Most prairie people enjoy a winter thaw, just not during a bonspiel played on natural ice. Such was the case many years ago when my dad skipped our rink during a family mixed ‘spiel. Because he had lived his entire life in our small community and had not only put in the ice but flooded it more times than you could count, Dad could read the ice like the back of his hand. So, on this particular day, the ice – having a mind of its own – decided that we would have to throw against the turn. I got down in the hack to throw my rock. By now, with the mild weather, it had become a “put both feet in the hack and push” scenario. To top it off, Dad wanted me to take out one of the opponent’s rocks nestled in the house. To my astonishment I hit the broom, threw the right (negative) turn all with enough weight to oust the rock. Due to the warm temperatures, however, the frost on the inside of the rink was melting and forming little bumps on the ice. The rock I hit was sailing nicely out of the rings when it hit one of those small hills and glided back into the house to be a better shot than when it was first hit! Even with all the ups and downs (literally) of that bonspiel, we ended up coming home with a revered trophy which I have kept to this day.