Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hockey (or sport) is the Building Block for Life

I can remember, not that long ago, rushing to the rink in my parents van, fully dressed in hockey gear, which my mother insisted I put on.  My father was flustered as he had rushed home from work and was running behind, hence the reason my mother insisted I put on my gear before getting to the rink.  As fast as those days went by, they still consume a great deal of my memory bank and the smell of damp hockey gloves still invokes an adrenaline rush within my aging body.

I couldn't really remember my first years of hockey.  It took an enjoyable phone call with my Mom to remind me about those first important years on skates.  Through mine and my brother's first years of hockey it was my Mom who shuttled us to the rink and tied our skates. It must have been tough for her because if I was anything like my son is now it would have been a struggle simply to get me to sit down to get my gear on.  For that I thank you Mom.  Hockey played a big part in my family's life as I grew up and early indications seem to show that that trend will continue with the next generation, and it excites me, I am Canadian after all.

After a short time of consideration I decided to become the hockey coach for my son's Initiation team, and I have realized I owe my parents another huge thanks.  It is hard work getting my son out the door and to the rink, getting him into his gear, getting my skates on, and getting the practice organized but well worth the effort.  The young kids all have fun and their parents all look on with pride and it makes the early morning and rushed afternoons worth the effort.

It is astounding how quickly the kids learn.  They are learning to play hockey much faster than I am learning how to coach it.  I still scurry around before practice in a disorganized blur, while the kids now step onto the ice comfortably.  Where once most fell in a heap shortly after stepping on the ice, they now can't wait to get going and glide off with only a slight hesitation.  We spend less time picking them up off the ice now than we do trying to get them to stop and pay attention to the next drill.

No doubt my son will only have vague memories of this part of his life when he is older, but I hope to share with him the stories of my past and his past so that we can remember together.  I don't simply remember the game, I remember the little life lessons it provided and the lasting friendships it forged.  Like in all sports, youth hockey coaches, I'm starting to realize are not just coaching a player, they are coaching the future leaders of their community. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

High Water High

The weather forecast called for a great deal of rain and I got excited.  When we get rain like this I often need to go out and inspect some of the KWRC restoration sites and see how they are doing.  After a morning meeting, Chris and I headed out, not really approriately dressed for rain especially this much rain.  We laughed at the absurdity of the rain that was coming down.  I was impressed with how well the restoration sites were handling the heavy rains. 

This small tributary beats an angry path
towards Ward's Creek
Over the last 24hours it has rained a ton and the river levels have risen dramatically.  The hydrographic station in Apohaqui is nearly floating but still kicking out readings.  I was out checking out some smaller streams but even those were an unruly, riled, brown mass, rushing over the banks towards the larger stream systems.

The longer we trudge around the sites, the wetter we got and the harder we laughed.  The best thing about the day was that, despite being November, it was very warm.  We weren't cold and wet, we were humorous and wet.  As I mentioned in my Law Road hike entry, I get foolish when wandering in the rain.  This afternoon was no different except that it was raining much harder.

Earlier this year the KWRC completed assessments on a number of culverts within the watershed and we checked on some of these as well.  One that has been worked on, as a result of some input from the KWRC, was playing music as we approached it.  Large stones were rolling through the metal pipe striking lots of different notes as they did. 
Stones and sometimes rocks were rolling out of this culvert
that carried water towards the Kennebecasis.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Just a great day.

I just gotta say, if you haven't been to Cornhill in awhile, you should go and enjoy the long stretches of farm ground, the rolling terrain, and the slow pace of the gurgling brooks.  I had a great afternoon in the field today, first planting some trees with a grade three class from Apohaqui (thanks again to Mrs. Reicker's class), and then assessing a potential project site.  When the sun is shining like it was today it makes any place uplifting, but the ridges and fields around Cornhill possess something special.  Get out there and explore a farm field near you.  Be sure to wear your hunter orange though.

I got no pics sorry but just take my word for it.