Ramble On: Bringing up hockey billets

I know I have written about some of the aspects of billeting before but some things bear a little repetition.

I know I have written about some of the aspects of billeting before but some things bear a little repetition. The other night I made a comment to one of my two Columbia Valley Rockies billets about one of his food preferences. He responded, “You don’t even know me, Marilyn!” Well, in my defence (if I need one!), he is one of eight young men who have resided at my home for any period of time during this hockey season. Honestly, do I remember who eats broccoli and who doesn’t? Most of the time I do, but do confess to a bit of confusion once in a while. He is also likely one of about 35 to 40 hockey players who have slept under my roof over the past nine years. So if I forget that one doesn’t care for mushrooms or if another likes their bacon crispy versus wimpy, I plead brain overload. One thing I do know is that almost half of them tell me they don’t like onions — two or three days after they have raved about a couple of meals that are chock full of them — and garlic too! So they leave my house loving onions. One thing that amazes me is the number of vegetables these boys have never tasted before. I actually had one, who hailed from Yellowknife, tell me they didn’t eat all that “stuff” up there because it all had to be flown in so the selection was limited. I took that explanation with a grain of salt and he learned to love broccoli as well as the fish he claimed to never have tasted. The summer after he left, I answered the phone to hear: “Hey Marilyn, I have the fish here; now you have to walk me through what I have to do with it so it tastes like yours.” Turnips are a new big favourite in my house right now, but the beets didn’t go over that well. At least the boys can now say they don’t really care for them though, and not wonder what the heck a beet is. Bottom line, it is a lot of fun to have these young men in my home, getting to know what they like and don’t, and helping them expand their horizons and taste new foods (and also open themselves up to new experiences I hope).   As the quote by Pablo goes, “Never under estimate the difference you can make in the lives of others. Step forward, reach out and help.”  I like to think this is what billet hosts do. Whether you take a hockey player or an exchange student into your home, we all make a difference in that person’s life. Now about the sport across the street from the Eddie — a huge thank you to the ladies who put on a fabulous ladies’ bonspiel last weekend. The decorating was awesome as were the costumes. And the entertainment was truly Vegas worthy! Thanks for all the laughs. Marilyn Berry is the community columnist for The Valley Echo and can be reached at maberry7@yahoo.com.

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