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Ice Skating and Fun Family Times

I found this photograph and showed it to my mother, Sonja Behnke Festerling, to see if she knew who was in it. Right away, a big smile appeared and she said, “Oh, it’s Mama, Roland, William and me!” Then she laughed and showed me Sally Lewis’ home in the background  on Wicomico Ave. I really love sharing these photographs with Mom and the conversations that we have when seeing them.

My mother loved to ice skate and said she felt like she was flying across the pond, faster and faster. She told me today about the skates in this photo and how excited she and her brothers were to get them. She thinks they got them for Christmas but she wasn’t sure. But even better was when she was a teenager and got her most beloved white ice skates!  Sadly, I never got to see her skate. She stopped when I was little after a very bad skiing accident that resulted in a broken leg. That put an end to her skating, and of course, her skiing. But that’s another story.

It’s been many years since our ponds were filled in to make room for parking and more plants, but I still remember sliding across the ponds in old cardboard boxes as a little girl.  We always had to be very careful to make sure the ice was thick enough to hold our weight. Plus, we had to stay far away from where my grandfather broke open the ice for the ducks and swans. Unfortunately, I never learned to skate. I always wanted to but it was pretty much a disaster when I tried. Maybe it’s time to try again? Hmmm, maybe not!

Looking at this old photo and seeing my grandmother Rose Behnke’s smile reminds me of how she loved to take time out to just have fun. She was one of the hardest working women I have ever known, always busy, even when retired, but never too busy for family and friends. Mom was like that also. Both women always had smiles and fun. Laughter was heard all the time in our home on the nursery (except when we were misbehaving).

I am going to go through some more photos to share with mom and listen to her stories of her parents and brothers. Time is precious and hearing her memories makes my heart happy.

by Stephanie Fleming, Behnke’s Vice President

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Oh, loved the photo with the pond! You need a pond again, well, maybe a small temporary skating area at the back of the parking lot. (You know, the kind with a rim and flooded with a few inches of water which then freezes.) That would be a lot of fun when we all visit at Christmas to buy goodies. Hot chpcolate, too. The only problem is, with our warning climate, it might not freeze! Oh well, it was a good thought.

    Happy New Year!

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