Andrea goes ice skating:online short story

Light hoiuse, Canal Park Duluth.
Light hoiuse, Canal Park Duluth. | Source

Winter in Duluth 1894

Andrea picked up her ice skates and glanced at her reflection in the mirror on her dresser. She had just splurged ten dollars on this winter coat and hat. That was over a fourth of her monthly wages. . The coat and hat were a bit expensive but she still allowed herself a bit of vanity in how well they looked on her. Just a slip of her golden blond hair showed below the hat on her forehead. She wore the fine boots that her brother, the shoemaker in Bock, Minnesota, made for her. The tan coat with brown trim went well with her light skin and blue eyes. She allowed her self just a bit of vanity for how a bit of understated style made her look. Besides she was sort of celebrating that her employer was pleased with her work as a housekeeper and giving her some time tending the reception desk It was pleasant meeting the new hotel guests checking in.

She would send another ten dollars to her mother back in Sweden. Her mother had more of a struggle than she would admit to get by on the little farm by herself. She did get some help from Andreas brother Alfred. He is such a fine young man, Andrea was thinking. He now owns a small store in the village She was proud of him


Sidewalks of New York

Her reflections were interrupted by a knock on the door. Karolina, her new friend was there to go skating as they both had the afternoon off. “What a nice hat,” Karolina exclaimed. “The boys will all have their eyes on you.”

“Don’t talk nonsense. They never look at me when you are there. They like that long black hair of yours. Especially when you flash those brown eyes of yours.

”Truthfully in a town filled with single young men both young women attracted attention..

“I heard about you facing down that mob awhile back,” Karolina said.

“It was not a big thing. Anyhow it was Roel’s fault using his pulpit for his own gain.”

“Was he a friend of yours?”

“Not exactly,” Andrea replied. She explained that he was the son of the minister in their village back in Sweden. The clergy are in a higher social class than we were.”

“Then it was brave of you to tell him off as well as the people who threatened him.”

“Oh, not so much.”

They got to the frozen pond which was crowded with skaters. The air was crisp with a bright sun shining off the blue ice. The girls got their skates on and slipped into the flow of skaters. Andrea was energized by warmth of the increased activity. She started singing the newly popular song “The Sidewalks of New York.”

“East side, west side,” she heard a clear male voice close to her. She looked in the direction of the voice and found a handsome young man skating next to her. My he has the nicest brown hair and brown eyes, she thought. She smiled shyly at him and continued skating.


“You skate well,” he said,” when they finished the song. Sing well too”

“Likewise, young sir.”

“Have you ever been to New York?” he asked.

“No, but it is a nice song and the rhythm is good for skating.”

“Shall we sing it again?”

They fell into the rhythm of the song and their skating became like a dance.. Somehow Andrea found herself holding his hand and became lost in the song and the rhythm of the movement across the ice. When they finished singing they slowed the pace of skating. “Have you been skating long?” he asked.

“In our village we learn young,” she replied.

“And where is that?”

“I came here from Sweden last year. Already, I feel more American, than Swedish.”

“You speak good English. Like you belong here.”

“And how about you?”

“I was born here, but my family came from Canada. We’re part French and not sure what other nationalities.. Say, aren’t you the girl that confronted that angry bunch of people the other day?”

“That was nothing. None of them really knew why they were there. They needed somebody to tell them what to do, or not to do. Cowards really.”

“Are you close to the young man they were after?”

“We come from the same village. In Sweden the church is important, like part of the government. The local pastor is like a government official. The get a salary from the government. Among other things they come to our houses and teach us to read, mostly the Bible. Sometimes we wonder weather they serve god of the government. Out Pastor was a good man and respected. He often brought his son with him. His son is Roald, the young man we are talking about. “


“I understand you had some sharp words for him too. Is he so very bad?”

“We grew up in the same village. I always thought him arrogant and pompous and I haven‘t changed my mind. He is smart but he has to always show off that he is.. He says he is starting a new ministry because he differs with Martin Luther’s theology. Frankly I think the seminary gave him the boot.

“Isn’t that him skating with your friend?”

Andrea looked to see Karolina hand in hand with Roald. “ Come, let’s go see Karolina.” She dashed off like her skates just slid over the surface and came to a stop by he friend. Roald looked a bit embarrassed and started scratching by his collar. “Karolina, I want you to meet my new friend…” she looked at the young man.

“Oh.” He said “Call me Jay.’

“I’m sorry ,Andrea said, “we were having so much fun we forgot about names. I am Andrea.” While Jay and Karolina talked she slid closer to Roald. And guiding him outside of hearing of the others. ‘Roald, if you hurt my friend Karolina word just might get back to our village about it.”

“Whatever do you mean, Andrea?” he was scratching at the spot on his collar.

“Well, the way you knew I was coming here was that you read my letters home that were posted on the square and published in our home paper, didn’t you?”

“Roald looked uncomfortable and tried to loosen his collar more.”

“I still write letters home every other day. Now if something popped up in those letters about you, I am sure your father would be delighted to hear about you.”

The look on Roald’s face resembled panic. “I have nothing but the most honorable intentions toward Karolina.” he said.

“I’m sure you do,” Andrea replied. She nodded to Roald and turned her skates to join with Jay. “Oh yes. We were talking about the church and government. In Sweden, you see, you are pretty much subject to the government with the church as allied with the government. It does some good, but they can both be corrupted. That is why many Swedes come here to be free to choose. Some are no longer Lutherans I think I like Lutheran separated from the government though.”

“Andrea, would you go with me to the dance Saturday night? I’d like to know you better.” Jay said.

“I’d like to know you better too.”





© 2012 Don A. Hoglund

More by this Author


Comments 30 comments

Ghaelach 4 years ago

Hi Daghoglund.

Now that's a great little story Don. Romantic in a funny sort of way.

UP/A/B

take care.

LOL Ghaelach


Vern 4 years ago

Good sequel. Follows well on the first.

What is?

“Well, the way you knew I was coming here was that you read my letters home that were posted on the square and published in our home paper, didn’t you?”

People posted and published their letters?


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Hi Ghaelach,Thanks for the comment. Also for the votes.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Vern,

Yes, In Sweden and probably in other places letters people got from friends and family that immigrated to America were posted by family in a public place for friends and neighbors to read. They were also often published in the local paper. Sweden was a very literate country because the church saw to it that every one could read and write.This was for the purpose of reading the Bible.

Anyhow, immigrants kept family informed of what they were doing and the family spread the word.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

Very interesting little story and I enjoyed every word of it. I was acquainted with a Swedish girl, Ingela, many years ago and she was a delightful person. Voted up! Best/Sis


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for commenting and voting. Glad you enjoyed reading it.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

This is another good story about Andrea. I like her and am glad you are writing about her.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks Becky. There were women in those days that were strong and independent like her.


Wr1t3r profile image

Wr1t3r 4 years ago from Oregon

Good story. I like little romantic twists and turns, but I suppose that is the romantic in me. Thanks for sharing.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX

Great writing friend.

The Frog


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Wr1t3r

Thank you for commenting. I guess I mostly try to see how a character I have created will interact with the environment she is in.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Hi Frog. I appreciate the compliment.


KDee411 profile image

KDee411 4 years ago from Bay Area, California

Nice story, I love Sweden, I've there twice. I remember it to be so clean, nothing I saw was out of place. Sorry I didn't have a chance to visit one of their many churches. I love the swedish people. I could see a woman in Sweden not wanting to admit to how hard it was to keep up the work of running a farm by herself. They are very proud people, and most are hard workers.

Kay


idigwebsites profile image

idigwebsites 4 years ago from United States

Appreciable work...thumbs up!!!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Hi Kay, Thanks for commenting. I've never been there, although we do have relatives there.My sister corresponded with some of them to find out about family history.I've drawn on that information for my stories.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

idegwebsites, Thanks for reading and commenting on my story.


tinigenie profile image

tinigenie 4 years ago from New Jersey

Hi dahoglund,you must be the everything man. I am so glad to see you writing short stories. It is truly your calling.I am looking good for more. good luck. Peace and light


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Hi tinigenie, thank you for your comment. I have been writing short stories here for awhile.


tinigenie profile image

tinigenie 4 years ago from New Jersey

Oh ok then I need to catch up dahoglund. Thanks!!! This reminds me of ice skating at Rockefeller Center. Except, I was the one falling constantly. LOL.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

tinigenie,I do have a series of stories that cane to be known as the"Carbons Creek" stories or tales. Another series is the "Galvanized Yankee" stories and some that are just individual stories.You can probably do a search of my hubs for "fiction".Thanks for your interest.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

Nice story, brother. I am so happy, because I have a chance to follow your hubs. I'll wait the next story from you. Take care!

Prasetio


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

praistio, thanks for commenting and for being a loyal follower.I appreciate that you like my stories.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Loved it! Great work, Don!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks Will.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Don,

Seems like we have a possible budding romance here? I like the facts about Sweden woven into this story-line. It would have taken some bravery and determination to have been an immigrant leaving family members behind in the old country back in those days. Voted up and interesting!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Hi Peggy,

Thanks for the comments and votes. Roald (Swedish version of Ronald)is a character that I invented for another purpose. Now I want to see how he turns out. I am also interested in the young people who came to this county back then.


suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 4 years ago from Asheville, NC

I like strong female characters. Great story - thanks!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for commenting suziecat7.I think there were more strong women in that era than is generally thought.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 22 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

I like this story, Don. I hope you continue on with Jay and Andrea. You have some good characters here.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 22 months ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks Phyllis. I may do that.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working