Going to an ice hockey game in a frigid arena on the coldest night so far this winter in the UV? It's perverse. Yet, there I found myself hunched over, scurrying into the hockey arena with the bundled-up "faithful," trying to keep the tweens with me from laughing out loud at the poor guy who wiped out on a patch of ice on his way in. And desperately trying to keep as much of my body covered as possible so that icicles would not form.
For a girl raised in the South, the whole experience was somewhat surreal. If the temperatures ever dipped below zero in my neck of the woods in North Carolina, you could be sure that we were not going to venture far from our heater except for school or work. My family's Civil War era house did not have central heat, so I remember very well waking up and being able to see my breath as my face ventured out from under five layers of quilts. And I remember scurrying to the wood-burning heater to lay out my school clothes and then changing into them once they were warm and crispy.
If you had asked me then whether or not I would ever live in a place where the temperatures could easily drop to 20 below zero I would have told you that you were crazy. And if you had asked me the name of my favorite hockey team, I would have asked, "What is hockey?" Flash forward thirty years, though, and I find myself embracing that cold weather and the game of hockey. Thus, I found myself sitting in an arena on Dartmouth's campus last night cheering on the men's hockey team and loving the excitement, the cold, and the warm beverage in my hand. It was a rousing game, played close to the edge throughout, and ending up in an overtime that saw Dartmouth slamming the winning goal into the net. Sure, my eyelashes froze and I fell into a snow bank on my way to the car, but now I can't wait to go back!