Wednesday, October 5, 2011

And the Bodies Hit the Floor…

Before anyone gets alarmed, the title sounds a little scary and ominous really I picked it because it works when you have players arriving and crashing wherever they can for the first day or two.

Before you can truly appreciate how crazy things were this year let me explain what happened in previous years.  In the past the players have arrived on the first weekend of August.  Around 2pm on Saturday afternoon they would meet at the rink to fill out paperwork, sign housing checks, meet their new families for the first time, and to see who they knew on the team.  After the meeting was over players would follow their host families home, unpack into their rooms, and generally they would head out for dinner and back to the hotel to stay the night with their parents one last night.  Come Sunday there was always a large BBQ everyone sitting around chatting, getting to know each other, host families caught up with each other and met the new players, then once things were done the boys would move the rest of their things in and spend the first of many evenings with the family.

However, this year things were a little on the crazy side with things happening in rapid fire style.  The boys all arrived on different days, there was no Team BBQ, and we were all flying by the seat of our pants.  Needless-to-say, with the level of chaos we had going on players were arriving and families were not ready for them.  Our Chris was the first to arrive – and I was ready for to an extent.  We got him moved in, ate dinner with his family, Chris and I hit a movie, we got him enrolled for school and he was off to a great start.  Somehow though in the mix of everything Veronica just happened to be working so I was one parent short for a few days, but we made it through. 

Things were off and running well, until the phone call came.  I have already told you the housing director is the guy that fixes all problems, and I was handed a fun one right away.  One of the boys arrived in town to not only find out his room was not ready, but his family was not even in town.  They had taken off to get their son moved into college.  Normally this would not be a big deal except the players family had not planned on being in town for more than the day because their younger son had school the next day.  Being the guy I am I packed him up like a stray puppy and brought him on home to meet the family.

Now because I felt bad I made some homemade spaghetti for him, and Veronica had to work that night so I let him crash in our room and I took the couch instead of making him sleep in the front room.  The evening was progressing well until another player’s parent called me during dinner to ask directions, and had a list of questions a mile long.  As the phone was ringing I made my plate, grabbed my garlic bread and headed to my chair to eat, but quickly had to leave all of that behind to get on the computer and pull up paperwork.  Sitting in the kitchen I realized I was extremely hungry, cooking all day does that to me, so I made myself a plate.  Now if you remember, which by this time I had forgotten, I had already made my plate once.  Thinking the conversation on the phone was wrapping up I headed back to my chair to find a drink, a plate, and a fork waiting for me.  The boys of course found this extremely humorous.  Passing the second plate off to Chris, my eating machine, we had a little laugh after I got off the phone finally.   The night was the first in many nights where more than one player would end up at our house during a transition.

One of those very transitions brought us Isaac, our little mistake.  Isaac as you will find out is the laid back, easy going kid that nothing seems to ever faze.  He started the season living with another family and another player altogether, but as things shook out both of the boys left their first home.  While during what was supposed to be a brief transition we ended with Chris, Isaac and another player on the team all crashing here until we could get the extra boys moved.  One of the players was a short stay, although he became very fond of my cooking and you will hear about him very often, Brett also known around here as Scooter, moved into a house with a fellow player about three days after starting his mini vacation with us.  Brett made a pretty good impact and has his own quote that is repeated very often around here – “Dude. Go to bed!”  All spoken with an extremely thick North Dakota accent.  While we were sad to see him go it was a sigh of relief with one less mouth to feed, and one less body on the floor of the basement. Not to mention the lack of “Dude, go to bed!” being shouted at 11pm when everyone else was still awake.

Isaac was not as easy to get rid of, every day I thought we were a little closer as he kept telling me he had a place to live but needed to clear up the details.  It was pretty evident though he was not going anywhere fast.  After two weeks we gave up, and Isaac found a permanent spot in our hearts.  He volunteered to sleep on the couch in the front room or in the basement, he even said he would share Kaiden’s slidebed.  Eventually we ended up tossing Cloudya into Kaiden’s room and he took over her bed while we made the final adjustments of adding another body to our very small and overran boarding house. 

With everything said and done now I look back on it and would not have it any other way; I would still toss my hands up in the air and start singing...let the bodies hit floor.

-         Thomas

Stay tuned for more on our little…I mean tall oopsJ