The following is a re-post, as promised, following our rink making conversation this morning.
Here’s a surprise for you. The poorly graded yard around my poorly constructed home in Barrhaven is proving to be a challenge for rink making. It’s like building a rink on a set of stairs. Plus, the yard is only big enough for a 30x20 foot rink.
I used to shake my head at people who’d build little tiny versions of the old Montreal Forum in their backyard. What a mindless, mundane chore. Stomping, then flooding. And flooding. And flooding. Dealing with frozen hoses. Trying to get the damn thing smooth and level. Then when you do, the weather turns mild.
I’ve tried building rinks before but it was too much like work. I even managed to screw up those rinks-in-a-bag deals. But this year I took it seriously for one reason. My 6 year old daughter joined hockey and appears to really enjoy it. So I thought it might be a nice way to spend some time with her, without having to go anywhere.
But something very unexpected happened this year. It appears I may be developing a full blown rink making addiction. I’m not sure I can pinpoint the reason for my fascination. It’s almost primal, like a caveman discovering fire. I felt like pounding my chest this morning, when I realized the rink is almost skateable now. “I make ice! Ice GOOD!”
Moonlight flooding has become amazingly therapeutic. It’s peaceful, cold and quiet outside, unlike my summers in Barrhaven. In summer, there are neighbours, kids, radios and the endless home and road construction. All you hear on the rink at night is the peaceful white noise of the water leaving the hose and the faint, yet curiously satisfying sounds of snapping and cracking as water hits ice.
I’m enjoying the entire process. There’s a definite zen about it. Now if I can just teach my daughter how to skate uphill.