This winter was fairly mild with only about a week or two of below zero weather, and not all crammed together to make a consecutive two weeks. Last winter we had about a month straight of -30 and -40 weather. The kind of weather when you step outside and think why on earth did I choose to live here. Up North here we must gasp for breath because lungs don’t appreciate that sort of harsh environment. But not this winter, we might be getting “soft” up here because we had such a balmy winter. Well, maybe not.
We had a glorious wonderful winter full of nice weather and jam-packed full of hockey. Oh sweet hockey. I really do love playing hockey. And one of the best new developments is that Jared is really coming along. I would not go so far as to say the student has become the master but yes he has some nice hockey skills. He even fooled me with some toe drags at the end of our “season,” to my dismay and his delight.
We live in Cook, MN. It is far from malls and traffic and shows and events. We have to make our own fun up here and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Instead of heading to the next big thing, we invite friends over for game night or sit around kitchens eating whatever the fridge can produce. Or better yet, we head to the rink. Jared and my idea of a date night is paying a babysitter, who usually ends up sitting in our house for a few hours while the kids sleep, and we head to the outside ice within walking distance, or we head to Babbit. Yes Babbit. Babbit is a teeny tiny town that holds a wonderful inside ice rink. The rink manager was telling us last week that on high school game nights, you couldn’t even squeeze your way inside this place. “And we even had gosh darn cheerleaders!” This rink at Babbit used to be a central meeting location for high schoolers and families but has now been reduced to hosting our Thursday and Sunday night men’s league.
We get our kiddies ready for bed, give last minute babysitter instructions and then drive the hour to Babbit. Thankfully the owner of White Eagle Resort drives Jared, me and another Cookite in his nice truck with heated seats and things that talk to you. I usually get dressed alone and the rest of the dudes get dressed, then we head out to skate, sweat, shoot, mess around and get an amazing workout all while playing this game we all love. It is wonderful.
Sometime around late December the outside ice in Cook was flooded and the pickup games ensued. We usually had enough players for a 4 on 4 game. The city of Cook just recently opened a recreation center called the Doug Johnson. It will be a great asset to the community and can be rented for events, birthday parties, whatever. I am glad we have such a great meeting place in Cook. The best part of the Doug Johnson ice was it took roughly 57 seconds to drive there. Jared would drive the fourwheeler over to plow off the snow so we could quickly get down to business.
The first weekend of March, Jared organized a hockey tournament- only four teams entered the tournament but slowly and surely we are bringing hockey back to this little town.