We went to a college hockey game Saturday night. Fun. Haven't been to a hockey game in years - think the last one was the minor-league hockey team that was Houston-based, the Aeros. Funny thing... I was just checkin' out the Aeros website and see that it states, "primary affiliate of the Minnesota Wild"! Anyway, last game attended there was back in the 90's, I am guessing. The college game was played at an older arena, with a new one scheduled to open Dec. 1st. And I was scanning the seated crowd and was struck by the fact that it appeared to be so white (as in Caucasian). After spending 25 years in multicultural Houston, this is still so jarring to me.
This area has a LOT of blue-collar workers and those who work with their hands. The recession has been tough on the surrounding towns and residents. Homes are posted for sale and stay on the market for months and months. Sometimes a "For Sale" sign is removed and you are hopeful that someone has sold their home. But it is eventually re-posted with a different realty company now on the sign. And lake homes (such as the one where L lives) are especially tough to sell, as people give up luxuries during tough times.
It was L's birthday on Tuesday, and his daughter and her family had us to their house for dinner. Nice treat, where you don't have to cook anything! And another dinner on Sunday, this time at his son's home. They also invited L's daughter and her family (5 in the family for them), plus another couple - L's son works with the husband - so there were 11 to feed. So a SECOND treat, where we had no food responsibilities except to show up.
After eating and visiting with everyone, we drove in the direction of home, stopping at the Inn to watch the remainder of the Vikings - Packers game. Ugh -- a tough loss, and I did not like that so many of the Packer fans booed Brett Favre at the end of the game. Brett was on the Packer's sidelines, exchanging handshakes and so on with former teammates, being very gracious in defeat. Oh, well... I am sure that the Vikings have their share of bad sportsmen in the stands.Sigh... Being a Viking fan means you never ever really believe in your heart that they can "win the big one". Unlike the Twins, who have, at least twice in the past century (OMG - it HAS been that long) won the World Series. There are countless jokes told and retold, about two Minnesota Scandinavians being sent to Hell, and they are not discouraged by conditions there. Raised in so much cold weather, they are actually enjoying the heat. So the Devil changes tactics and makes Hell a frigid place, so cold that they will start complaining. But not the Scandinavians. As the temperature dips lower and lower, they begin to rejoice, hugging each other, hooping and hollering. The Devil is astounded and taken aback. "What", he asks these two,"are you so happy about?" One of them turns to him and replies, "The Vikings won the Super Bowl!" The Devil: "How do you know this?" and they reply, "Hell froze over!"
I am looking forward to this weekend and our push towards Tampa. Warm weather, you are only a few days away (with stops in Texas's Hill Country and in New Orleans, on our journey to Florida)!