Friday, February 11, 2011

Pond Curling

For as long as I can remember, curling has been a revered sport in my family.

My dad was an avid curler throughout his life, 

eventually introducing the game to my step-mom who is still curling strong today.

And this year she has begun handing over the curling gauntlet to the male twin, 

who curls in her kids group each Sunday.

It's fair to say, I see curling in my family's future for a good many years to come.

What I didn't see coming, however, was a link between curling and the old farmhouse.
 Curling originated in Scotland, with evidence indicating that it was as early as the beginning of the 16th 

century; it was played outside on ponds throughout many long winters for the next three centuries.

Thanks to many Scottish immigrants who settled here, Curling has become a true Canadian sport, more 

popular than in any other country. As in Scotland, it too was played outdoors but by the mid-1800's curling

took a turn for the predictability of the indoors and warehouses were converted to rinks; before long the use 

of refrigeration permanently changed the landscape of curling to what it is today. The lack of snow, which 

causes too much friction for the rocks to slide and a less bumpy, more reliable ice surface certainly helped to 

advance the game. But if you've noticed there are revivals of all sorts happening and I'm not just talking about 

canning or raising chickens. There is an outdoor revival of sorts, why even the NHL is holding a few games 

outdoors. In my books, the best way to enjoy winter is to partake of it.
So what does this have to do with us here at the old farmhouse?

Sure we have a good sized pond, but have you seen curling rocks for sale lately at your local sports store?

If you answer yes to that question, call me.

Meanwhile a new and thoughtful family friend who just happens to have connections in the local curling world 

visited us just before Christmas and before you could say 'Rural Revival Revelers are a Really Radical Realm' 

ten times (try it!) we had four gorgeous vintage (!) curling rocks gracing our pond. 

And thus we have begun a revival of pond curling. 
 The good old-fashioned way.
Another Rural Revival at its best.

I'm linking up with Verde Farm's Farm Friend Friday!

~Happy Friday Friends!~


giozi said...

I've never seen that, but he had fun time

2 Tramps said...

What a great outdoor sport to get everyone involved and physical. I was just watching a movie yesterday about curling.

Chris at Red Gate Farm said...

My first thought was... "where in the world do you buy curling rocks?"!! And even though I'm American, I knew they were called rocks!

This is great that your family is carrying the tradition on to a younger generation. My mother-in-law's father was a HUGE curler back in the day and he introduced the sport to my father-in-law. Saw a few matches (are they called matches??) while waiting for minor hockey games to start over the years... and it certainly is interesting to watch.

The fact that you're able to do these activities outdoors amazes me! It's pretty rare for us to have a pond freeze hard enough to walk on, let alone for any length of time.


ps... less than a week to go and I'll get to experience some of the cold myself :)

TexWisGirl said...

That is awesome!!! Many many moons ago, my mother worked for a couple who started a curling league/club/whatever in their little town in Wisconsin - no one had heard of it before there. :)

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

IDK, but when we get ice thick enough to go out on, we go ICE fishing!! However, that doesn't happen too often here in mid- Mo. Yesterday the blacksmith tried it, the ice was 9 inches thick and the fish all ran the other way. So we ate beef for dinner!
Have a great weekend.

thecrazysheeplady said...

OH! I would love to try curling. I watch it every winter olympics. Outside on a pond? Even better!

ain't for city gals said...

I know nothing about curling but for some reason I can watch it forever on TV..BTW I am reading The Days the Falls Stood Still...really enjoying it!

Dog Trot Farm said...

Andrea, I have to admit curling is not my favorite Olympic sporting event to watch, however, I am a fan of any winter sport that gets kids outside enjoying the cold winter air. I having a feeling your son is going to be a natural! BTW two hours North of me is the Belfast Maine Curling Club.

Nancy said...

I remember watching my uncles play this when I lived in Newfoundland. I always wanted to jump on one of those stones and ride it to the end of the ice. :)

I thoroughly enjoyed this post Andrea. The photographs and your writing was excellent. :)

Joan said...

I've curled before but never outdoors. Something to think about. My SIL has a pond at their place and curling would be great to try.

Verde Farm said...

This is the coolest post of the day! I fell in love with curling in the winter olympics before last--I guess many folks did. I think it is amazing you all are curling right there at home on your pond. I just love it. Great post and photos!

~from my front porch in the mountains~ said...

I would love come and try curling!
A. How heavy are the "rocks"?
B. Does the ice need cleaned off every so often for smoothness; like when we skate
C. How do you keep score?
Enquiring minds want to know.

I like to be prepared for my Winter vacations that take place at adorable Bed and Breakfast inns like Gothic Revival farmhouses.

I just have to find all four of Annie's skates.

Really loved this-maybe a video?! That would be awesome!
Happy weekend to you and the gang!
xo, misha

~from my front porch in the mountains~ said...


Dawn said...

Oh I LOVE THIS!!!!! You and I could write a boo on Canadian Winter Sports:)
(I just themed Ice Fishing;)

Happy Curling:))

Dawn said...

ooops...I meant "book"

MJ said...

This is awesome!! We love to watch curling in the olympic games!

V.L. Locey said...

I`ve never seen curling aside from on TV. Thanks for sharing!

Patrice said...

Hi! I'm your newest follower.I really like your blog. I think the American Gothic picture that you used for the photo of you and your husband is really clever!I must say, I have never seen curling, except on TV. Drop by and visit my farm blog when you get a chance.
Have a great weekend!

Leslie @ Farm Fresh Fun said...

What FUN!!! How awesome of your son to pursue a family tradition like that one. We've been sitting here together enjoying all your posts and hubby loved the idea of hooking the kids up to a tobaggon for firewood duty! ;-P Love your new fonts/layout etc! Happy year of the bunny. Can't wait to see which chicks you get and how you design your coop. MORE fun!

Deb said...

I love curling! I love to watch it that is. I would love to try it. How neat to play it on your pond. I wish I had thought of this. I might have been an expert curler. Oh, to dream!

Laurie at Turner Farm said...

Oh what fun to have them at the farm. Fabulous photos

Michelle said...

Great post. I have always been interested in this sport. Great to see your family participating in it.

Cheryl said...

Neat!! My boys used to curl! So fun to watch the younger ones play!

Mary, Windy Meadows Farm said...

What a fun's so nice when a family tradition is passed on. Sweet memories to be made.

Unknown said...

Pond curling! So cool that you got the rocks. In my sister's small northern Ontario town, my parents and sister's family used to curl in the winter. For many years, until real rocks were purchased for the arena, they curled with Javex bottles. I can remember how excited they were to get the rocks. Your photos are beautiful, as usual.

Rural Rambler said...

Very cool Andrea. CH and I love to watch curling on tv. It's fascinating. The male twin looks like an Olympian in training! I think what makes this a cool post is that curling is a long standing tradition in your family. Traditions passed down thru family is just an awesome thing these days!

Mary Ann said...

I am so glad for Farm Friend Friday because I have found so many good new blogs.... I did not know about pond curling, and it looks like fun! Thanks for the great post!

Elle Bee said...

All I can say after looking at those pictures is C-c-c-c-cold!!!! But cold is so beautiful to me. :o) I love the curling tradition being kept alive on your frozen pond. That's really neat.

Unknown said...

I. Love. This. Blog!!!