Around the House: A Curler’s Holiday Wish List

‘Tis the season of giving and receiving, so let’s take a look at those special items we recreational curlers might include on the holiday wish list. 1. Draw weight I seem to have lost mine. In the first game I ever played, skips on both teams complimented me on my ability to get those rocks into the rings.  “For a beginner,” they said, “you’ve really got draw weight figured out, and that’s the key to becoming a good curler.” So true. But strangely (or predictably?) as the season went on, my ability disappeared. Then it came back. Then it went away again. And the years marched on, and my draw weight marched near and far. So, I would like someone to give me draw weight so that I can tuck it into my curling bag, ready to take out at the start of every game. 2. Practice time This item on the wish list is directly related to the one above. Perhaps if there was time in my schedule to get out on the ice and practice, I would be able to find that elusive draw weight more often. But recreational curlers come in many varieties, and for me, that means working full-time during the day and curling once a week at night. Free ice that can accommodate my schedule? Not available. Put it on the wish list. 3. More Wins than Losses on the score sheet Okay, it’s been a rough season for our little team. We were skip-less for a few games, and our vice stepped up and has been doing an amazing job for us.  We recruited a friend to round out our foursome until our skip can rejoin us in the New Year. So our season has been a bit bumpy so far. But no matter what’s going on off the ice, once we step on to the ice, we should be focused on making our shots and – we hope – winning some games. So far, the results have not been great. We’ve had some close games and some real stinkers. But the bottom line is, we’re not making our shots, we’re not outplaying our opponents, and that shows on the scoresheet. (Insert disappointed sigh, here).  The Losses far outnumber the Wins. So put that on the list: I want to win a few more games. No, I want to win a lot more games! 4. Arena ice They say there’s nothing like.  They say Canadian ice makers are the best in the world. They say it’s so far removed from the ice we play on at our local curling clubs, that the difference is like night and day. I’m willing to believe them, but what I’d really like is to give it a try. Chances are I will never have the opportunity to step out on arena ice and throw a few rocks.  Put it on the wish list.

Jack Bangay - Curling Sweater

5. An old-fashioned curling sweater There’s a picture of my dad, taken around 1957, standing in the Quonset hut that served as the ice house for CFB Downsview Curling Club. He was refereeing some event my mom was playing in, so he’s standing there recording the score on a pad of paper and wearing his stylish, hand-knit curling sweater. I want one. I’ll knit it myself if I have to, but I want one of those retro, rolled collar sweaters in shades of beige, green and brown. Forget the black fleece and bright, shiny jackets in funky pastels that seem to dominate the fashion scene at my club. Give me good old wool, with the image of a couple of corn brooms crossed on the back. And the last item on my holiday wish list? 6. Good curling… …and health and happiness, and the company of friends and family, whether it’s at a curling club or not. Happy holidays!