With the cold snap last week, we all waited patiently, hoping a few nights of very low temperatures would finally freeze Brine’s Pond. Reports were coming in of up-Island ponds iced over, but our Chappy ponds remained spotty.

When I first moved to Chappy nine years ago, we had regular opportunities for skating on the little pond at Slip Away. We had frequent snow storms, and when it wasn’t snowing, temperatures were often consistently low enough to freeze the shallower ponds. The trick was getting the right consistency to the surface: Snowfall during freezing makes bumpy ice that is not so enjoyable to skate on.

Nowadays, winter on Martha’s VIneyard often means milder weather, lots of rain, and (to the chagrin of my northern-born husband) very little snow.

I grew up in Atlanta, where an inch of snow meant school was closed for two days. Sometimes school would even shut down if temperatures dipped into the 20s — too cold for us southern souls. Before I moved north, I had never been on skis, ice skates, hardly even a sled. (Although there was that one time we went to a farm in Georgia that was advertising “sledding.” The hill was made of fake plastic turf, dyed white.)

So for me, winter activities always feel like a Norman Rockwell painting: too quaint to be real. And yet there you are: skiing or skating or drinking hot chocolate in the most quintessential New England winter way. This weekend was no exception.

Word spread quickly once Brine’s Pond finally froze. My family did not make it onto the ice until the late afternoon, but we heard reports of those who visited before us: Joanne and Bill Brine brought a small fire bowl, setting it up on the edge of the pond for others to warm their hands. Woody Filley had his hockey stick, but no game emerged. And a few ice fishers drilled into the pond in the hopes of catching dinner.

When we arrived, we were greeted by Margaret Knight and Lily Morris. As we laced up our skates, they shared memories of ice skating in days past, remembering one particularly heated community hockey game. Lily showed off her graceful twirls in a cashmere skirt while I shuffled along stiffly. Our little one donned her pink miniature skates briefly, but then discovered the joy of shuffling around in her boots. Later, Zach Pinerio, Grace Romanowsky, Abbie Schuster and Justin Painter arrived, pairing off for loops around the pond. We skated until the light (and the three-year-old) started to fade, and then headed home.

The next morning brought a nor’easter. The rain was back, temperatures were up and the opportunity for ice skating past, until next time.