For Lance Antrobius, all the smiles and laughs are worth all the work and maintenance.
Ever since purchasing a home with a big backyard in Livonia, Michigan about 10 years ago, Antrobius and his family, for eight of those years, have built a backyard ice skating or hockey rink.
Just call it a “frozen field of dreams.” This year, the rink has been the ultimate example of “build it and they will come.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic either shutting down ice rinks or making them more difficult places to reserve time, Antrobius has seen a plethora of people arrive at his backyard rink to skate, over the past month or so.
Whether it’s been players on travel hockey teams, players on local youth teams, or simply neighborhood kids and their families, activity on his rink has been constant -- and daily.
In fact, Antrobius said one night recently, the rink wasn’t completely clear until 1:30 a.m.
“Every day there’s a different mix of people,” Antrobius said. “We don’t have to really throw out the invites anymore.”
Last week, there was a famous local visitor to the rink.