Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Sunday, January 13, 2013

Creating Worlds



Looks like building material to me!
The headquarters/chief residence of the Stringam ranch, like most ranch houses then and now, was centred around a large, family kitchen.
Everything important happened in that room.
Eating, visiting, business, playing. More eating.
It was, quite literally, the soul of the house.
Mom reigned supreme over its scrubbed surfaces and gleaming appliances.
All traffic came through it, stopping either briefly, or of longer duration.
I lived there.
Whenever Mom was in residence (and Mom was always in residence), I could be found.
Underfoot.
Dragging out stacks of plastic ware or pots and pans.
Or, even more exciting, the dozens of Jello packages that Mom kept in a corner cupboard.
Just for me.
It was amazing what one could construct out of those small, cardboard boxes.
Castles. Forts. Corrals. Houses. Barns. Apartment buildings. Stores.
Even schools.
Infinite possibilities.
Infinite hours of fun and creativity.
I should mention, here, that Lego hadn't reached my little world.
Yet.
But it would.
Moving on . . .
And my Mom, moving about the kitchen, had to step carefully to avoid disaster.
To both of us.
How lightly she moved, dancing and weaving around the complicated constructs that, to me, were edifices of genius and creativity.
Occasionally, we came to grief.
Something I had made would have meandered a little too far across the floor and Mom would trip over . . . whatever.
But not often.
Mom should have been a professional terpsichorean (real word – I looked it up).
Or Superman. She could certainly leap any building I made with a single bound.
Looking back, though, I have to wonder why Mom kept so many Jello packages in that cupboard.
Certainly, we ate a lot of it.
But that still didn't justify the number of boxes stored there.
Maybe, like Moms everywhere, she knew . . .
How much fun assembling castles out of sweet-smelling boxes could be.

There is a codicil . . .
My grandchildren were playing on the floor of the kitchen as their mother and I were preparing supper. They had a complicated construction of Tupperware, old yogurt containers, pots . . . and Jello packages.
I stepped over it.
“Careful, Gramma! You'll knock down the princess' castle!”
And suddenly, I was four years old again.
Creating worlds on the kitchen floor.

5 comments:

  1. What a cute story! Makes me wish I was there to see the empire that was built.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm surprised you didn't get down there with them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love watching children construct there castles and such... it's so cute:)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I remember the Jello packages and the construction projects. Then someone decided to bring out Car Picture Wheels, then Aircraft Picture Wheels. You could order a genuine wheel holder (that more resembles a poker chip dispenser) in maroon for cars and blue for the aircraft. Collecting picture wheels suddenly became my obsession.

    ReplyDelete

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