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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Canada (01/29/09)

TITLE: Hockey Time!
By KarLynn Erickson


The excitement was more than Aaron could bare this morning. He was excited to get up most every
morning, but this morning was going to be the best one! Aaron’s dad Rick had been working on their
back yard rink all week long and finally it would be ready today.
Aaron crept out into the hall to have a look at the clock standing in the hallway. 430 AM! Mom and
dad surely would tan his hide if he got up this early and went out. So he decided to go back to
bed and try to rest until he heard some other stirring in the house.
Soon Aaron’s brother Tony appeared at his bedroom door.
"Aaron, is it time to get dressed yet?" Tony asked as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes.
"No, not yet. Better come over here for a little while and sit with me. Mom and dad won't like that
we are up this early in the morning." He said trying to calm his own excitement.
Karen and Rick Lefebvre sat in their bedroom smiling and listening to the exchange between their two boys in the next room. They decided they better get up and start breakfast now or they wouldn't be able to get the boys to stay seated long enough to eat later.
"Did you hear that?" That Aaron exclaimed.
"Yeah, mom and dad are up,” Tony said running behind his older brother.
Aaron Lefebvre plays hockey everyday in the winter months and this Saturday the 15th of December was the day they were opening their back yard rink.
He barely slept the night before and this morning he gobbled up his oatmeal so fast, his mother was sure he would get a bellyache. At 600 AM there was a small knock on the kitchen door. Erin got up to answer it.
"Come on in Ely we are just finishing breakfast."
"Did you want something to eat Ely?" Karen asked.
"No thanks, my mom made me eat before I left." Ely answered.
When both Lefebvre boys were finished eating they were out the door with Ely. They flew into the warming house to lace up their skates. The boys already had their pads and hockey clothes on. Aaron and Tony sat through breakfast with theirs on. Karen and Rick listened to the giggling, hooting and hollering that came at 630 AM from their back yard. It made them smile again. This is the day they waited for each year.
A new neighbor who moved in last year asked the Lefebvre if they ever got any other complaints about the noise.
Rick replied, "What noise?.
Every year at this time the same thing occurs in Piney, Manitoba Canada. It is tradition. Rick remembers the fun he shared with his friends when his dad built a rink in their back yard growing up. Of course his was banked with only snow and wasn't nearly as large, but none-the-less the memories that Rick shared with his dad were ones he wanted to share with his sons!
To build the rink Rick refurbished old boards that the city was getting rid of. He emphatically believes that nothing should be wasted especially good wood.
He starts to construct the rink in November when the temperature slowly starts it's decent. Initially
the boards that surround the rink are erected and are painted. Then when the temperature dips below thirty degrees for more than a few days in a row he will start "making ice". The making ice ritual begins with a hose connected to the back of the house.
Rick props the hose up so it sprays as far across the rink as he can get it to and keeps moving the hose around the rink. The proceeding layers are smoothed out and the water pushed around to make the layers even. It takes time and patience and a lot of love to get the job done right.
Many people in the neighborhood volunteer help. Karen makes goodies and gallons of hot chocolate for anyone who helps or just wants to stop by to visit. When the rink is done the Lefebvre’s have a huge kick-off party. And from that point on it seems there are always kids over playing hockey!

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This article has been read 368 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sara Harricharan 02/05/09
How fun to read about this process. I'd never heard about this before, wonderful of you to share it! A great read! ^_^
Kenneth Bridge02/05/09
Nice description of the process and thank you for inviting an outsider to develop an appreciation for a northern tradition.

Try spacing your paragraphs. It will make your article easier to read and more inviting to potential readers. It will also make proofreading easier. "Bare" in your first sentence should be spelled "bear." Since both are words in a dictionary a spell checker wouldn't alert you. Only rereading, made easier by proper paragraph spacing, would catch mistakes like this.
Karlene Jacobsen02/06/09
I love the boys excitement, and the new neigbors question, if anyone of the other neighbors minded the noise; then the father responds, "WHat noise?"
I was a little concerned that you didn't add in there that the other neigbors didn't mind; but I see in the end that you said the neighbors volunteered to help.
It began as a good story and shifted into an explanation of how the rink was constructed. I'm not sure that fits, however I'm also no expert.
Lynda Schultz 02/09/09
The neighbourhood rink is a wonderful tradition. Your story brought back some great memories.