I figure when it’s cold outside and we’re facing daunting chores such as chopping ice half of the morning, we might as well enjoy it. I like to “become one” with the ice, so to speak. It takes my mind off the sore muscles I know I can expect later that night and off of the seemingly unending striations of ice I have to chop through before I see the “liquid silver” (water).

Joe, the goalie, celebrates a block.

            So a few days ago, I thought I’d try my hand at ice hockey. I’ve never been much of an ice skater—my ankles can’t handle the stress of standing on a thin blade while I’m sliding down a sheet of ice at autobahn speed. I love watching ice hockey and my husband and I even attend games at the Air Force Academy when we get the chance.

            There obviously isn’t a hockey rink within miles of our ranch, but a frozen stock tank or pond works great. A roll of electrical tape makes a great puck and a broom (or the axe) works pretty well for a hockey stick…now to find a worthy opponent.

            Hmmm…curiosity has gotten the best of the horses, who stop by to see what exactly is going on at their watering hole. I can take these guys. I give them a few minutes to pre-game (they’re looking at each other like, what the heck?). Time’s up for pre-game chit-chat. They step on up to the tank and put on their game faces. They look tough, but I don’t think they can stop my crossover, 360 reverse spin slap shot.

Three Horsepower's defensemen.

            I’m on the other side of the tank and I get a good run toward the goal (that would be the small hole I’ve managed to chop in the ice for the horses to drink from). I’m known around the local rinks for my adept stick handling skills, but I don’t think the Three Horsepower team has heard of me. Sccooooorree!!! The worst part is digging the puck out of the net, er, hole in the tank.

            I pull off my gloves to stick my hand in the frigid water to retrieve the puck. Joe, Three Horsepower’s goalie, decides to cheat and steals one of my gloves. He picks it up with his teeth and flashes it for everyone to see his great prize. Then he spits it back on the ice, not real proud of the taste of wet leather.

            That brings me back to reality…it’s time to finish feeding the other hockey teams (Bovine Beasties, Cat Crawlers, Hen Hustlers…). We will resume this battle on another day, Three Horsepower!

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