Project: Backyard Ice Rink (Part 4)

Estimated reading time: 3 minute(s)

A few people have been asking, “So how’s that ice rink of yours doing?”

In that most of them live in the same region that we do, and have experienced this unusually warm winter along with us, I usually give them a wry smile and then gauge whether they are truly up for the full story, or not.

I usually gather that they are not able or interested in the full story, or, truthfully, usually I don’t have the time or energy at that moment to utter much more than, “Yeah… sure has been a crazy winter, eh?”

But here, I will close out the Winter of 2012 Campbell Family Backyard Ice Rink story.

As you know if you read parts 1, 2, and 3 of this story, we’ve had our share of difficulties besides the lack of freezing temperatures. (Since the two days of bitter cold days early this month when we filled the rink with water, there have been only 7 days where the high temperature was at or below freezing. And, there were highs in the 50s! In Rochester, NY!)

So clearly, that has been a problem.

But as was mentioned previously, the grade of our land being greater than we anticipated, along with the plastic not being large enough for the rink we made… and then, our attempts to bond two pieces of very un-equal plastic sheets together being thwarted by two ridiculous windstorms ripping apart the seam we had so tenuously bonded.

Ugh. It’s been one thing after another. Simply astonishing. Stymied at every turn, which does tend to get you down a bit… and nearly give up trying.

BUT. And that was a big BUT.

Our kids still love it.

They have been out on the half-rink of ice as many times as they could. Whether using skates or just boots, they play a few periods of hockey, work on their tight turns, or just have the winter fun we were hoping to have in our back yard!

We are really ready for next year!

Really! We’ve learned so much, we know exactly what to do to make the best ice rink (that we can afford!) in Wayne county! We’re excited to try it out. I think we might have the rink ready to go by Thanksgiving weekend next winter!

We have everything we need for our raised gardens in the spring!

We attempted to plant a garden with many great veggies in our back yard a few years back. Much to our chagrin, most of the plants did not do well at all. (I think we harvested seven tomatoes!) By a stroke of curious luck, I happened to see an article in a newspaper from my hometown of Springfield, OH that described all of the trouble we had been having, and attributed it directly to walnut trees. Bingo! We have (too) many walnut trees on our property and several adjacent ones!

So, in a subsequent summer we did cultivate a few self-contained tomato plants on our deck, which was fine, but we wanted to do more. Our best idea was to build raised gardens, but we needed to buy wood, and plastic to hold the dirt and compost and such (and keep it away from the walnut tree roots).

WELL, enter our “ice” rink! We were wondering where we’d store it all summer… and now we know!

When life deals you lemons …

So it’s not been the joy we thought it would be, but we really have no complaints. We’re glad we did it, and it’s fun to see the silver linings listed above. There are several.

There always are.

Series Navigation<< Project: Backyard Ice Rink (Part 3)Backyard Ice Rink: Update 2013 >>


  1. Wanted to say you are a great example to us all!

    I love how when you share stories from your life you capture the ups AND the downs. But, you show perspective and how you chose to see God’s working in those ups and downs. What a blessing to your family!

    So glad we met you and Jen all those years ago at Nazareth!


    1. Thanks, Jill. I sure wish we lived closer to you guys … it’d be super fun to spend days at your campground watching ALL of our kids play together. Just our two families is like a small retreat group! 🙂 I’m glad our paths crossed at Naz, too! (it really was quite a few years ago now!) 🙂


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