Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

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by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dining-Chair Buses


Oh, the places we went . . .

Mom was washing the floor.
Something she did often.
Because.
I should mention also that, when Mom washed the floor, she WASHED the floor.
Everything portable was carried into the next room.
She got down on her knees with a pail of hot, soapy water and scrubbed.
Then she applied wax.
Then she ran the polisher.
Which looked like a big, green bug on a long stick.
Just FYI.
The floor shone like a mirror.
Perfect for sliding on with stocking feet.
But this story isn't about that.
This story starts where she carted the portable stuff into the next room . . .
As soon as the chairs appeared in the living room, George and I would materialize.
From what ever places we had disappeared into when Mom announced that she needed helpers to wash the floors.
Ahem.
We would line the chairs up, one behind the other.
Voila! Bus.
George would be the bus driver and I would be the lady with the 400 children riding in the back.
Okay, you're right. I didn't have 400 children.
But I did have 400 stuffed animals.
Sheesh.
You're such a stickler for details.
Moving on . . .
Happily, we played until Mom finished with the floors and came out to dismantle our playground.
Actually, it was the one time in the week that George and I did play happily together.
A thing of note.
Oh, the places we went.
The children we dropped out of the windows.
Good times.
An aside: the couch worked well for a bus, too, but there was just something about articles of furniture sitting where they usually . . . didn't . . . that inspired – play.
Moving ahead many, many years.
Yesterday, some of our grandchildren were over for a visit.
Two of the kids had lined up several of grandma's stools.
I was holding granddaughter number five.
So I was instructed that I could be the mommy in the back with the baby.
Number three grandson, announced that he would drive.
It was then that I realized - they were playing bus.
I sat in the back as I had been told and I had to smile.
Suddenly, I was four years old again.
It was a good feeling.

23 comments:

  1. It's complicated playing bus with the grandson...so many instructions....so many stops...so many tickets and transfers...it wearies one. Still, it is fun to be four again.
    By the way, I still have one of those polishers. One of these days I may actually wash a floor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kids are so much more knowledgeable now. I didn't even know you had to pay to ride a bus when my brother and I were playing.
      P.S. Washing floors is overrated . . .

      Delete
  2. I bet you hummed your baby to sleep as the bus rolled along.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did! We sang 'The Wheels on the Bus'. About a jillion times . . .

      Delete
  3. I love it! My brother and I used to play Pilgrims and Indians-- my mom and dad's bed was the Mayflower. All my dolls were the kids on the ship... and when one was "bad," we'd drop kick them off the Mayflower... which in turn, if it was lined up just right, down the first flight of stairs.

    www.momontherunx2.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. The ol' drop-kick-off-the-Mayflower (or bus) I knew it well! You and your brother sound like our kind of people! :)

      Delete
  4. Reminds me of the blanket cities we built over upturned chairs...

    Pearl

    p.s. Mary and I still scrub floors, when paid to do it! , on our hands and knees!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh the blanket cities!!! I loved those! You and Mary are my heroes. Do you and Mary also sing 'Wheel on the Bus' while you're scrubbing? Just wondering . . .

      Delete
  5. We rode the same bus! With seven in our family, our bus was big and noisy. My mother was on her hands and knees scrubbing and polishing. I must play bus again soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I highly recommend it. The playing, not the scrubbing . . .

      Delete
  6. Yes I too remember playing bus, however having grown up in the Philippines in my formative bus was called a Jeepney, good memorie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love to hear your stories!!!

      Delete
  7. Yes I too remember doing something like this as a child I however growing up in the Philippines called my bus a jeepney..good memories :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I remember the bus and the Drive-In-Theater. That little projector and the Disney film strips. Thanks for bringing back that memory.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember that little projector! I had forgotten all about it! Such good memories!

      Delete
  9. Awe, that was so cute Diane, such awesome memories you have;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you,Launna! I so like living in the past!

      Delete
  10. Oh the memories. My Mom used to do the exact same thing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh the world of imagination! I think that's something a lot of kids are missing these days. ; S

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so right, Lynn! they have such sophisticated toys that they don't have to use their imaginations any more. Sigh. Gone are the days of the cardboard box.

      Delete
  12. Wow, brings great memories! We used to play with chairs and blankets like they were actual toys. I don't think my son has ever done that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chairs and blankets could become a world of possibilities! We still sit under a blanket 'tent' and tell stories. Of course, Gramma is a lot slower getting in and out . . . :) Thank you for stopping by!

      Delete

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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 . . .

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