The party after the storm

The morning after the snow day dawned bright and sunny and mild–perfect for our winter party. Outdoor activities were the plan for the day, and we were well set with the weather… if only people could make it up to the house.

First on the list was to clear the driveway so that it was passable for a car.

Matt went to work with the tractor, while I dug out the walkway and our cars with the shovel. A flat tire (beyond repair) presented some challenges, but Wiley managed to power through.

Clearing the driveway with the snowblower on the tractor

Second task of the day was to prepare the pond for skating. My plan had been to send everyone down to the ice with shovels, but, with the huge amount of snow that had fallen, that probably wouldn’t have been the most fun. Thankfully my cousin had offered to help, and he showed up with another snow blower mid-morning and went to work clearing the pond for us.

Snow blowing the frozen pond

By early afternoon we were all set, and a couple of hours later people started to arrive. Arrivals for the most part consisted of people opening the door, handing me the food they’d brought and then turning around to head out to the pond or the fields.

It was good that we’d cleared the ice, because nearly everyone had brought their skates–including my Dad with his vintage pair.

My Dad laces up his vintage skates

The rink was a huge hit, even considering the cracks that opened up around the shore. We’ve come to the conclusion that our pond does not like to freeze. The ice held Matt, my cousin, me, the snow blower–and later two small hockey teams. It was solid. However, a few fissures along the shoreline and the water that bubbled up between them resulted in some soakers when people went for out-of-bounds pucks. It made for a unique and memorable hockey game.

Playing hockey on a frozen pond

Away from the rink, a large group with two four-legged scouts headed out across the fields thanks to a bunch of snowshoes supplied by another cousin.

Snowshoeing along a winter trail

The final piece of equipment that arrived–albeit a little bit late–was another cousin’s snowmobile. (Yes, I have lots of cousins).

Snow mobile at night

In addition to providing hours of entertainment, we also provided food and tours (for most people it was their first time at the farm) when they finally made it back to the house.

I have a fairly large extended family on my Dad’s side, and most of us still live fairly close. We don’t get together as regularly as we used to though, so it was nice to see everyone and catch up.

The morning after, hockey sticks, pucks, snow shovels and Matt’s GT in the snowbank in front of the driveshed are a reminder of the fun.

Hockey sticks, snow shovels and a GT snow racer in a snow bank

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7 thoughts on “The party after the storm

  1. That sounds completely awesome! I don’t have family living close anymore, and I remember how fun it used to be to get together. Once we had a party in August, I forget what year – mid-90’s I think – when there was a bigger-than-usual Perseids shower. We had bought our first house, which came with a cedar hot tub in the backyard. My brother is an astronomer, and so we all sat in the hot tub to watch the Perseids, then in the middle of the night when it was super dark, he set up his telescope and we saw a bunch of cool stuff, like a twin star (one red, one green), the Andromeda galaxy and more. So amazing!

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