Ken and Janice Tate

Dear Friends of the Good Old Days,

When we were selecting the cover for this issue, I was immediately and wistfully drawn to the image of the youthful skater couple. Their outfits are so well coordinated. Their skates are so pristine. They arenít layered in bulky winter clothing. Why, they didnít even don a pair of gloves for their outing! Itís an idyllic winter scene, with an added touch of romance in the chilly air.

In my Good Old Days, I was fond of ice-skating too. But contrary to the happy couple on the cover, my outfits were not well coordinated. I grabbed whatever mishmash of coats, hats and gloves were available and headed to the mammoth patch of ice nestled in the swale of the river bottom behind our house. There I was met by a dozen or so other kids, all with the same idea.

None of us had pristine ice skates -- our skates were scuffed-up hand-me-downs tied with ratty strings. And since we were all bundled from head to toe, any graceful, airborne moves were unrealistic. I could skate backward, but that was about the extent of my prowess. We werenít there for the jumps and twirls anyway; we were there for no-holds-barred hockey and death-defying games of crack-the-whip. And as the only girl in the neighborhood, I can attest to the fact that there was not a drop of romance in the chilly air!

In the following pages, we share the ways we skated through the cold of winter, how we entertained family and guests, and what our Valentineís Days of old were like. I hope you are immediately and wistfully drawn to each and every story.

íTil next time,

Mary Beth Weisenburger signature
Mary Beth Weisenburger, Editor

Mary Beth Weisenburger has been with Annie's since April 2011. She has 25 years of experience in the marketing, advertising and publishing fields. In addition to her job as editor of Good Old Days, she has been writing a family humor column for over a decade. She and her husband, two college-age kids, two dogs and various other critters live on five acres in the country, where she enjoys reading on the back porch, refinishing furniture, feeding the birds and digging in the dirt of her perennial gardens.