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March 31, 2008

FARWELL (By Jennifer)

Well the fateful day has come and gone.

The day that we had to say goodbye to our winter companion, the skating rink.

It has served us well all winter, every day and sometimes even twice a day.
Usually we are very glad when winter is over, but this year I think everyone was a little disappointed. When our rink started to melt, we all begged it to stay, but the warm weather prevailed and now our trusty friend is gone.

It did indeed make the winter months shorter as it took up a couple of hours of every afternoon (and it was a lot cheaper than going to Disney World!). From 0 C to -35C, stormy or calm, we skated our hearts out (and often our energy). We were many times grateful for the warming shack that Dad converted from an old granary. It even has a wood stove to warm up our toesies. The plywood sheets around the edges were a great improvement, for we had something to deflect the ball and sometimes the bodies:)

Our dog Jamie brushed up her "retriever" skills. When many a ball would go flying over the end, we would call her to the job. We would show her the general direction the ball was in, she would dive nose first and usually come up with the ball in her mouth. Occasionally (ok, quite often) we would have to coax her to give it back to us and then we were playing again.

Hockey was our favorite thing to do this year and the whole family got involved. Our positions you ask? Well Dad is great at everything, Mom is terrific at offence, Josh is also quite good at it all, but is best at offence, Jen learned to be a great goal tender and/or defence (in mom's words), Megan played mostly defence but also goal tender, Kerri was the “cherry picker” and had reflexes that nobody could match, Caleb was an excellent goal tender, Zachary was a tripper :) , Jesse (when he played) was goal tender, Nathan was mostly a playmate to Brooke and last but not least Mikaya was always kind enough to have a nap while we hit the ice.

We have many good memories, but also as ice is hard we had a few accidents. Can you guess who had the most? DAD! He scraped up his elbows, bruised up his knees, hurt his tail bone and after a few bumps he finally resolved to get elbow and knee pads. But that didn’t stop the cut in his lip, and the black eye! Of course the rest of us also got a bunch of bumps and bruises, but we are all still alive so all is well that ends well. We had lots of fun and there were even some character building moments:)

The good times that we have are too many to name and will forever be written in our Pauls’ family memories.

So now all of the sticks, skates, hockey tape, nets, elbow and knee pads and band-aids will be put away…. ‘til next year.

Farewell to you, old faithful skating rink!

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