Lynn's Comments: Back to hockey! These were busy times, but the early morning practices, the struggle with uniforms and the expense were all worth it. I am such a supporter of children's team sports. It's great exercise, wonderful experience and parents must participate. You can't take a very young hockey player and leave him or her to play without Mom and Dad in the stands! They have to see you cheering for them, encouraging them. I remember watching the kids whose parents would just drop them at the rink and come back later. Perhaps they really didn't have time to stay, but the look on their children's faces as they scanned the bleachers, looking for someone to work hard for - someone besides the coach - was sad. Perhaps they did well in the long run, but it's my guess that the kids who excelled at hockey (and everything else!), were the ones whose parents stayed to watch them play.
Lynn's Comments: No matter how fast he was skating or how complex the play, Aaron knew where I was in the stands. He knew I'd be there watching everything he did - at least I tried to watch it all. I was one of a tight knit group of hockey moms who always sat in the same place. We always wore the same parkas; a huddled little throng, trying to keep warm with blankets, body heat and bad arena coffee. In Lynn Lake, your parka was a sort of signature. Like waddling mounds of fabric huffing wads of steam out the top, we were part of the northern landscape. My parka was blue with a wolf fur hood and a decorative band of green around the bottom. My friend Nancy had a green parka; June's was magenta. You could tell who was who by the way they walked and what they wore. Those parkas kept us from freezing to the bleachers as we dutifully watched our boys skate their hearts out - for the team and for us. I never looked forward to the 6 am practices, but I'll always be glad I was there.
Lynn's Comments: After all the hockey I've watched, after all of the news clips and interviews and hockey related trivia I've had to endure ...I still don't really understand the rules. A pile up like this, to me, might just as well be part of the game. How un-Canadian!
Lynn's Comments: I was happy with this punchline. In cartooning, a phrase like "turning over a new leaf" usually leads to a smart reply. You can also change the words: "A nerd in the hand is worth two in the bush". I always caution new cartoonists against using a familiar quote unless they are planning to use it in a zinger in the last panel.
Lynn's Comments: Boys really can smell terrible. A girls' locker room might have its ambient whiff, but a room full of young male hockey players can be downright asphyxiating. When it was decided that moms were no longer required for skate tie-ups and supportive hugs, women rejoiced all over town. The news made rink-side hot dogs and all-day coffee taste fine. It was, let me put it this way, "A breath of fresh air!"
Lynn's Comments: One of the best ideas ever was the annual hockey exchange. As our kids grew out of their skates and uniforms, we gladly exchanged them for larger gear--used and still useable. Parents came to the Anglican United Church basement with everything that didn't fit and the bargaining began. This event made it possible for many of our kids to remain in the game. For a lot of families, hockey was just unaffordable.
Lynn's Comments: Connie and Lawrence were characters I simply couldn't delete. For some reason, they were compelling and important. They "spoke to me." As I've said before, some characters allowed me to bring them to life, and others disappeared like smoke in a wind. I'll never understand why.
Lynn's Comments: After the strip became second nature to me, I began to look past the main characters to the Pattersons’ neighbours and friends. I was so immersed in the neighbourhood that I wanted to know what was going on in their families, too. I began to introduce strange new characters; people who would be interesting for the readers, and a challenge for me.
Lynn's Comments: This happened, too. Some of the nastiest behaviour at the kids’ hockey games came from parents in the stands.