Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



All of My Friends

Monday, February 6, 2012

They Burn Garbage, Don't They?

That's Entertainment!

On the ranch, in the 50s, we burned our garbage.
It was the only option.
Each week, the trash cans were collected from every room in the house
Carried out to the burning barrel.
Emptied into said barrel.
And set alight.
It was an exciting job.
Okay, well, it looked exciting to me.
Probably because the task came with an 'age appropriate' rating.
And I hadn't reached that age.
Sigh.
I would scurry through the house, collecting bins for whoever was assigned.
Then help them lug everything to the trash barrel.
Then stand back and watch as they . . .
 . . . LIT THE MATCH.
Oooooo!
Most of the time, it only took one.
Match, that is.
I was more than fascinated.
The lit match would be lowered into the barrel.
A curl of smoke would issue forth.
Then the first of the flames.
There was nothing . . . I repeat nothing . . . more exciting.
And I had been to movies.
And watched Bonanza on TV.
Okay, well, maybe I'd better exclude Bonanza.
I mean, who could possibly compete with Pa Cartwright?
And his buckskin gelding.
Ahhh.
I've wandered from the point . . .
Where was I?
Oh, yes. Garbage.
And burning it.
For years, I watched, enviously as, first my parents, then my older siblings got to light the match.
Slowly, the day approached when I would be trusted with the all-important job.
And then, it was here.
"Diane, would you please burn the garbage?"
Eeeeeeee!
I carefully collected every bin.
Toted them all down to the barrel.
Chose one at random and dumped its contents.
Chose another.
And another.
And finally, surrounded by empty trash cans, the magic moment.
I lit the match.
And dropped it carefully into the accumulated trash.
It winked out.
Huh.
I tried again.
Same thing.
This was harder than it looked.
Most of a book of matches later, I discovered that I needed to choose a piece of paper as my first victim.
Light that, then let it light the rest.
Ahhh!
Finally, I had a blaze.
I stepped back and watched proudly.
My first trash fire.
Okay, I admit it, you have to look for opportunities to shine in this life.
Within a few weeks, I was an old hand at 'burning the trash'.
I could collect, empty and light with the best of them.
And use one match.
And then the gloss wore off.
Dad: "Diane. Time to take out the trash."
Me: "Can't someone else do it? I'm watching Woody Woodpecker!"
Blair: "I'll do it!"
Dad: "Blair can help, but Diane has to light the match."
Me: [Huge sigh.] "Okay. Fine."
Blair: "Yipee!"
The fire circle of life.

10 comments:

  1. Ah, the old trash barrel. It always was my brothers' job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Somehow, when brothers do it, it's more exciting somehow . . .

      Delete
  2. You know, I still got a kick out of burning the trash for Dad the last few years of his life...pyromaniac at heart I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  3. lol
    I always burn the trash in the country .We get to enjoy the fire too

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is it about a fire? Even a trash fire. You've just got to watch it!

      Delete
  4. Ah yes, the burning of the trash. And don't forget the melting of the plastic. Which evolved into the suspended soda cans of gasoline shot at with the pellet gun! Oh, how did I ever survive?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How did I miss the soda cans of gasoline? I want a do-over!

      Delete
  5. the job always seems more fun when others are doing it, and then the moment comes when you have to do it and you realize it isn't as much fun anymore. Great life lesson.:) Thanks for sharing on the NOBH

    ReplyDelete
  6. lol... I remember the burning of the trash wand being passed to me very well! We never heard of a truck actually coming to. your. house! to pick up your garbage! That was such a strange concept. :) We always begged to be able to go with Dad to the dump when the barrels needed to be emptied.

    We had plenty of grass fires as well... I remember that very well. That was ALWAYS exciting when that happened... my mom would panic every single time. It was funny to watch her and then watch to see how much grass would burn.

    I still have a couple of burn barrels at my house even now. We finally broke down and started having the trash truck come about 5 years ago. But I still like to burn my personal mail things, big boxes, and feed bags that won't fit in our dumpster. Thankfully I still have one kid that likes to be the one to burn the trash! haha Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting! Drop by again!

Daughter of Ishmael

Daughter of Ishmael
Now available at Amazon.com and Chapters.ca and other fine bookstores.

Follow by Email

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?

Google+ Followers

Networked Blogs

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!
New Tween Novel!

Gnome for Christmas

Gnome for Christmas
The newest in my Christmas Series

SnowMan

SnowMan
A heart warming story of love and sacrifice.

Translate

My novel, Carving Angels

My novel, Carving Angels
Read it! You know you want to!

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic
What could be better than a second Christmas story?!

About the Mom

My photo

Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

Join me on Maven

Connect with me on Maven

Essence

Essence
A scientist and his son struggle to keep their earth-shattering discovery out of the wrong hands.

Essence: A Second Dose

Essence: A Second Dose
Captured and imprisoned, a scientist and his son use their amazing discovery to foil evil plans.

Looking for a Great Read?

E-Books by Diane Stringam Tolley
Available from Smashwords.com

The Babysitter

The Babysitter
A baby-kidnapping ring has its eye on J'Aime and her tiny niece.

Melissa

Melissa
Haunted by her past, Melissa must carve a future. Without Cain.

Devon

Devon
Following tragedy, Devon retreats to the solitude of the prairie. Until a girl is dropped in his lap.

Pearl, Why You Little...

Pearl, Why You Little...
Everyone should spend a little time with Pearl!

The Marketing Mentress

The Marketing Mentress
Building solid relationships with podcast and LinkedIn marketing

Coffee Row

Coffee Row
My Big Brother's Stories

Better Blogger Network

Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis
I've been given an award!!!

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award
My good friend and Amazing Blogger, Marcia of Menopausal Mother awarded me . . .

Irresistibly Sweet Award

Irresistibly Sweet Award
Delores, my good friend from The Feathered Nest, has nominated me!

Sunshine Award!!!

Sunshine Award!!!
My good friend Red from Oz has nominated me!!!

My very own Humorous Blogger Award From Delores at The Feathered Nest!

Be Courageous!


Grab and Add!

Search This Blog

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?