I was very thankful it was chilly Saturday morning. Low temperatures were in the 10s, plenty cold enough to get the ice on the creek in my yard plenty firm for some recreation. It’s been a fluky ice skating season on the rink in my yard with the warm weather. But I was really hoping it would work out for Christmas Eve as we hosted the Schumacher Christmas gathering. Weeks earlier I had promoted to my brothers, sisters, nephews, and nieces that they should bring their skates along and prepare for fun in the great outdoors!
Well our party was great. We spent a few hours inside during the late morning and early afternoon talking, laughing, eating, exchanging gifts, and generally being goofy. Many stories of the past year were told and we all caught up with each other. As this was all going on I carefully watched the blazing sunshine outside and wondered if my ice would hold up? The old thermometer had climbed to the freezing mark around lunchtime and I was a shade nervous. But I had faith that the 13 degree low really penetrated into several inches of the ice.
The rink is about 300 feet from the house, so I didn’t have a chance to go out and check it out. I just boldly announced it was time to go and skate and play broom hockey! And that is just what we did. Boy was I relieved to see the ice had held up really well, even with the sunshine. It was slippery and smooth. People just couldn’t believe how nice it was. The 2 hours that we spent out slipping around on the ice was a highlight of the party for me. Our family has always enjoyed doing sports together. Sometimes it’s a football or kickball game, sometimes swimming at the lake, sometimes basketball, and in this case hockey. It’s the first time for our annual gathering that we did hockey.
We were a funny looking bunch. Some had real hockey sticks, others had brooms, some had shovels, while still others had big branches of trees. Each tried to talk up the advantage of their weapon. Oh there were some great shots and lots of bad shots. There were slips and falls. Sometimes my family members fell trying to go fast. Sometimes they fall just standing still. There were some bruises and some jarred joints, but nothing serious. Having the blue sky overhead, a fresh breeze, the glistening fresh inch of snow on the edge of the ice, and lots of food in the belly to burn off made the perfect combination.
Some of my family who were not brave enough to get on the ice started a fire in a portable fire pit next to our frozen creek. It was all good. My niece Mara was the only one who got wet as far as I know. She hit the one soft spot on our creek and got wet up halfway to her knees. I suspect she was a bit upset, but it should help her remember the experience.
So it capped off a wonderful day, celebrating faith, family, fun, and life in general. I’m a firm believer in that saying….a family that plays together stays together. I hope you had a chance to play with your loved ones as well.
Posted under Recreation & Sports
This post was written by Tony Schumacher on December 26, 2011