Hanging on to the Warmth and Sunshine a Little Longer

 

It’s Mid-October here in Chicago…

And you know what that means!!!!

It’s Hockey Season!

Whoo-hoooooo! Time for the excitement and heartbreak and stinky gear and adrenaline filled games and taxi-ing the boys to and from practices, etc.

Not to mention, watching the Stanley Cup Champions and screaming at my television because it’s become way too expensive to even attend an actual Blackhawk game…

Ok, seriously, that’s not what this is about at all.

~It’s about dreading what’s about to come~

The Chicago Winter

The older I get, the tougher it gets. All the snow and cold and worst of all, all the gray, cloud covered days.

But we had a few Indian Summer days here lately and it has been delightful. I just wish it would last longer. So I am sharing a little of that.

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This summer, my neighbors moved to Florida and Gave my family their wicker furniture they couldn’t take with them. I made new cushions for it and some new pillows to go along with.

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Perfect place to read a little and enjoy a cup of tea.

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If you live in a climate like I do, you know it’s best to enjoy these days because it will feel like a very long time before they’re back!

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Peace & Hockey,

Kathy

To Mike Eruzione’s Mom…

My Blogging 101 assignment is to write from the prompt the “and all was right in the end.” I think this is a perfect example of that…in the end every experience could be looked back at and decided, “it all worked out in the end”.

Feathers and Dimes

My boys play hockey…

Travel hockey.  Both of them.  To make this even more interesting, they play at separate rinks and separate clubs.  Good times coordinating games, skills sessions, skating lessons, dry-land drills…

My younger is a Mite, the very beginning of competitive hockey, the first level, if you will. He likes to play.  He’s a natural skater, quick when he wants to be, tough on defense, sometimes assertive, sometimes not.  Depends on the day.

My oldest son is a Pee-Wee Minor…birth year 2001.  (Everything in youth hockey goes according to your birth year.)  He’s moved up the ranks a bit, playing on a travel team that competes in several states.  So far this season we’ve been to Nashville, St. Louis, Indiana, Chicago…

He loves to play.  He’s a natural too, but he works HARD.  He has at least 3-4 practices a week which includes ice-time, video sessions and dry-land…

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Pay It Forward Friday #3

 

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I apologize for skipping last week’s “Pay It Forward”.

I was busy waving to Patrick Kane!!!!!!!

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And I was trying to get the attention of Corey Crawford!

Along with MILLIONS of others, I suppose…

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It was a great morning of anticipation and waiting for the Stanley Cup and the 2012-2013 Chicago Blackhawks to parade by.

There was a prominent police presence including bomb sniffing dogs…(makes me sad to think about the kind of world we live in and the precautions we now have to take.)

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And people in Chicago are so friendly!

This nice homeless man let us hockey moms use his sign.

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We waited and waited, had a great spot in the shade and then the Cup zoomed on by.

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As my boys said, “That was the best two minutes of our summer, so far!”

Yeah, the parade was thatfast!

So back to reality…

This week, my youngest son found a debit card in the grass at a carnival.

We took a special trip to the bank from where the card was issued and he waited in line for the next teller all by himself.

At his turn, he ever so shyly went up to the teller and said, “Umm, excuse me?  I found this in the grass by my house.”

The teller was so sweet and thankful to him.  She offered him the bowl of suckers (Dum-Dums of course, we were at the bank and that’s what all banks give out), and told him he could have as many as he wanted.  He took some and gave a couple to his big brother.

I hope the person who lost his card knows it was in safe keeping.  Losing a credit card is nerve-wracking enough, don’t ask me how I know.

Please chime in and boast about your good deed for the week.  I love to read about them!

Peace,

K

Murphy’s Law and how it applies to me…

 

Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup and I missed it!

 

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Sorta…

 

Murphy’s Law says, "Murphy’s law or the fourth law of thermodynamics" (actually there were only three last I heard) which states: "If anything can go wrong, it will."[

I am a die-hard hockey mom of two boys.  Hockey can rule our household as any hockey mom (or dad) knows.  Practices, extra skates, travel games, expenses to say the least. You hockey people know what I am talking about all too well.

Last November I wrote a little post about how emotional it can be.  You can see it here.

So of course we have been following the awesome Chicago Blackhawks this season in their quest for the Cup.  I watched every game (well almost) and the playoffs were incredible!

Fast forward to Monday night, June 24th, 2013…hot, humid, still, crazy dark clouds coming from the west. If the Hawks win this one, they win IT ALL!  My older son had practice at 6:50pm.  Game Six started at 7:30…not a problem.  I knew the game would be on at the rink and I could watch some of it there and get home for the end.

Just as we are about to load up the van and leave, a huge storm blows through and freakin’ knocks out my power!!!!

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I’m still ok…figure it will be on by the time the game ends and all will be well.

It wasn’t.  Quickly I thought of all the places we could go to watch the game–friends’ houses, sports bars, restaurants…Chicago was crazed with hockey fever.  But my youngest had fallen asleep and I couldn’t justify waking him up to go to a crowded place full of crazed fans.

So my husband and I sat in the dark and put on the emergency radio and listened to the game. (Kinda romantic, right?)  Definitely not the same as watching on a large screen HD TV, but at least we could hear the incredible last 2 minutes of that game.  Afterwards, fireworks could be heard everywhere and I could only imagine how awesome it was to actually see those boys hold up the Stanley Cup and skate around the ice.

The kicker in this story is that the houses that were just across the street had power!  Uggggggh!

Murphy’s Law…

In early September of 1993, my all-time favorite rocker, Bruce Springsteen, was coming to Chicago to perform.  I had worked at the venue where he was performing all summer long as a beer seller and it was the best job ever!  I got to see all the bands warm up and do their sound checks before an empty auditorium with (hardly) any one else around.

My boyfriend at the time was from New Jersey and I wanted to impress him so I got tickets for the Springsteen concert and figured we could hang out before in the auditorium since I was still able to arrive early before the crowds.  We were back at school at the time, in Chicago, about an hour from the venue.

I had a long day of classes before we could leave.

I got in the elevator in my dorm with about 12 other people.  It was hot, humid and sticky.

About half way up to my 13th floor dorm room, the elevator stopped.  Broke. Not moving.

I was stuck in an elevator with a capacity of 15 with twelve other people!  For a couple of hours!  Breathing in each other’s air and feeling woozy from the heat.

And we missed the concert!!!!  Ugggggggh!!!!

Here’s another example…

In 2005, my sweet sister asked me to be in the OR while she delivered her first born child.  What an honor!  I was all ready to be her support, camera ready to take that first precious picture….

Guess what?  I had kept turning on and off the camera all morning taking “before” pictures that when it was time for the baby to arrive, my camera was dead!  No battery life!  No time to say, “Hey, wait a second, push that baby back in while I go and get new batteries.”   Uggggggggh!!!!

There are plenty of other ways Murphy’s Law applies to me, as it does to everyone, but I will not bore you with more details. 

Just know that it will all work out in the end!

For instance, that boyfriend I wanted to impress so much from New Jersey?  Well, I ended up marrying him and he is the best husband and father I could ever imagine.

And about 15+ years later, we ended up with Floor Seating for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s “Born To Run” re-tour.  If you had General Admission seating like we did, they handed out numbers before the concert and randomly picked the number to start with.  By sheer luck and a lot of Grace, we ended up second row from the stage.  That concert was seriously one of the highlights of my life.  I was thisclose to Clarence Clemons, Bruce and the band.  An old grade school friend even wrote me on Facebook and told me he saw me on the JumboTron during “Hungry Heart.”  (Which isn’t on the “Born to Run” album, I know.)

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As for the birth of my niece, by some more sheer luck and a lot of Grace, my camera turned on for one picture…

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      Can’t get any better than that first moment!

So I know I have to be patient and things will work out.

I’m taking the boys to the victory parade in Chicago tomorrow and who knows, perhaps by sheer luck and a lot of Grace, we will get thisclose to the Cup and those fantastic hockey players that made it happen.

If not, I am very content to be one of the millions cheering and being part of the incredible energy that is sure to be.

Way to go, Blackhawks!  Congratulations on an amazing season!

Love,

Me

To Mike Eruzione’s Mom…

My boys play hockey…

Travel hockey.  Both of them.  To make this even more interesting, they play at separate rinks and separate clubs.  Good times coordinating games, skills sessions, skating lessons, dry-land drills…

My younger is a Mite, the very beginning of competitive hockey, the first level, if you will. He likes to play.  He’s a natural skater, quick when he wants to be, tough on defense, sometimes assertive, sometimes not.  Depends on the day.

My oldest son is a Pee-Wee Minor…birth year 2001.  (Everything in youth hockey goes according to your birth year.)  He’s moved up the ranks a bit, playing on a travel team that competes in several states.  So far this season we’ve been to Nashville, St. Louis, Indiana, Chicago…

He loves to play.  He’s a natural too, but he works HARD.  He has at least 3-4 practices a week which includes ice-time, video sessions and dry-land training, which typically involves running and agility skills.  In addition, he works with a skating coach on Saturday mornings at 7am. 7am.  This kid is up and ready to go, never complains. Seriously.

I remember him at 5 or 6 years old, just learning to skate.  He got on that ice so eagerly and bam! down he went.  He got up and tried again…bam! down he went again.  I watched him from the stands fall, get up, fall again, get up.  I thought for sure he’d want to try something else after that first session.

Nope…he came off that ice exhilarated and couldn’t wait to try again.

I had tears in my eyes the first time I saw this poster…

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When he scored his first goal, the look on his face was priceless!  Success!  Cheers from the crowd! High fives from his 6 year old teammates!  Big grins from mom and dad!  There was no turning back.

In first grade, he watched the movie, “Miracle” about the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team and their road to winning the Gold Medal.  That very night while I was putting him to bed, he told me he wanted to play on the Olympic Team one day and…get this…he wanted to write a letter to Mike Eruzione, the captain of that team.  “OK, we’ll do it tomorrow,” I said in my sleep deprived mode, never thinking he was serious.

Well, he was.  The very next morning he wrote a letter to Mike Eruzione in his first grade penmanship and told him he was his hero.  He even drew him a picture of the U.S. Team beating Finland for the Gold.  He included $4 from his tooth fairy money and asked for an “ottograph”.  My husband and I had no idea where to send that letter, but we had to try…

God Bless that man because about 10 days later, we got an envelope in the mail from Mr. Eruzione with an “ottographed” picture of him scoring the game winning goal  vs. the Russian team.  And with tremendous class, he sent back the $4.00 and told my son to “save it for a rainy day.”

WOW!

But for all his hard work and extra time and energy, my son has been having a rough season.  I take that back…this is his third rough season in a row.  His team has lost way more games than they have won.  Last season, his team won one game. One.  The season before that was a bust too.

Today he had a particularly rough loss.  I waited for him to come out of the locker room.  I didn’t see him anywhere but I saw his teammates leaving one by one.  Most were laughing, joking.  A few were solemn.  And then I saw him standing off by himself, with this look on his face that just broke this mother’s heart.

He had tears in his eyes, but he was trying so hard not to break down.  Apparently, one of the goals by the other team had been accidentally knocked in by him…

What can I say to my child at a time like this?  I’ve exhausted all the usuals…”Everyone loses sometimes.”  “Everyone makes mistakes.” “Tomorrow is another day.”  I’ve even taken to singing the song “Tomorrow” from Annie on the way home.  I’m sick of this, but most of all, I am sure he is too.

I just took my son into my arms and told him I loved him.  Surprisingly, he let me do this in public. ( He is a tween after all, and mom affection is not cool.)

“How many games have you ever played in?”  I asked him.

“I don’t know…Hundreds?” he said.

“And how many times have you ever knocked the puck in on your own goalie?”  I asked.

“Just this once…” he said.

But I think the continued losing must be getting to him.  His team needs some success for all the hard work they put in.  If losing builds character, my kid has tons of it.

I asked him this evening if he still liked playing hockey.  He looked me right in the eye and said, “Mom,  I LOVE to play hockey.  I am a hockey player.”

Oh Boy.  My son…I will continue to cheer for you the loudest, and hold you close when you need it, because I LOVE YOU!.

But I do have a question…

To Mike Eruzione’s Mom,

How did YOU do it?

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“The sun will come out, Tomorrow.  Bet your bottom dollar, they’ll be sun”

 

POST SCRIPT

The second half of this particular season was wonderful…the kids started playing better as a team, they had a bunch of hard-fought wins, they had improvements in developing and they had fun together.  The parents got along well, the coaches were good, and the season was a success!