For the past few years, the Madison Curling Club has hosted a Halloween Bonspiel for interested teams. It is a reasonably good sized event with 48 teams of four filling out the field. This year, for the first time, I joined the competition.

The team on which I played had a woman from the Madison club as a skip, a man from the Wausau club as the third, myself at second, and a woman from Stevens Point at lead. None of were new curlers, but we had never curled together as a team before. The spiel had a three game minimum, which meant that we were guaranteed to play in at least three games. If we won a game, then we would play at least one more game for each game we won.

We lost our first game on Friday night by a fairly substantial margin. Of course, it was the first time all year the third and I had stepped on the ice, which certainly didn’t help matters. That game finished up around 22:15, and by the time we were done with the obligatory drinking and chatting after the match, it was nearly 23:30 before I got home.

Our next draw was at 07:00 the next morning which guaranteed that no one was going to get much sleep. We arrived at the clubhouse, played nine ends, and lost by, literally, one half an inch. That was a tough way to lose, but it certainly beat getting blown out.

Our third match was Saturday night. We played a team from the Wausau club and again were forced to play nine ends to decide the game. We lost that match by a single point in the extra end, which ended our spiel.

If nothing else, it was entertaining to see all the costumes the people wore to the club for the Spiel. It certainly brings another dimension to choosing a costume if one of the requirements is that you must be able to deliver a curling stone in costume.

Saturday, between matches, Sarah, Dalla, and I traveled to our community garden plot. We harvested all the remaining produce, pulled out all the remaining plants, and generally put the plot to bed for the winter. We brought home a fairly good size bundle of kale, some tomatoes, and five or more pounds of hot peppers. Now we just need to get rid of all those hot peppers somehow.

Sunday, we washed the windows, pulled off the screens, and continued getting the house and yard ready for winter. While Sarah went to school to meet with a group for one of her classes, Dalla and I watched the Vikings lose to the Carolina Panthers (no surprise, really). After that, we went hiking in the rain for a while so Dalla could run for a while before Sarah and I left to see “Chicago, The Musical.”