Been a slow month for the Bear Feed, but I should give better reasons than “just plain busy”. While I have a couple of posts in my head from an event earlier in the month, the timely thing to post about is something that happened this past weekend. The End of the Curling Season.
As you faithful Bear Feeders know (all 3 of you), part of my life in Alaska seems to be surrounded in curling – my new winter hobby. Curling, though, is a winter only sport. Sure, it’s an indoor winter sport, but the cost of maintaining curling ice through the summer and the competition for doing fun stuff during the summer outdoors makes maintaining it useless to our little curling club here in Anchorage. Like any good thing, we ended it with a bang. The annual Spring Spiel (or Spring Bonspiel), a tournament which included prime rib, caribou chili, beer that kept getting cheaper as the weekend continued, and of course curling. My usual team was broken up this time, in part because one of them decided to get married on us the weekend before, but we still had a solid team – which meant we got stuck against competition well over our head and we ended with a respectable 1-4 record.
But to know me is to know that I like symbolism, and this weekend was full of it. First of all, unlike last year, I ended the season on a personal play highnote. I was haunted most the summer by my last rock of last year, a shot at points if I just aimed right, and I missed so bad the rock wasn’t even in play. With pushing myself into better shape and some new equipment, I was throwing the rock better than I had all season including being able to slide out past the house (which is like saying in golf that you can drive past the women’s tee – but not the point). In truth, the further you can slide when you are throwing the rock the more time you have to adjust the rock before you release it; only thing better than sliding past the house would be to make it to the hogline something I never did ever … until the last rock I threw on the weekend.
Probably as big of time was a game I played this weekend where our team went up against four guys that all had a part in my curling development in different ways. Playing against them with my own team (and leading my own team) was like showing them what they taught me and to play well against them was to give that back in a way – and it was the best game I have ever played in my Curling career. In the end, I missed a very very tough shot for the win, but made some nearly impossible shots throughout the game to keep our outclassed team right there to the end. Playing a team that had my full respect so closely was just icing on the cake.
So the weekend ended and we headed into the summer without curling. That too marked by symbolism when the compressor keeping the ice in condition was shut down, and the kids were allowed out there in ice skates (something that destroys curling ice – so its only allowed one day a year). We raised our glasses, said farewell, then raised a few more glasses after that.
Curling starts again in October and we will see where we are then.
Now let’s get summer started already.