Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z ~ Zamboni

These are the continuing adventures of a Swedish immigrant during her first year as an American. She boldly went where she'd never gone before...please come along on Adventures in America.

For this last post, I thought I'd fast forward to high school. I left myself (and a few of you dear readers) rather depressed yesterday. While it is true that life changes and surprises come, I truly believe that God orders our lives for our best, no matter what happens, good or bad.

I got some really good stuff in high school. My best friend Smooshie and I were rabid hockey fans. Her dad bought her season tickets to the Washington Capitals, and we went to a LOT of the games together. I'll be forever grateful to him for giving me his ticket so many times.

I've loved hockey since I was a kid and had been to many Capitals games as one of the Volvo perks we enjoyed. Going ALONE, with your best friend, was much more liberating, though. (Sorry Dad – loved, and still do – going to hockey with you, but with Smooshie, we got to meet the players.)

One of the privileges season ticket holders can enjoy is after-game skating parties. They let us out onto the ice, right after the game, and we could skate in that giant arena, pretend we were famous figure skaters while we waited for the players to finish their locker room stuff and come out the door which we would start stalking after just a few laps.

We each had our favorite players. Smooshie loved Mike Gartner, #11. Here she is with her hero:

Here I am with one of my favorites, #27 Paul Mulvey.

My actual hero was a Swedish player, Rolf Edberg. 

I did get to meet my hero several times, though not at one of the skating parties. We were doing our “laps” during intermission – we'd walk all the way around the arena, people watching, looking for friends while the Zamboni re-finished the ice– and I passed him (he was injured and not playing) and said hello to him in Swedish. He stopped in his tracks and HAD A CONVERSATION WITH ME. Can you imagine the complete and total awe a 16 year old would experience? Yeah, it was cool.

He apparently remembered me after that, which of course thrilled me. A couple of games later, still injured, he was sitting in the press section, and I'd of course gone looking for him. I was sorta shy (yes, hard to imagine isn't it...) and was standing a couple of rows back, working up the courage to go into his row. He turned around. “Du รคr den Svenska tjejen?” (You're that Swedish chick?) We had another conversation. He wasn't a popular enough player in general that they sold his jersey with his name, but Smooshie had a shirt made for me instead. I still have it, in a box. Somewhere.

Good times. I had lots more finishing growing up in America. I fit in as well as a math, word, and band nerd could. After all, I was an American now.  


Thanks for joining me on this adventure!  I appreciate each and every comment, and now that we're done, I'll be able to come visit you.  Also, don't forget the Reflections Posts.  The list, available at the A-Z Blog, and in my tabs above starting May 3, is to be used AFTER you've already posted your piece.  Go here for a complete explanation.  


Andrew Leon said...

Very cool.
I have a sort of similar story with a musician, so I know how that can be.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. I love that you had so many adventures at the Ice Hockey games - and you were so lucky to have those tickets ... and I love the 'sorry Dad - but..' story! Smooshie what a great name .. Great you were able to talk in Swedish to Rolf Edberg ...

Great that the Viking chick who loves math(s), words and bands .. is resident in the US of A .. and is part of The Challenge ..

Loved the stories .. see you soon - and yes I've masses of catching up to do ... cheers and hugs Hilary

Sheena-kay Graham said...

That's great. Congrats on making it through A-Z.

Matthew MacNish said...

I grew up in Minnesota, where we know all about Zamboni.

It's been a real treat serving as a co-host alongside you, Tina! Glad we both made it to the end.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Season passes! What a treat. I would've taken advantage of them as well. You realize you probably made Edberg's day by speaking to him in Swedish.

Brian Miller said...

very cool...hockey was a season for me as well..in high school and college we had a minor league team here and used to go watch them...had a blast...woot on being done with A-Z

Suzi said...

I went to a Capitals game once years ago when we were on a trip to DC. Don't remember much about it, but it was my first NHL game.

I grew up in a hockey town and college hockey was the thing to do, since we were/are too small for a NHL team. I had one good friend that came to games a lot-luckily my parents had 4 tickets.

We always did laps between periods. Around and around and around. Looking for friends and cute boys. It was so much fun.

Suzi said...

I went to a Capitals game once years ago when we were on a trip to DC. Don't remember much about it, but it was my first NHL game.

I grew up in a hockey town and college hockey was the thing to do, since we were/are too small for a NHL team. I had one good friend that came to games a lot-luckily my parents had 4 tickets.

We always did laps between periods. Around and around and around. Looking for friends and cute boys. It was so much fun.


Congratulations in completing the A to Z Challenge.


JoJo said...

I loved your A-Z posts and it was so great to get to know you better. BTW, great pic of you. Ah the feathered hair look...lol

Banker Chick said...

I was not familiar with Ice Hockey growing up, so when I first heard the word Zamboni, I thought it was ice cream.
Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

Jeremy [Retro] said...

wonderful tellings... thank you for all that you do and the many more posts you are going to share. we were a great team this year!

Lucy said...

What fun childhood memories. I am not a huge fan of hockey but when we do go to a game I like watching the Zamboni machine make the ice smooth again, I know very weird.

Lucy from Lucy's Reality

Alison Sommer said...

That's a great story.

I think it's funny though (a sign of the times?) that you were such a big hockey fan but when you got on the ice you pretended to be a figure skater instead of a hockey player.

Laeli said...

WOW! I would have keeled over dead in delight. Squeee~

lookingonthebrightside said...

Ahahaha, I forgot all about Rolf! I wish I had a picture of you with HIM instead! Ahh, I loved going to those games, and you were definitely less shy than me, since you actually SPOKE to players (unlike me most of the time). There was the time when we were taking pictures at one of the skating parties that I got a kiss from #11(thanks to a dare from you or Terri, I can't remember which- probably Terri ) ;)

And I can't find my jersey anywhere...

Carol Kilgore said...

How cool he made you a jersey!

I'm so happy I did A-Z and connected with you here. I've loved all your posts.

John Wiswell said...

The photos made me smile, and then he had a jersey specially made for you! How charming and sweet.

Congratulations on crossing the Z-day line!

John at The Bathroom Monologues

Andrea said...

Great fun reading your posts, and being a minion! Congrats!

Jo said...

Enjoyed your story, I could empathise being an immigrant myself.


Maria Dunn said...

I like the way you finish this post, Tina, "After, all, I was an American now." I can't say enough how I wish more native born Americans would wear their citizenship as well.
By the way, I agree with you on starting school later from one of your earlier posts, not that learning doesn't start as soon as we are born. Enjoyed your Swedish immigrant adventures. It is good for us to look at life through another's eyes. God bless, Maria at Delight Directed Living

precari0us said...

Wonderful post..

Congratulations on the completion of the challenge.

- Your fellow A to Zer
Visit my post at http://precari0us.wordpress.com/

Rachel said...

This post was much happier than yesterday's post! I've only ever been to one hockey game. It was kind of fun to see the fights but that was all I really understood. I'm not a big sports fan.

Congrats on making it through the Challenge and thank you for taking us on the journey you experienced!

klahanie said...

Hey Tina,

I have actually driven a Zamboni!

Wow, all those photos and I'm delighted you love hockey.

You do realise that my favourite team, the Vancouver Canucks have the Swedish Sedin twins.

And speaking of a true story. My mother and step-dad sold their apartment in Vancouver to a Canucks goalie named Kirk McLean. The guy with him at the time of viewing was Trevor Linden.

I remember, very well, the players you mention.

Thank heavens and well done to completing the A to Z. Now, can we please get back blogland? Thank you :)

In kindness,

Gary :)

M. J. Joachim said...

This was a fun journey, Tina! Your adventures are exciting, wonderful and beyond memorable. Thanks for sharing them with us!