Groff's Garage: Near...Far...WHEREVER YOU ARE!!!!

Who doesn’t like road trips? The Beauts are hitting the road to Boston and I CAN’T go because I have my boys, but that doesn’t stop me from making sure the Beauts are well taken care of on the road.

 First thing was making sure the rooming list was done and emailed to the hotel in Boston. How the hell am I going to pick who goes with who in what room and if we have an uneven number, who is the lucky lady that gets a room all to herself? Yeah, it doesn’t matter to me, to tell you the truth, I randomly pick the girls and put them in the rooms, and whoever is picked last, gets the lone star room.

Second…WEGMANS – the girls CANNOT ride the bus without snacks. Hi ho, hi ho, off to Wegmans I go, with my list in hands, but need to make it fast because I have to get to Wegmans before I have to head into Custom Edge for work, then field hockey game at 4:30, home by 6 for dinner, homework and read with the boys and bed…yeah, this is my only time to go and get this done, the time is NOW. Who am I kidding, I have field hockey an hour away, so that means dinner will be a meal replacement and then to the rink after the game. Apples, bananas, Clementines, wheat bread, jelly, nutella, instant oatmeal, individual hummus packs, cheese sticks, Greek yogurt, fruit snacks, water, Gatorade and granola bars…done! Back to my house, put all of the refrigerator food away, other snacks go in the Rubbermaid. Cleaned out the giant cooler and CRAP, have to get to work.

OK, work was uneventful, sharpened a pant load of skates and was able to get a couple rounds in the rapid shot…relieve some major stress.

I have to give a major shout out to my mother, because not only does she help me with my boys, but if I call her and ask her for pretty much anything and I mean pretty much anything…she is an amazing mum, mema and person. I love my mum. She helped me out HUGE, she washed out the giant cooler for me so I could pack all the food in it, load it into my truck and head off to field hockey in RoyHart – yup…RoyHart. The field hockey team played hard in the freezing cold under the lights, and I boogied out of that field and looked at the GPS. Damn it! 1 hour drive to the HarborCenter – ugh! It’s Thursday night and heading to the Beauts practice to load everything up so that tomorrow is easy to throw in the bus and go. I feel terrible that I am not going on the first road trip of the year, but duty as a mum calls.

Holy bananas this cooler is heavy and I don’t even have ice in it yet. Finally, I finish unloading everything from my truck and get into the rink. Cooler is filled with ice and goodies; snack Rubbermaid is fully stocked, jerseys are packed, socks are packed, towels are in the laundry, water bottles are in the water jug ready to load the bus. Head to the locker room to give the girls a breakdown of the weekend and when the bus will be leaving. A.I.S is noon (A.I.S means Ass In Seat.) The ladies know that they will be left behind. I told them they are stocked up and ready for the road, just bring movies, pillows and bus blankets.

I spoke with coach Craig Muni and manager Nate and let them know exactly what was going on. I know everything will be fine. Everything will be fine!

It is always nice to get text messages from the Beauts from the bus letting me know they are enjoying the snacks and thanking me…it’s nice to know I’m appreciated and the mum in me continues to care after the team.

Saturday morning my boys missed their practices because the plague has decided to bless our house – sore throats, slight fevers, coughing and pant load of whining for MOM!! I can’t help but think of the girls, hoping their breakfast at the hotel is good to go, the pregame meal is up to par and all other details are falling into place.

The boys and I have a lazy day so we can kick the plague out of the house. We have a Sweet 16 birthday party to make an appearance at. I’m on the hook for a few snacks,  so I hope the boys are better…otherwise, snacks won’t make it.

The Beauts are on their way to the rink…starting their routines…my heart is with them on the road, but it’s good to be home with my boys. I loaded my truck with the snacks and treats for the party – PUCK DROPPED – I need to get to the party ASAP, help set up, and then find a corner to sit and watch the game on my phone.

Is it really being anti-social with friends and family because I am watching the Beauts take on Boston? My anxiety is starting to kick in…the game is back and forth…Boston goes up 1-0 – Bri is playing out of her mind…come on ladies, we got this…YEAH WE DO – Beauts SCORE!!! Beauts SCORE!!!! We are heading into overrrrtimeeee, as Rick Jeanneret would so kindly announce during the Sabres game.

Gimme dat.

Gimme dat.


Perfect – plenty of time to do a lap around the party, say hello, make sure my kids are behaving…there is so much candy at this Candyland themed Sweet 16…pixie stix, yes! Riley and Cooper are having such a blast. What an over time! Game still tied, here comes the shootout.

Heartborken, Boston takes away a shoot out win 2-1. Beauts played outstanding.

Heading home from the party, I wanted to send a message to the girls, but I knew I would see them when the bus pulls into the HarborCenter at 5:00 AM…yeah, at five AM. I planned on meeting the bus to help unload.

At 4:00 AM my phone is lighting up and ringing off the hook…it’s Ric Seiling, telling me that the bus will be at the HarborCenter by five. Thanks for the wakeup call Ric! I started my truck at 4:30 AM to make sure it was warm for the boys…I loaded the boys in the car and off we went downtown.

We beat the bus to the HarborCenter, but the boys didn’t fall back to sleep; they were so excited to see the Beauts get off the bus. McLaughlin came over with a cheese stick and peeled a piece off to give to Cooper, but Cooper snagged the bigger piece leaving McLaughlin with the small piece of cheese. I loaded my truck with the cooler, snack bin and the jerseys and then headed back home.

Cooper passed out in the truck so I had to carry him into the house and put him back to bed. Riley climbed back into bed, where he slept for a few more hours. I threw a load of the jerseys in the washer and unloaded the cooler stuff into the fridge.

It took a couple of days to finish all the laundry, towels and socks, but everything is loaded back into the jersey bag. I washed out the cooler and organized the snacks. On to the next week!

Erik Wollschlager