Mom was the instigator, the little trouble maker! “Come on kids, we have just enough girls for a curling team. Dad is a City worker so we qualify to join the Medicine Hat City Mixed League on Saturday mornings.” I pointed out respectfully, “Ummm……mom, not meaning to burst your balloon, but only you and Betty curl. Linda and I do not have a clue how to curl.” Linda, oldest sister, a competitor to the core and oblivious to the fact that we basically would be playing with half a team, quickly grabbed dibs on the position of Second, pointing out that I was younger than her so I had to play Lead. Betty was an obvious Third as she was a curler and had even participated in some Junior Southeastern Playdowns. Mom, the leader of the pack, was the Skip, no questions asked.
In 1974, an all girl team in a mixed league was an oddity. The daughters decided to be realistic and set our sites low. We felt that if we scored a point in the game, therefore not getting skunked as we say in Western Canada, the game would be declared a success! Oh, we had so much fun and so many laughs! We did win one game the first year and we were pretty proud of ourselves.
Mom patiently coached us along, teaching us the basics and then the finesse of curling. Her faith in her daughters paid off in spades when, a few years later, we won the league. Although the win was great, the time spent as a family curling together was greater.
The highlights…how about the day one our competitors hid moms last rock in an empty garbage can. Now mom claimed she was five foot two, but she never proved her claim and always complained about her taller than her kids. ( note the attached picture). Unable to reach the rock, she resorted to tilting the can over and crawling into the can to retrieve her rock. Not one of her daughters helped her! Another highlight….there was a grudge match with the City of Lethbridge. Our league was pretty proud of the success of their all girls team. One of our male league members caught up with me as we were going on the ice for a game. Kathy, he said, I heard the skip of that all male team say they were playing an all girls team. He said they will win and be off the ice early. I said to myself, buddy, you have no idea what is coming your way! And yes, we did beat the all male team, much to their surprise!
So thank you, for sponsoring this contest. I probably will not win, but wonderful memories. Mom passed away very young, Linda has bed knees, Betty gets vertigo, but I curl on, loving the game and meeting great people. Thanks coach!