Spring is finally here, and the snow has mostly melted, and the roads got slushy—so I cannot help but remember what spring was like when I was a kid. My dad used to make a rink in the backyard, a classic Canadian winter-time endeavor. My brothers and I used to spend hours on the ice. We would skate, we would play shinny in our boots, and we were tasked with keeping the ice freshly shoveled. My dad went all out with this rink—we had benches to sit to get our skates laced up. There were flood lights, so we could skate after dark. One of my most vivid memories of the rink is looking up at the pitch-black sky and watching snow fall towards me illuminated by the flood lights.
Every spring, the melt from the rink would be epic. Our backyard would essentially flood. Instead of skating, we probably could have swum. My dad would get a sump pump out to try to combat the flooding, hoping that it wouldn’t seep into our neighbours’ yards too much.
While I never went on to play a ton of hockey like my dad and one of my brothers do, my memories of the backyard rink are fond. Other kids in the neighbourhood would come to play with us. Flooding the rink when it got cold enough was a big deal.
And really, there are few more quintessential Canadian experience than having a backyard rink