Hockey practice can be hectic

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 12, 2002

The only thing I know for sure is that I should never ever plan how my day will turn out. Last Monday I rose early to butcher 13 roosters that I had to get rid of as I had just purchased 16 eight-week-old hens that are going in the space the roosters had occupied.

The butchering went well because my husband helped by chopping their heads off and with the plucking of their feathers. He left for work while I was bagging up the roosters.

I thought the day was going fairly smoothly and I finally was getting some much-needed tasks finished. I put the chickens in the freezer and cleaned up the kitchen. Then I went to pick up my 9-year-old son, Timmy, from school. He has just started hockey and this is his first year. He had attended practice twice previously. I wanted to make sure he ate a hot supper and that we had plenty of time to get to practice. I made him grilled cheese sandwich and chicken soup to eat. It was 4 p.m. and he asked me if he should get his hockey equipment on. I said, "We don't have to leave until five, I think you have a little time."

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I told Timmy to go check for eggs, I looked at his homework and then the phone rang. It was a woman asking me to give a reference for a friend of mine. The phone call took longer then I expected and I nodded to Timmy while talking on the phone to start getting his hockey equipment on.

When I finally got off the phone, Timmy was sweating and said he didn't feel comfortable in his hockey equipment. It was the first time he was wearing an athletic supporter and cup and he said it felt awful. He was all dressed and it was five minutes to five and his hockey practice started at 5:30 p.m. I know nothing about such equipment so I didn’t know what to tell Timmy. I called my neighbor Leona because she is one of the smartest women I know. She has three grown sons so I figured she might know something about supporters.

Leona said, "Timmy is the type of kid who really has to be comfortable. Have him wear the supporter outside his underwear."

I told Timmy to do this. He had to take off his shin guards, suspenders, long leggings, down shorts, and jeans. He rearranged the supporter more comfortably, put all that equipment back on, then we got in the car for the 20-minute drive to Owatonna where he plays hockey. We were four miles from Owatonna when we realized we had forgotten his hockey stick. I turned around and drove back home to get it. We drove back to Owatonna, it was now almost 6 p.m. Timmy hobbled into the ice arena and then I proceeded to tie his skates. This is not an easy job. He finally got on the ice at 6 p.m. I had a headache and I was thinking why had I decided to put my self through this?

He had 20 minutes on the ice after an hour and a half of getting ready.

He never complained about being late and he said he would surely remember his hockey stick the next time. He still wasn't comfortable with the equipment and he stripped down in the car on the way home. When we got home, the day wasn't over as my husband had run over a goose and killed it. I cut its head off, plucked the feathers and gutted it to save the meat and let it soak over night in the sink. I just hope my husband's around the next time Timmy gets ready for hockey. We will have to have a practice run of putting all that equipment on.

Sheila Donnelly can be reached at 434-2233 or by e-mail at