Last night after work, I pulled my car into the garage after work, got out of the car and for the umpteenth time sidestepped a hockey bag sitting on the floor of the garage. My daughter’s hockey gear sat there - precisely where she left it two weeks ago after her hockey season finished out. Untouched. Going nowhere. Fast. Despite my having reminded her almost daily to clean it out.
Grrrrrrrr! I know full well that if it is not moved soon, this hockey bag will soon become surrounded and overpowered by the new sentinel of sports equipment that comes with the changing of the season in our garage. One season ends and another begins. And once engulfed by golf clubs, bicycles and baseball equipment, no one will find this hockey bag until the fall when we will try to resuscitate its contents.
While wedged between winter tires recently removed from our vehicles and still entirely enclosed in its zipped up bag, the hockey gear does not emit the odour for which hockey gear is famous. But sooner or later, the beast will rear its ugly and stinking head!
I used to have rather complicated system of cleaning hockey gear in the spring: my disinfection process involved two huge buckets of water, one with bleached water and once just plain warm water for rinsing. It required a nice sunny day though for all the gear to dry in the spring sun. Our back deck resembled a battlefield. Hockey pants, knee pads, elbow pads, chest protectors and hockey gloves covered pretty near every inch of the deck. And we best not let our dog outside until the equipment was dried and put away, lest an elbow pad was pinched and buried somewhere in our garden. Once dried, the gear was returned to the hockey bag and brought to the cellar for storage until the next hockey season. While the gear was drying on the back deck, I machine-wash all the Under Armor, socks, jocks and Jills, and hockey jerseys which will also be stored until the next hockey season.
These days the process can a little easier for hockey moms and does not even require a personal Hazmat suit. Plenty of enterprising entrepreneurs have capitalized on the fact that parents – especially hockey moms – absolutely detest cleaning the hockey gear at the end of the hockey season and have started up mobile sports gear cleaning services or drop off locations. I’m not sure what sorcery is involved, I just know that the convenience is undeniable and the equipment is returned to our home, clean and sanitized and smelling like roses. Okay the smelling like roses part is a stretch, and all the personal wear still has to be laundered, but at least the deck chairs can come out of storage for the summer without delay.
And what’s more? I can now assign the gear cleaning responsibility to my husband - or anyone else in the household with a driver’s license for that matter.
Three cheers for the hockey mom – and anyone else who takes care of the year-end gear clean-up.
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