Hockey in August and other summer oddities
Monday at 2:27 pm
Things are beginning to develop new norms as we lurch along in 2020. I’m enjoying following the Chicago Blackhawks‘ progress in the Stanley Cup playoffs, which didn’t seem possible when (ice) hockey paused in March and the team’s record wasn’t strong enough to qualify for it. But now, all of the Western Conference playoff teams are in Edmonton and the Eastern Conference teams are in Toronto — while both of those cities’ teams are already eliminated from the playoff.
It feels weird to turn the air conditioner down or off to make sure I can hear the play-by-play call of a real, live hockey game in August. I missed that a lot in the first months of the pandemic. I realized just how much my mental calendar is set by events — during the hockey season, during the playoffs, on Race Day (as my parents called the Indianapolis 5oo day), during the Triple Crown horse races. Even the political conventions — one starting tonight — won’t be the same this year.
Everything had seemed to be in what hockey players and fans call summer — “the off-season.” Everything has been “off” in some way, whether closed, slowed down, reduced or just missing.
So it’s great fun to keep following the games. Other oddities aren’t such fun, such as having to put my mask on to put the trash out or do the laundry.
The oddity I may remember the longest was at church two Sundays ago. Instead of sitting at my desk and watching the service on my PC, I went back to church and participated in the readings for the broadcast service. I hadn’t been in the church for five months and one day — a record for my adult life. Just being there touched me deeply, and I was glad to participate. Hearing the soprano soloist and organist start practicing Mozart’s “Laudate Dominum” just as I came in was a great delight.
So at least those oddities can be wonderful. Maybe the fact that I was pitching in, contributing my voice, was part of that joyful Sunday. I think I’ll try to remember that as the year lumbers along.
Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook.