Tag Archives: family

Hockey Dad

I wasn’t able to blog last night – I had more important things to do.  It was son, Dan’s, birthday and we were celebrating with him.  After dinner and presents, we watched him play hockey.  His team’s long winning streak, stretching into last season, was broken; the game ended in a tie.My Son, the Goalie

In general, being a parent of a goalie is a difficult thing.  All you can do is watch – and listen.  If the team wins, the scorers receive the accolades.  If the team loses, the goalie often is blamed.

In high school, parents (especially the fathers) were quick to criticize any player they deemed interfering with their sons’ personal achievements.  I often opted to not sit with the other dads, distancing myself from their critical remarks.  It was some of the students, however, who were the worst, heckling and harassing Dan merely because he was in net and their goalie buddy was riding the bench.

In college, the parents were more circumspect.  The student body, however, took heckling to a new level.  I was especially appalled by the goalie-directed jeers that erupted whenever a goal was scored.  These students attend not for the sport of hockey, but for the sport of obnoxiousness.

In men’s league, Dan’s current setting, things are different.  The guys play because they love the game and for the joy of it.  Yes, they track stats and know how they did, but camaraderie is important – and so is having fun.  Fan support is minimal and critical comments and jeers are non-existent.  So, although the game was close and the outcome not what we hoped, I was able to enjoy it.  Everyone had a good time – even Dan, I suspect.

(For another father-son hockey story, see “Shoot the Puck.”)

Wanna Wok?

A couple of weeks ago my wife took me out for my birthday. The actual date of the event had long passed, but that’s okay; that’s how we do things. Precise timing is not important to us, as long as it is eventually celebrated. Sometimes we’re several months late, but if it’s within six, it’s all good. More than six months means we’re no longer late, but actually early for the next year.

Anyway, she took me to one of my favorite restaurants, bd’s Mongolian Barbeque. In fact, as far as restaurant chains go, it is my favorite. (At this point, it’s regional, so if it’s not in your area, why don’t you open one?!) At bd’s, you create your own recipe: select the items you want, in the quantity you want, and watch their grill masters turn it into a stunning stir-fry delight.

Aside from immensely enjoying a birthday treat, I also had a secondary agenda. You see, for Christmas I was given a super duper deluxe gourmet wok. My mission was to take a more careful notice of how things were done at bd’s, with the intent of doing my own stir-fry thing at home.

Well, tonight was the night! Although, I fell short of duplicating the total bd experience (highly attentive customer service with a touch of attitude from their grill masters), I did create a meal that delighted my taste buds and filled my stomach with contented bliss.

I should have stopped with the first helping and the second one put me over the top. I am so full, but still craving one more delicious bite.

Hey! Wait a minute, there are leftovers in the frig…gotta go!

Chiefs Win!

I didn’t have time to post anything last night, but I have a good excuse.

Son, Dan’s hockey team was playing for their men’s league championship.  They won 8 to 0, for an undefeated season.  Their opponent, having notched upset overtime victories in their first two playoff games, played admirably, but simply ran out of steam by the time they reached the finals.

Dan is the Chief’s goalie — their only goalie.  As such, he played every minute of every game.  This is unlike most of his prior hockey experience, where he shared net minder duties with multiple goalies – sometimes as many as three others.

For men’s league, fan backing is minimal.  Most players skate without the support of family and friends.  A wife or two occasionally shows up, sometimes with kids in tow.  For others a girlfriend cheers them on.  In the game last night, Dan’s contingency outnumbered all the other fans combined.

Most of the action was on the opposite end of the ice and Dan didn’t have much to do (which is not his preference; he likes to be kept busy).  When called upon, he responded admirably, keeping the puck out of the net throughout the entire contest.

Dan in Net for The Chiefs's Win

I get tense when Dan is playing and the game is close.  This, however, was a game I could thoroughly enjoy: an early lead was established, there is little doubt as to the outcome, and Dan played with excellence!

Yea!  The Chiefs win the championship!

The Chiefs Championship Photo


In the Mood!

When my daughter was in college, there were all manner of dorm rules and restrictions. Some made sense (such as “no candles or open flames”), while others were quizzically arbitrary (as in “all Christmas decorations must be down before you check out for Christmas break”).

I’m not sure if my daughter found a loophole or if an acceptable workaround had already been established. Nevertheless, Christmas lights were deemed to be acceptable outside the holiday season if they were rechristened as “mood lighting.”

In an otherwise darkened room, the string of Christmas lights, oh, I mean “mood” lights did indeed set a warm and cozy mood. Even from the outside, their cheery glow beckoned to all, that this room was special.

At home, we have no such rules. Candles are enjoyed and appreciated. The same goes regarding Christmas decorations. I’m not sure why, but invariably we put up our decorations late and take them down late, enjoying them long after others have restored their homes to a “normal” state.

In the morning, I arise before my wife and make sure the Christmas tree lights are on for her when she gets up. Likewise, if she is out late, the Christmas tree lights are on to greet her when she arrives home. The lights set a nice mood in our household, a warm and cozy mood.

My Wife and Our Christmas Tree

Even still, it’s about time for the tree to come down, but perhaps we can keep the “mood” lights. Maybe if we draped them over the refrigerator…