The Snake and the Stick

Along with the requisite broom, rake, or tool-kit, every house should have a hockey stick. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; the new carbon models are definitely lighter, but an old Sherwood will do just as well.

I play hockey, so I have my hockey sticks and I have my house stick. My house stick sits in the corner of the garage and gets the occasional look from my wife like “and why are we keeping one of your beat-up old sticks around again?” Until the moment it’s needed.

“There’s a snake on our deck!” Alex screamed in astonished fear. Astonished because the snake was on a second floor deck connected to the ground below by only 4 steel poles, fear because it was a 4-foot snake and she’d be afraid of a 4-inch snake. I instantly ran out of the room. “Where are you going?” yelped Alex, not sure why I’d left her in her moment of crisis. But I wasn’t leaving her, I was just getting my trusty hockey stick. Not to kill the poor thing, just to wrangle it and fling it off my deck.

I used the length of the stick as a barrier between me and the big mottled brown snake, and I used the stick blade as a kind of spatula, but the thing was fast. It quickly slithered back to the edge of the deck and used its body in a repeated ‘S’ shape to steady itself between the brick house and the deck post below. It sat there and taunted me for a minute before I got my blade under it again and dangled it around the end of my stick. I lifted the thing up, but it slid down the stick’s shaft. It was about to slide right into my face when I quickly flung it into the grass below where it sat stunned for a minute, then slinked off into the woods.

Now, this was an extreme case and probably not the preferred tool, but it worked. So the old stick still sits in the corner waiting for its next mission.

Need a mop in a pinch? Wrap a soapy rag around the blade of a hockey stick and act like it’s game 7 of the Stanley Cup.

Need to reach that last Christmas light hooked at the end of your gutter that you’re not even sure how you got hooked up there in the first place? Hello hockey stick.

Cobweb in the top corner of your room? Use a dry rag wrapped around the blade of your stick.

Fire alarm blaring when you forgot to open the flu while starting a fire? Use the butt end of the stick and knock the thing down.

The hockey stick: Not just for hockey anymore.

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Naming a Room

Some rooms in a home are just better suited for specific seasons. Our library has become our go-to winter spot. Though, I’m still not sure if it should be called a library, study, den, or drawing room?

Drawing room is definitely too snooty. Its reclaimed cherry wood has an inherent warmth… and mystery: we’re not sure where it was reclaimed from. The books add their own density and warmth of stories told. And Alex centered the room with a furry white rug that you just want to put your toes in, or knead if you’re a cat (which Alex calls “making muffins”).

When we bought the house, I thought it was a nice room but I didn’t see us spending much time in there. Of course, I don’t have the vision my wife does, nor the decorating touch.

Being just off the main entrance, we didn’t want to make it an office with a desk and all the mess that entails. Back in the day, I suppose a room like this may have been used as a smoking room, but we don’t smoke. And a TV didn’t seem appropriate.

So on cold afternoons, we grab the book or magazine we’d been meaning to read, close the glass doors with just enough space to let the cats in, turn on the gas fireplace and kick up our feet. The room gets toasty like an oven, and the cats inevitably end up on the rug making muffins.

Maybe it’s the muffin room?

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