For years, Brian played "travel hockey." That meant that Tom and I spent many, many hours driving to ice rinks around the state of Michigan (and sometimes to states beyond) to transport Brian to, and then watch him play in, hockey games and tournaments. This was a weekend lifestyle for us -- for many months of many years. Yes, a Bit Nuts.I think this is a photo of Brian in 6th grade, although it may have been 7th. I know it was one of those two years.
Anyway, for the last three years, Brian has played hockey for his high school team. It's nice for him to play for his school -- and, as a bonus for his travel hockey-weary parents, most of the games are local! When there are out of town games, a charter bus transports the team in style. We Hockey Parents are a die-hard group, though. Like I said. A Bit Nuts. We still go to any "away games." (It's just not so much a lifestyle anymore.)Back in the travel hockey days, away games used to eat up entire days. Sometimes game locations were two hours (or more) away. Tack on to that. . . getting to the rink an hour before game time, then the actual game, then waiting for Brian after the game, and, finally, the return trip. Sounds crazy, doesn't it? That's what I mean by lifestyle. A Bit Nuts. But it was, actually, kind of fun. (I got lots of knitting done.) Now, Tom and I can just hop in the car and drive to the game -- and get back in the car right after the game. That cuts out a lot of hanging-around time (and, unfortunately, knitting time).
This weekend, Brian's team had a game in Muskegon, Michigan . . . which meant . . . Road Trip for Tom and I.
Here is the Hockey Mom getting ready for the game.
Now, I must admit, this is how I look before all games -- local or away. What's different about an away game. . . is that I also pack my knitting for the car!
And. . . off we go! Heading north.
For Saturday's game in Muskegon, we drove north through Grand Rapids. . .
and on further into the north . . .(We've played games in both Lansing and Cadillac, too, of course. But today we were headed for Muskegon!)
where the sun disappeared as we got closer to the lake. . .
After nearly an hour and a half of driving. . . we arrived at the rink in Muskegon.(I used to be very disturbed that ambulances were in the parking lots of hockey rinks, but, over the years, I've gradually gotten used to them being there.)
And, surprise! There in the parking lot were my Mom and Dad! Hockey Grandparents are a Bit Nuts, too!
And, look at the crowd! This is the visitors side of the rink! We really are a Bit Nuts, we Hockey Parents. We just can't keep away.
Just in time for the boys to warm up before the game.
And that's pretty much all I have to say about the game. See the scoreboard there? Before the game began? That's the best it looked for our team the whole game. 'Nuff said.
By the time we left the rink, it was dark for our drive home. What does a hawk-spotting knitter do on the way home in dark? Why. . . play with her camera and oncoming traffic, of course!
All of Brian's games for the next couple of weeks are local. Wish him luck. His team could use it this year!