Live Free or Die

While Bill is in England visiting his family, the boys and I are in New Hampshire for a little getaway.  This afternoon we went snow shoeing for the first time on a trail around America's Stonehenge in Salem, NH.  We mistakenly left the orange trail.  At the intersection of the blue and green trails -- and a half hour before the trail closed -- I called the trail office and asked for advice on which way to go.  We handed our snow shoes in just before dusk. I had arranged to stay at a hotel with a big pool.  Unfortunately, the configuration of the hotel room is exactly the same as that of the The Black Bra Inn.  Will noted, "It's not as luxurious as some."  But not as bad as others -- no lingerie was tucked under the bed legs.

To the pool we went.  We were there with 25 other boys.  First, I thought, "Great, kids for the boys to play with!"  That was a short-lived thought.  Boys were cannon-balling into the hot tub and grabbing each other around the neck to dunk and hold under water in the pool  They were taking cups of water and tossing them at each other, and me.  I could see bewilderment in my boys' eyes.  A parent asked me if I was doing OK with the raucous.  I asked if it was a bunch of boys from the same class.  No.  It's a hockey team. 9-year-olds

The icing on the cake was when a half dozen of them decided to treat the tiled pool deck as a slip'n'slide.  Getting a good running start, they threw themselves headfirst down the pool deck.  Surely, now, a parent will say something.  Oh indeed.  The video camera came out and a mom said, "Do it again!"  Is this how hockey players really lose their teeth?

As the slip'n'slide was in full tilt, the hotel front desk clerk kicked them out of the pool, telling them there was a private party coming in.  There was no private party.  I'm pretty sure the clerk was just scared to kick out a hockey team and hockey parents carrying red plastic cups.  Anyway, as they were kicked out of the pool, one of the dads handed me a small "Personal Bible: Verses of comfort, assurance, and salvation" as he explained, "I give them to everyone I meet.

Honest to Pete, I wanted to tell him to save his kid's teeth and chin before trying to save me..

Did I mention that New Hampshire's state motto is "Live Free or Die"?

Now, would you believe that at 11 p.m. the fire alarm went off in the hotel?  And following the beeps, a woman said, "A fire has been reported in the building.  Please leave the building."  Apparently, all fire alarms are now armed with a motherly voice. One 50-pound child woke up and looked at me wide-eyed.  The other 50-pound child did not hear it.  So we put clothes on him and opened our door.  The neighbors were just returning to their room.  Seems there had been a fire in a microwave.

Did I mention there are three hockey teams staying at this hotel tonight?