With the coldest week of our winter so far, the weather has been perfect for the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships that were held at Lake Nokomis this weekend.  Attracting hockey players from all over the world, the games are held outside in the winter landscape of the frozen lake.  No matter the temperature, the players are in their element.  Some teams show up in full hockey uniforms, while others are playing in jeans and red flannel shirts.  But it’s the sport and the camaraderie that’s showcased here.  So that’s the good of our winter weekend.  However the ice also played a sinister part in my weekend.  While I was walking up to the warming tent at the Pond Hockey tournament, I shared an experience that many other Minnesotans have endured this winter.  My feet went out from under me and I landed on the ice, trying to steady myself with my right hand.  Oops! – not the thing to do.  This split-second slip earned me a trip to urgent care and x-rays of my wrist.  Luckily it’s not broken, although it’s done its share of swelling and turning black and blue.  I now have a renewed appreciation of my dominant right hand and all the things I use it for.  Note to self:  Be aware, be alert, take small steps, and concentrate on what you’re doing and where you’re going.  We still have many more weeks of winter to go and, needless to say, I don’t want a repeat performance.

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