….for hockey and Valentine’s.
Minnesota winters get loooong about this time of year, and so its stalwart citizens find various ways to pretend to enjoy being outside…skiing, snowboarding, and of course, hockey. Recently, the national pond hockey championships (yeah, that’s a thing) were held on a lake less than a mile from our house on the very same weekend my parents were here visiting. That coincidence is pretty funny to me, considering the following story from early on in my parents’ dating relationship:
My parents were in high school and had been dating about six months when it happened. See, my dad loved hockey and often played at a local rec-center, where he was frequently bruised and battered as hockey players are. But in this particular instance, he’d been hit, quite violently, by a puck in the face…and had a lump the size of an orange protruding from his cheek. So naturally, he sought comfort at my mom’s house because
who better than your girlfriend to nurse you back to health my grandpa (my dad’s dad) had repeatedly and sternly warned him to quit playing hockey and getting hurt. But my mom, being the astute caregiver that she is, quickly determined that my dad’s cheek needed some serious medical attention.
So, to my grandpa’s house they went. When they got there, as my dad had anticipated, my grandpa was less than pleased with his son…and as is typical on this, my Eastern European side of the family…the conversation quickly got heated and loud, as my grandpa refused to take my dad to the clinic, citing how time after time he’d warned my dad to lay off the hockey. My dad of course, continued to make impassioned pleas, using his bruised cheek bone as evidence, and the conversation got louder and louder until…
…my mom began to cry. See, my mom comes from a generally gentle and quiet Scandinavian family, and the growing volume of the conversation and the growing bruise on my dad’s face just got to her. And as the tears began to trickle down her face, suddenly my dad and grandpa started shoveling words and shouts back into their mouths as quickly as possible.
This story has been told and retold in our family over the years, because while neither of my parents remember if they did end up at the hospital that day or not, they did stay together and have been together for over forty years…despite coming from two utterly different family backgrounds. And all’s well that ends well: my grandpa and mom are tight because they both now know that my dad isn’t the world’s greatest advice-taker.
So, while my parents visited, my dad and Eric went to see the pond hockey championship on a day that dropped well below zero with wind chill. I had no regrets staying in the warmth of our home….especially after hearing them talk about how the wind blew them across the lake, and that the tournament actually got shut down for the day because the warming tent literally blew over.
And here it is…Valentine’s Day is just about here. So whether you’re newly dating, or discovering things about your partner’s family that are not so fun, or have been married for decades, happy Valentine’s week…check back in a day or two for a fun Valentine’s breakfast recipe!