Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Saturday, April 21, 2012

Are You Really Going to Drink That?


Del Bonita.
Home of the Jones family.

The Stringam Ranch was situated on the Alberta/Montana border, midway between the town-opolis of Milk River and the village-opolis of Del Bonita.
My father elected to send us to school in Milk River.
Because it was minutely larger.
West of us, and somewhat closer to Del Bonita were the Jones Family Ranches.
Whereon (oooh! good word) my best friend, Debbie Jones, lived.
Her father had elected to send her and her siblings to Del Bonita to school.
Because.
I envied her.
Not only did she get to attend a country school, but, after grade 9, she got to bus to the heretofore (another good word) unknown wilds of Magrath, Alberta.
Where there were lots and lots of boys.
Amazingly attractive boys.
Well, according to Debbie, there were lots and lots of amazingly attractive boys.
The number one draw for a high school.
Listed just before such frivolities as: teachers. Classes. Facilities.
All that stuff.
Moving on . . .
For my final semester of my final year, my parents gave their permission for me to attend school with Debbie.
Ostensibly (I’m just full of good words today!), to further my Language Arts.
In reality, to check out the . . . umm . . . neighbourhood.
For this, I was sent to live with the Jones family.
Probably the most fun family – ever.
They welcomed me as one of their own.
Put me to work as one of their own.
Teased me as one of their own.
Nursed me.
Fed me.
Comforted me.
Generally made me feel like I was one of the family.
With all of its privileges/duties.
One of said duties was helping with the evening meal.
Cooking.
Stirring.
Tasting.
I needn’t tell you which I excelled at . . .
Debbie’s most fun job was supplying the evening beverage.
Usually Kool-Aid.
I know, I know, that sounds rather . . . unexciting.
Except the way Debbie made it.
Oh, she’d add the important ingredients.
Water.
Sugar.
Kool-Aid.
And then she would get creative.
Out would come the food colour.
I soon learned that the appearance of the beverage in one’s glass could be radically different from the taste of said beverage.
Case in point:
Debbie had mixed . . . I think it was lime . . . Kool-Aid.
Then added a drop of this and a spritz of that.
What she ended up with looked nothing like lime.
Or anything drink-able, for that matter.
Her father lifted his glass, letting the setting sun shine through it.
Then he set it back down with the words, “I don’t know if I can drink that. I think I stepped over a puddle of it when I was in the barnyard a couple of minutes ago.”
I felt his pain.
Even though I had seen her mix it and knew what it contained.
Thinking back, Martha Stewart could have learned a lot from my friend Debbie.
Perhaps a good thing they never met.


10 comments:

  1. Thank you for the Saturday laughs. I love your writing and extensive vocabulary. Great story!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lynda! I'm so gratified that you appreciate the vocabulary, too! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  2. LOL. What fun to live with your friend that year. I could have only dreamed of something like that.

    I have a son who is very food coloring happy. Green waffles are his specialty although we've had some frightening concoctions that looked like they came from a barn as well. Most recently I've been on the hunt for who ever isn't flushing. I finally discovered the culprit. My son forgot to put away the evidence...a bottle of yellow food coloring sitting on the shelf above the toilet....turkey!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh! The little monkey!!! I think he'd fit right in around here . . .

      Delete
  3. Amazing, the connection between the eye and the tongue. My brother once made green spaghetti sauce for St. Patrick's Day. My dad couldn't eat it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I would definitely have eyed it suspiciously! Things are supposed to be their 'normal' colour! My husby made green eggs and ham for the kids - after they had read Green Eggs and Hap, BTW, and they wouldn't eat a bite! It was too, too funny!

      Delete
  4. I can't imagine any family being more fun to live with than your own...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Delores! You're welcome to join us!!!

      Delete
  5. Hi Diane, thank you so much for dropping by my blog and commenting. Are you a Latter Day Saint? Just wondered with the picture you have on the side of a middle aged Mormon man. I am a Latter Day Saint here in Nova Scotia:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I enjoyed reading your blog, Launna! So nice to make a new friend!

      Delete

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