Hodge Podge: NHL playoffs vs. annual gardening chores

Hodge Podge: NHL Playoffs

HodgePodge by Charlie Hodge

With the calendar turning to March and the NHL playoffs on the horizon, a dilemma looms of personal choice.

It largely revolves around a recently inherited household appliance – a bar fridge in my ‘hockey room’ in the basement where my hockey memorabilia is strewed around like a little boy’s bedroom. It seems quite appropriate, even if it does come with some pressure and expectations.

On the positive side said bar fridge (a.k.a. beer fridge) was free. On the negative – it comes with a pedigree. Tez’s Mom gave it to us. I find it amazing the various sacrifices one is often prone to endure in effort to maintain tradition and pay tribute to family members. I spend several weeks every spring torn between two family traditions that honour my parents.

The first timeline tradition is making sure I get my yard and garden prepared for spring planting by spending the last two weeks of April and the first couple weeks in May weeding, turning dirt, moving compost… Gardening is a healthy art form I learned from my mom. I recall the multiple hours we spent together in the garden with Mom passing on her sage like wisdom about all things growing.

The second tradition I learned (mainly from dear old Dad) often clashes in timelines with the first one. By genetics and years of training I am now annually absorbed with the Stanley Cup playoffs. I learned from father all the necessary skills of watching hockey – controller in one hand, beverage in the other, a tilt proof TV table nearby, and the inherent ability to scream at inanimate objects such as a television screen.

The mere fact that these two important events take place at the same time tells me one of three possible things about God: God has a twisted sense of humour, God DOES want the male specie to learn how to multi-task, or God is not a hockey fan (we know he is big on gardens because of Eden; however, we only suspect he loves hockey because otherwise … explain Bobby Orr or Conner McDavid).

So here is my pending dilemma causing much consternation.

What to do?

Tez’s mom sold her home and in downsizing to move decided to pass on a few gems from her house. While Tez largely desired to scoop up a variety of weathered yet nostalgic garden ornaments, it was the bar fridge that intrigued moi. As we headed back home one of the last things Mom said to us was, “Well, enjoy the little bar fridge.”

Being the sensitive and intuitive fellow I am, I immediately felt the pressure of making sure the fridge not only arrived safe and was ‘carefully’ relocated to a safe spot in the home, but also ‘enjoyed’.

Time has slipped by and I anticipate failing Tez’s Mom.

The garden ornaments are in the yard – but the beer (err, bar) fridge might remain alone in the corner of the dark, quiet rec-room while I foresee struggling hard in the yard. It’s not right. The guilt and the pressure are mounting. I will feel strongly compelled to simply have a cold beverage from that fridge while sitting down and watching a hockey game. Problem is the garden and yard will joyfully get in the way.

I am already feeling torn between loyalties to my mom or my dad. I feel like I will be letting down Tez’s parents, and likewise feeling conflict between my own passions. Which will I do – pull dandelions or drink wine, plant beans and potatoes or cheer for the Leafs?

A couple of years back I actually solved a similar dilemma by bringing a small portable TV out into the yard and playing the game in the background while working in the soil. When a goal was scored I would check it out briefly and then return to the play by play in my potato patch; however, Teresa and I were only dating at that point and so the slick move was deemed ‘cute and creative’ back then. Now, I am not convinced it would go over so well, especially if I moved the bar fridge outside as well.

Thankfully I still have a month or two to come up with the perfect plan; however, my first one is fermenting right now. It may involve having to give up a bit of my beauty sleep to satisfy all my desires and fill my role as a responsible dedicated family man. I’ll get up earlier in the morning or attach miner’s lamp to a baseball hat and work outside in the garden late at night after the games are over.

As big of a sacrifice as that plan is – it works. The neat bonus is Tez won’t be able to get real upset with me because by sitting down and enjoying the bar fridge and helping it feel welcome in its new home I am just ‘taking one for the team’ and honouring her parents.

Can’t say I’m not a team player, not to mention loyal, and family focused.

Could you pass me the clicker?

Previous articleKISS announces final shows for End Of The Road tour
Next articleOliver Osoyoos Wine Country Showcased in New York City
Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.