Joan Hadac

Joan Hadac

Can’t we just fast-forward to spring?

By Joan Hadac

Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge

(708) 496-0265 • [email protected]

Hi everyone. Is it spring yet? Is the pandemic over yet? Not that I’m impatient or anything. I want to move forward past all the negative COVID-19 has brought to my life and everyone else’s life. I want to see the rebirth of the earth. It’s a life-affirming sight. It’s hopeful.

It’s also hopeful to live in Clearing and Garfield Ridge. We have neighbors who care for each other and are not afraid to show their respect for first responders. We have aldermen who truly care about their constituents.

joanhadac 1

Joan Hadac

We have crime-fighters like the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch and Clearing Night Force looking out for our safety.

There’s the Garfield Ridge Chamber of Commerce, which takes seriously its job of building up neighborhood businesses. We have the Clear-Ridge Historical Society. They let us know where we’ve been, how things have changed and the impact of that change.

I have worked with the people who make up these groups, and I look forward to working with them in them in 2022 to share their information that is important to our community.

Then there are the neighborhood churches, places we go to feel closer to God, our neighbors and find peace. Our educational institutions provide the best in learning for our kids. The list goes on and on. The most important part of our community is you. Pat yourselves on the back for making Garfield Ridge and Clearing the great communities they are.

The best way to reach me if you have news about your family, friends or group is via email at [email protected] I hope to hear from all of you.

As I’m writing this, we’ve had our first significant snow of the season, and the temperatures have dropped below 20 degrees. I’m trying to look back to my Southwest Side childhood to remember what I liked doing in winter.

Then it dawned on me: sledding and skating. We took our sleds, courtesy of mom and dad giving us a lift, to Marquette Park and went up and down the hill until we exhausted ourselves. I had five sisters and we doubled and tripled up, toppled over, tried to avoid running into trees and laughed ourselves silly. It was fun and free.

Check out the local parks for a hill you can use your sled on. I know Summit Park (57th and Archer Road) has a nice hill, not too dangerous that the kids can enjoy. My husband and I took our daughters there when they were little. It was so much fun, as it is today for moms and dads of young children.

Skating is great also. We do have the rink at Wentworth Park. Check out chicagoparkdistrict.com and register for all skating, even the free skate. They have skates for rent. You can also explore the neighborhood to see if anyone is offering skating for free on a make-shift rink.

When I was young, I remember skating at my local grade school, St. Clare of Montefalco. The adults had put together a rink for the kids to use. We did have our own skates, hand-me-downs because of the number of kids in our family.

Personally, I skated better in my shoes because on skates, my ankles turned in. It was great being with my sisters and friends, breathing in the cold, crisp air and laughing the day away.

These days I’m still waiting to go riding in a one-horse open sleigh. That’s my speed.

Speaking of Wentworth Park and ice skating, The Chicago Blackhawks are hosting two hockey clinics on Saturday, Jan. 29.CRRNH JoanColPix 011222

Kids ages 5 to 8 are invited to join skating coaches from 11 to 11:45 a.m. Youngsters 9 to 12 can participate in the clinic from 12:15 to 1 p.m.

Use of skates and stick will be provided at no cost, but participants must bring their own gloves and helmet. Bike helmets and mittens are acceptable. Prior ice skating experience is required.

Advance registration is required. Participants must arrive 20 to 30 minutes prior to their scheduled clinic. For more information or to register for this activity, visit chicagoblackhawks.com/cpdclinics.

Weather cancellations will take place no later than four hours prior to the clinic start. Participants will receive email notification of cancellations. All participants will be required to complete a waiver.

So there you have it. A little fun in January for the kids. I’m sure parents and grandparents will get a kick out of watching their little athletes on the ice.

I hope you have a good week. I’ll talk to you soon.

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