skates to fit your shoes without that key.
There's something about the motion and wind in your face on a hot summer day that makes a kid dream of other places, the adventurous future that lies ahead.
If you let yourself, you could imagine going a 100 miles an hour, dancing in a cool roller disco or racing to save the day. The sky was the limit of your imagination.
In the summer of 1975, I got my first pair of metal skates. They were slightly used, but they were mine. (Thanks Grandpa Lashbrook.) The same key I had worn around my neck all that time worked on the new pair. I had two keys! Talk about being uptown!
While my friends and I enjoyed a fun-filled summer on wheels, it was tough on the Band-Aid supply around our houses.
So, at the urging of my mother and grandmother, Santa Claus brought me a new pair of roller skates for Christmas. They were white leather boots with pink laces and white wheels. No more key was needed.
A new door also opened with the arrival of my new gift. Instead of rolling around on the cracked sidewalk, I got to venture out onto the smooth pavement of our street.
Looking back now, I find it funny to think I was told to go play in the street.
But it wasn't as bad as present readers might think.
Carbon was a quiet, small community. It wasn't unusual for older kids to play in the streets. There was no traffic during the afternoon because everyone was at work, and us older kids were expected to keep an eye on the "little ones."
Locust Street in Carbon was filled with roller skaters, skate boarders and bicycles.
With a transistor radio playing on the porch, I rolled up and down the street in front of our house learning how to skate backwards, spin around real fast, jump over things and dance with my fellow "roller buddies."
At night, the aches and pains in my legs and the blisters on my feet were well worth the fun I had.
The last time I put on a pair of roller skates was in the 1990s. And while I couldn't remember how to fluently move on eight wheels like all those years ago, I can proudly say I didn't fall down. (Hurt like Hades the next morning, but it was still worth it.)
At 46, hate to admit it, but I'm a little leery of lacing up and hitting the pavement again. In all my years, I haven't broken a bone to date.
As I held the old roller skates in my hand, I couldn't help but wonder.
Would it be worth it to feel that joy one more time?
They were only a $1. Not a bad price to pay to relive a memory, is it?
Roller skating is a great way to exercise, I reasoned. I need to exercise more.
Just as I was about to show my treasure to my husband, the person holding the yard sale walked by me.
"Man, those things were fun," she said with a laugh. "But they sure knocked me on my butt a lot. Wouldn't want to wear them at my age today. Guess you don't think about things like that when you're a kid, huh?"
In a flash, reality took over and being a responsible adult ultimately won out. I put the skates down and walked away... with a smile on my face.
One of the treats my roller buddies enjoyed was a glass of Orange-Aid and a homemade oatmeal raisin cookie.
3/4-cup butter, softened
3/4-cup white sugar
3/4-cup packed light brown sugar
1-teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-teaspoon baking soda
3/4-teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 3/4 cups rolled oats
1-cup of your choice of nuts
Cream together the butter, white and brown sugars in a large bowl until smooth before adding the eggs and vanilla. Mix until light and fluffy. Sift together dry ingredients in a separate bowl before gradually adding them into the butter mixture. Don't overwork the dough; it will make the cookies tough.
Add the oats, raisins and nuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets, making sure they are far enough apart to not running into each other during the baking process. Sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon and sugar on top before cooking.
Bake 8--10 minutes in the preheated 350-degree oven, or until golden brown. Remove from oven to cool slightly before moving onto a wire rack to cool completely.
NOTE: I do recommend watching your cookies closely while baking in the oven. Many ovens, because of age or heavy usage, have different temperatures than what the dial might read and/or hot spots within the unit that will burn food rather than bake it the way you want.
HINT: If your oven gets the better of your cookies while baking, don't fret over a slightly burnt bottom!
After letting the cookies cool on a rack a few minutes, yet they are still warm to the touch, use a butter knife to scrape the burned portion off the bottom. You might destroy a couple of cookies to start with, but once you've gotten the feel for doing this, you can "clean" the cookies so well, people won't realize what happened. If you still feel the cookies look bad, slather on some icing and make sandwich cookies!