Around The House: Curling life on and off the ice

So you’re a recreational curler who spends a lot of time – or maybe only one evening a week – at your local curling club.  You love the game and the people you meet there.  You might be someone who enters bonspiels and playdowns, or maybe you’re perfectly happy with your weekly night out with the team. Your club has a few hundred members, two sheets of ice, ladies who volunteer in the kitchen and volunteer bartenders – or a thick membership directory, eight sheets of ice, and professional food preparation.  No matter which profile sounds familiar, we’re all here for the same reason: our curling club is an important part of lives.

Photo: Kelly Atkinson (Fergus Curling Club)

You’ve come to the right place! Welcome to the Canadian Curling Association’s newest blog, Around The House. This is the place for recreational curlers to read about and share stories of our curling life on and off the ice.  Our domain is around the house (you know, those all-important painted rings that determine who wins) and around the other house (the tables and chairs, food and drink, and, most importantly, the people who keep us coming back for more). Who am I? Well, I’ve been curling for over twenty years and following curling much longer than that.  As a curling orphan growing up in Toronto, I spent countless hours watching my parents play at CFB Downsview.  My mom made it to Provincials one year, and both were so devoted to the game that my brothers and I spent an awful lot of time on our own.  Years later, when I moved to my mom’s small town in Eastern Ontario with my husband and baby, I took up the game in order to meet my new neighbours and pass the winter.  What can I say?  The curling club became the focus of my social life, and there was my dear old mother, sitting behind the glass saying, “See?  Told you so!” Since then, I’ve gone on to curl a lot (at three different clubs), run a junior program, volunteer for club executives and activities, and write about curling.  My essay “Curling Etiquette Teaches Rules For Life” appeared in The Globe and Mail, and my novel for young readers, Abby and the Curling Chicks, is still around, with a sequel in the works. In 2009 I wrote a book commemorating the 175th anniversary of the Fergus Curling Club. I write articles and features for The Curling News and blog regularly about curling issues at Grassroots Curling. But this is how I’d like you to see me:  I’m the one helping you sweep our skip’s rock to the four-foot hollering “C’mon! C’mon! We’re almost there!” I’m the one sitting across the table from you and laughing at your story about the time at the closing bonspiel when you….well, enough said.  I’m the one behind the glass cheering for your team in the club championships.  In other words, I’m a club curler, hanging around the house with you. So let’s meet back here next season, starting in September, and share our stories of the curling life.  No, we’re not going to be competing in the Brier like John Morris (check out John’s blog, Fit To Curl) or pursuing a berth at the Scotties like Cheryl Bernard (who is also blogging, Between The Sheets).  We’re club curlers, recreational curlers, and we embrace the curling life.  Let’s tell our stories, here, around the house. Got a story to share?  Send it to me at [email protected] Jean Mills, for the Canadian Curling Association