We had a great day yesterday, spending about three hours on the ice on a beautiful, blue-sky, 35-degree-ish Sunday. RJ and I made the first skate marks shortly after breakfast, spending about 45 minutes wheeling around. He pushed a chair around for a bit, then was totally content sitting on said chair while demanding that I “go shoot my pucks in the net.” I tooled around and snapped off a few dozen shots, to his delight.
Later in the day we were joined by my mom, my dad, and some friends of ours and their children. My mom parted early, but my dad stuck around and skated with all the kids. RJ and one of the other kids, Connor, are both learning to skate, and spent equal time pushing around chairs and watching their dads reclaim some of their youth. After taking the skates off, both boys grabbed sticks and played some mini Mini One-on-one with the dads (and pepere!) It was a great time, and having RJ walk inside after it was all done and say “Mom, I just had fun” makes every minute I work on it worthwhile.
The ice condition wasn’t the best. Half the rink was pretty smooth (think Phil Kessel smooth), while the other half needed some serious work (think Shane Hnidy work). Skateable, but barely, and it wasn’t pretty. While I spent probably four hours at night over the course of three nights last week trying to prep the rink for the weekend skate, it didn’t seem to be enough. I still need to raise the water level about another inch or so to overcome the bumps and ridges that exist, but with another 6-10″ of snow coming in two days, I have no idea when that will happen. At any rate, the temps appear to be staying below 15 degree at night for the foreseeable future, so at least that aspect of Ma Nature is cooperating.