Never Again

“Daily Post Prompt: Never Again – Have you ever gone to a new place or tried a new experience and thought to yourself, “I’m never doing that again!” Tell us about it.”

581875_10152657648105092_212814178_n (1)
“Copying pans*” in Tilting, NL – Newfoundland Webbers Facebook Page -photo credit: Paddy Barry

On Saturday, I saw this photo on Facebook that brought back a memory for me. Also on that day, I read the above prompt from the Daily Post. So I couldn’t resist sharing said event from my childhood.

My friend Nancy, my younger sister Lynn and I were walking home from school one late afternoon in St. John’s, when we noticed from the Boulevard the many ice pans on the surface of Quidi Vidi Lake. I think it might have been spring thaw.

Quidi Vidi in summer
…and winter






Quicker than you can say “last one in is a rotten egg,” the three of us ran down to the lake’s edge, dropped our book-bags on the shore, and proceeded to jump from ice pan to ice pan across the surface of the deep water. Not once did either of us think anything could go wrong. I guess we were so young and naive, we had no fear of the risk we were taking.

Luckily, Nancy’s father happened to drive along the Boulevard while we were playing there. Before we knew it, we were swiftly ordered into his car and driven home. At the time, we didn’t feel so lucky, but I shudder at the thought of what could have gone down if he hadn’t. Perhaps all of us!

Of course, our parents were outraged and we all received our punishment. The next time I saw my friend Nancy, she told me that her father gave her a good spanking.

“And that was it?” I asked, incredulous. My parents didn’t give spankings as discipline. They knew what really hurt: grounding my sister and me for a full week. No outdoors for seven days except to go to school.

I remember thinking at the time that Nancy had gotten off easy compared to us. Yes, she’d endured a spanking, but at least her suffering was “behind” her. 😉

Now I realize Mom and Dad had wanted us to appreciate how dangerous our activity was, by giving us a whole week to think about it. Never again did we dare to risk drowning by “copying pans.”

*copy:   To jump from one floating pan of ice to another in a children’s game of following or copying a leader when the ice is breaking up in spring in a cove or harbour. A game of follow-my-leader over the broken ice, every cake of which, it may be, sinks under the weight of a lad. It is a training for the perilous work of seal hunting, which came later in the life of  Newfoundlanders. You will see the merry young lads ‘copying’ as they call it—jumping from pan to pan till far out in the Cove in fearless rivalry. ~ Dictionary of Newfoundland English

Did you ever jump on ice pans when you were a kid?

Have you ever done something new and regretted it?

22 thoughts on “Never Again

  1. I would have been right there with you, due to the fact we never had snow and thought it a magical thing in movies and such. I bet you never forgot that lesson though and you never did it again did you Jennifer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Goes to show how children don’t always listen. Then, some are lucky and others pay dearly for their disobedience. My husband Paul said he and his friends were the same way: warned not to go near the “landwash” but they often went there anyway. In one instance his older brother saved him from drowning!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Eeek! That looks and sounds so dangerous! I know I did dangerous things when I was a kid, but nothing like that! But of course, now we have a huge hill behind our house (steep and like a ski slope) and when it gets icy, that’s when my kids (and all the kids in the neighborhood) say the conditions are best. Some big kids went down in a kayak the year we moved in. They hit a house at top speed and put a dent in the siding! I don’t think they were hurt, but I drew the line there with my own kids – no boats on the slope!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I grew up on the St Clair river south of Lake Huron, and we always roamed the ice as kids. I learned to ‘read’ the ice from my ice-fishing uncles, and knew how to be reasonably safe. But looking back we did some insanely risky things!
    I remember one time when the icebreaker had come through, the slabs had refrozen, mostly. We thought we were still on unbroken ice (between icebreaker’s path and shore) but somehow found ourselves having to leap from floe to floe to get back.
    Of course, we never told Mom!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Saw two young fellows copying pans in Island Harbour, Fogo Island last Easter. Scared the bejesus out of me just to watch. I took a video and got lots of great stories of the right of passage and a few tragic endings too. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh dear, as a parent I’m cringing. Good thing your friend’s father came along when he did.

    I’m sure there are many things I’ve done that I won’t do again, but, of course, I can’t think of them now. Ugh. My brain struggles when put on the spot.

    Liked by 2 people

Talk to me.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s