Texas Stars forward Taylor Peters is chronicling his life as a rookie in the American Hockey League. Check back for occasional entries from Peters right here on TexasStarsHockey.com.
A Rookie Perspective: The Much Anticipated Third Installment
Months later, he’d crack his knuckles in unison, blow off his laptop, and start typing again…
Before the season started, I was a little let down by the fact that coming to pro meant cutting my Christmas break in half. Since I left home for hockey, Christmas has always been my opportunity to come home, get away from hockey for a bit, and reconnect with my family and friends. Obviously, losing any more time with them came as a negative, but I realized something, no matter how long you take a break from something, be it a month, a week, or a couple hours, it always goes by too quick. Always.
Christmas was a blur, dinners at grandparents’ houses, unwrapping presents (I got cookbooks and drum-stick salad spoons), and as many stops to Tim Horton’s as possible, and then it was over. I barely even managed to sneak in my traditional Friday Night Five Pin Challenge at the local Bowl-a-rama.
I turned 22 in late January, normally a pretty mundane day, but this one was like no other. While coming off the ice for the first intermission, I recognized the people hanging over the railing, sporting sparkling signs and screaming my name. Down all the way from Vancouver were my three best friends and my girlfriend (who I’m eternally grateful for orchestrating the entire event)! It easily enters my top three best birthdays list, with the other two being when I got an N64 and my first Ultra-Lite hockey stick.
Just a week later was our road trip to Abbottsford, home to many of the Peters’ clan. As per usual, we were scheduled for a short flight over to Dallas before making the big trip up to Canada. Thanks to a mechanical error, our primary flight was delayed a measly forty-five minutes out of Austin. The final delay brought us into Dallas just fifteen minutes after our connecting flight was supposed to take off. To our chagrin, the airline refused to bend to our reasonable request and took off anyways. Normally, not a big deal, hopping onto the next flight out north was easy. However, our next available flight wasn’t scheduled to leave until 7:00 that evening (right about the time I was planning to be digging into seconds at Grandma’s house).
It could have been worse. With some brutal weather conditions in mind, folding cots had been stacked beside the counter at one of the bigger gates for overnight use of travelers stuck in the airport. From the distance, I almost swore it was a mirage, a far off paradise, too good to be true. But as the small group of us got closer, we realized the treasure we had stumbled upon. Word quickly spread through our ranks of the cots at gate D9 and, by hour four of our delay, we had turned much of the gate into our own personal campsite as we watched the hours tick by. Thankfully, apart from that one snag, our travel has been smooth.
Back in Austin, things have definitely become more routine. I’d like to think I’ve taken the tricycle wheels off my cooking abilities, but there has been a couple instances when I’ve bitten off a bit more than I can chew in a delusion of grandeur and taken a shot at some Master Chef dish (I’m looking at you, Dark Chocolate Vinaigrette dressing…)
As shorts and sunscreen weather starts to roll in, I have stocked up on sunscreen, finding myself asking the lady at Target if they, “have anything stronger than SPF 100,” and, in a stroke of genius (in my mind) I bought a hefty bottle of Aloe Vera for after that inevitable “base burn” comes. I think God’s getting me back for all those ants I burned with a magnifying glass as a malicious toddler.
And finally, if anyone works at the Randall’s by the Arboretum and is wondering why the entire stock of Mint Chocolate Clif Bars disappear every two weeks…