April 20th, 2021

Just Pondering: Let the games begin

By Medicine Hat News Opinion on March 25, 2021.

Did you hear the collective sigh that rang out across the land when all our TV sets tuned in to watch the Scotties curling last month?

It was as if we were given a ray of hope that our old world was returning in some small measure. Granted, it does look and definitely sound different then the old days and I do miss that roar of a jam-packed crowd when those spectacular shots are made, but we will get there.

Curling was such an integral part of my childhood and so many wonderful, happy memories rush back with the shout “hurry hard.” Strange I know, but I seriously can smell and taste the rink burgers, feel the cold nipping my nose and toes, hear the beaver tail brooms pounding the ice and cracking of granite as it clashes together.

It was a total family affair and the anticipation was akin to going to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico. Especially for my mom. It was her week to cut loose and the ladies sure did know how to do it up right. Best to leave it at that!

Things have definitely changed in the curling world since I wore a spat rubber shoe, attended a smoker night and embraced a week of bonspieling, however if you know what any of these things are, you are smiling right now.

The curling rink was usually the hub of any rural town all across Canada in the winter months. It was the gathering place for all members of the community and for a few weeks every January and February it was the place to be. Young and old.

It ignited competitive spirits, warmed our bellies with some of the best comfort food ever (homemade pie!) and just gave us all somewhere to laugh, swear, shout, stomp or cry. We forgot it was going to be minus-30 for the 10th day in a row or we hadn’t seen the sun for days. It was bonspiel time and we were set free.

So to Curling Canada and the wonderful guys and gals that entered the “bubble,” I say thank you. You all gave us hope and some normalcy in an upside down world.

I apologize if this is foreign to some of you but I’m thinking for a whole lot of us it is a feeling of coming home. Stay safe and well.

Allyson McCaw is a Medicine Hatter. Her column, Just Pondering, will run on the fourth Thursday of each month. Feedback can be sent to letters@medicinehatnews.com

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