Local resident makes most of ice

Candlelight Estates resident Nick Pagel constructed a mini-ice rink last week that his sons used to play hockey in their front yard. (Contributed photo)

Last year, The Leader profiled Candlelight Estates resident and Imagination Woodworks owner Nick Pagel and his passion project to build a 16-foot wooden plane.

It is no wonder that inspiration also struck during last week’s snow and ice storm, resulting in an ice hockey rink at his house.

“I built a quick rink out of some leftover wood and a tarp, colored duct tape for lines, then filled it with water on Sunday and waited for nature to handle the rest,” Pagel said.

Pagel modified his sons' indoor hockey sticks, utilized the indoor hockey goals and borrowed some real hockey pucks from a friend.

“My boys who are 5 and 7 have never been ice skating, so instead of trying to get them ice skates I used some old shoes of theirs and glued sandpaper to the bottom so that they could play on the ice without slipping,” he said.

By Tuesday morning, the boys were playing hockey on a homemade, 2-inch-thick ice rink.

“They had so much fun,” Pagel said. “It was their first time on ice.”

Eventually the ice cracked, making the rink unusable, but because of the City of Houston's lack of water pressure, the melting ice served a new purpose.

“Little did I realize how useful it would be to tap into the water under the ice to flush our toilets and boil it to wash dishes,” Pagel said. “My neighbors came over with buckets as well.”

The family was able to flush toilets, boiled the water to soak dishes and even get a sponge bath.

“The water was perfectly clean and was water that came from the tap on Sunday, prior to the storm,” Pagel said. “It's still in my yard, mainly being used to see which toys float and for boat races. But I'm pretty confident it was the only ice hockey rink in anybody's front yard in Houston.”

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