Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Thursday, August 23, 2012

Magic Elixir


Cool, clear water.
The Stringam ranch had plenty of it.
Soft.
Pure.
Clean.
There was only one thing distinctive about it.
And I do mean 'stinc'.
Let me illustrate with a little aside . . .
My Husby's Gramma used to give her kids a dose of 'spring tonic' every year.
It consisted of sulphur mixed in lard.
Eaten from a spoon.
Ick.
But she maintained that it kept them healthy.
Well, on the Stringam ranch, we never had to be dosed with this old wives remedy.
Because we got it merely by living there.
Yes, our water was right full of sulphur.
I am not making this up.
Our water was plentiful and healthful.
But reeked like rotten eggs.
The smell of it permeated everything and everyone.
And, oddly enough, we loved it.
We drank it.
Bathed in it.
Cleaned with it.
Offered it, chilled, to anyone who happened to drop by.
And snickered silently when they would hold their noses to drink it.
Poor, unenlightened visitors.
Our animals happily drank it, too.
In fact, when we took our cattle to show, we always had to take time to get them accustomed to the water in the new place.
Most places added chlorine.
Now THAT really stank.
And tasted worse.
I miss our good old sulphur water.
That elixir that kept us healthy and strong.
There is an addendum . . .
The people who bought the old ranch from us hauled their drinking water.
And finally drilled a new well.
I can only shake my head.
Strange, weird people.

6 comments:

  1. Sulpher...ick! The hubs folks water smelled like that. I could never go it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny. I couldn't stand anyone else's water.

      Delete
  2. LOL Diane, I would have been one of those people hauling water as I wouldn't be able to get past the smell :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, the fun you would have missed!!!

      Delete
  3. When I started dating my first highschool sweetheart (a Warner girl) I didn't even notice the suphur smell at their house because I was used to it. There were quite a number of farms with sulphur gas in the water in our region so we weren't an isolated case although it definitely got those who weren't used to it going.

    I remember the next crowd at the ranch. They fixed up a strange system to purify the water out of the river. It didn't work very well. The next ones reverted back the the next batch after that hauled water.

    ReplyDelete

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