Game on in the South hills....

Hockey on outdoor ice in the South hills

When the temperatures dropped below 20, our family decided to turn our outdoor hard court area into an outdoor ice rink. With three hockey playing brothers in the house (the oldest of which plays for the Junior A Eugene Generals), another Generals' player that lives with us, and a hockey playing dad, it only seemed like the greatest idea ever! So beginning on Monday afternoon, we began to lay down one thin layer of water after another on top of the concrete. Every thirty minutes to an hour we added another layer, working late into the evening to get it ready for play. Perhaps the most difficult part of the process was keeping the water inside the hose from freezing (we only had to bring the hose into the shower inside the house twice); still, with a school day out looming, it was worth the work, and the wait. By the next day the ice was ready to play, first with only shoes on (it still wasn't quite thick enough for skates), and then finally with skates! The games went on late into the night, postponing dinner for over an hour, and finally ended shortly before 10 that night. Playing under the lights that late at night only made it that much more memorable. The next day, following school, the kids came home and were immediately out on the rink. As the temps climbed, the ice began to soften, but the kids were still out on the court until dinner, eeking out every minute they could. When they finally came in, they knew that the rink would be gone the next day with the rain and warmer temps, but they felt great about the experience, with each telling me how memorable this would be for them. More than anything, the look on their faces and the joy with which they played for the short time the rink existed made all of the work, freezing hoseproblems, and freezing fingers more than worth while!

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