PRIDE - Curling Day In Canada

Growing up, our dining room table often became a sheet of ice with salt & pepper shakers moved around to show off great curling shots and we heard strange words like house, the snake pit, take out, draw, bonspiel and Mom and Dad were frequently absent on weekends. I was very young the first time my Dad took me to the “club” and let me throw a few rocks and I was hooked! I curled in high school and became very proficient at take-outs but my draw game sure left a lot to be desired. I later curled in business girls and afternoon ladies. The highlight of my curling career happened when my mother became ill during a bonspiel and my Dad asked me to fill in. We were still in the first event at that point and I can honestly say I have never been so nervous in my life. Dad and Mom were both excellent curlers and Dad especially was well liked as he was such an honest and respectful curler. His freeze shots were well known. I was playing lead so my deadly take out wasn’t necessary in many cases and my draw shots were either too light or too heavy and I was almost in tears feeling I was really letting the team down when we were so close to winning the event but at the same time beaming with pride just because I was curling for my Dad. After end 6, I felt a comforting arm on my shoulder and Dad said ” In order to be a good curler, you must be a little nervous to get the juices flowing. I have been able to use all the rocks you have thrown even if they didn’t hit the mark so your contribution has been very helpful.” I needed that little bit of encouragement to settle me down and miracles of all miracles I came very close to making all my shots from there on in. The first event trophy along with the prize was presented to us and I had the wonderful opportunity of standing up beside my “hero” and accepting the applause and congratulations. In the years to come, we curled as a family in many bonspiels and I marveled at the athletic ability of Mom and Dad while I continued to be mediocre but enjoying every moment of the sport and family time. My daughter became interested in curling and I became a curling groupie at age 70 when she and I spent a week in Toronto at a Grand Slam and had the opportunity of meeting the curlers in person. I am now 77, require oxygen 24/7 but with the help of my trusty scooter with a “Fear the Moose” flag on the back we still go to Briers, Grand Slams and the Scotties whenever we can. Thank you so much to all the pros that take the time to autograph my jacket, pose for pictures and make my senior years so very enjoyable. I have had such wonderful times with the curling community and there aren’t any nicer people around. I have made friends that we have met at various venues and renew such friendships every time we are at an event.

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