See that ring on the top of that key? Well a cord fits through that nicely. It enables one to hang it around the neck, hidden behind clothing. This was one of my best kept secrets from about ages 7 to 10.
The one key to the one pair of skates that my sisters and I shared, could not be adjusted from large (my shoes) to a little smaller (my big sister's shoes), to tiny (my baby sister's size), so in order to have these to myself, I hid the ever illusive key. It really wasn't as much selfish as it was a personal protection kind of thing.
Personal protection for those around me that is. When I would slap those things on my shoes and ride till I had no energy left, the freedom helped me clear my head after school, and kept me from smacking someone - enter two sisters. The elder (by 15 months) would make a half-hearted effort to find the skates, as soon as we ran in from school. I knew her motives, she would try to find the key and go out for a cute, flirty little skate, just to socially connect with the neighbors, be it boy or girl, then ditch the skates for more interesting activities. My younger sister, seeing how she's only 1 year and 2 weeks younger, she was one half my size, could never quite adjust them for her miniature feet, and if she was successful, she would loose the key EVERY TIME. (She wasn't able to skate until the latter years of this episode I'm describing as she was recuperating from Rheumatic Fever for a long time when we were all very young.)
So, when people ask me why I ride a motorcycle - at this age, I think the best way to describe it is to compare it to my roller skating days.
The wind in my face. The total freedom, the view from wheels, my own key!!
I had literally memorized every crack in the sidewalks in our neighborhood, as some of them had taken me all the way down to skinned knees and elbows, and others stopped me in my tracks.
I would skate and imagine that in every house there was a neighbor watching me, wishing they were as free as me. Skating allowed me to go right past the kids playing on their porch or in their yard, I was so stinking shy that it made me physically ill to stop and talk, never knew what to say other than, "Hi, how are you?" Such a dumb question, they wouldn't be out playing if they weren't fine, everyone knew that.
I had several amazing brainstorms on my skating ventures.
One such event, I could almost tell you which square of the sidewalk I was passing when the reality occurred to me. I'm most certain I was 8 because I kept a diary that year. I became aware that every human is born with some defect, something that would eventually take their life, if they weren't in an accident first. I was so impressed with this thought I tried starting conversations about the topic, but was shut down by shallow thinking, competing for king of the hill, playmates.
So, I wrote it down in my diary along with my own imaginary recipe for Turtle Soup, after a distant cousin brought a turtle for my Mom to cook, and a very detailed schedule of our school's Home Room Messenger Assignments.
If you were in the classroom closest to the school office you were on a rotating basis responsible to carry notes to another classroom when the Principles secretary brought these notes to the room. The desk by the door was always occupied by the next "messenger" and my diary reflected every time I was called upon, what room I carried it to, sometimes it was up to the 2nd floor where the 6th and 7th graders had classes. Frightful, especially if they were changing classes.
I even wrote in my diary what the message was about, if I happened to overhear the teacher telling the class what the note said. It was an important task.
At lunch time one day I was about 3 people away from being messenger, I walked home for lunch, heated up a pan of tomato soup, poured it into a glass bowl I was holding in my left hand, and the bowl broke in half, burning my hand. We had to call my mom at work, go to the doctors for gauze and medicine, and I missed the only 1/2 day of school ever, and my messenger assignment. (Well till I was a Senior and skipped school one day, but that's another story, blew my perfect attendance.)
What does any of this have to do with knitting? Absolutely nothing.
I saw a pair of roller skates on etsy and couldn't hold back the flood of memories.
The end of the story - I confessed to my older sister recently that I was always aware of the location of the skate key ... she was shocked, but after some deep soul searching found it in her heart to forgive me, free at last.
Now I can knit again.