Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Yes, Virginia, There Really is an Outdoors


Daddy was just telling me about his favourite game as a child.
Run, Sheep. Run.
He explained that a group of kids would divide into two teams. The wolves. And the sheep.
The sheep would hide, then send one of their number back to the wolves. This messenger would quickly draw a map illustrating just where the sheep were hiding.
The wolves would then head out to find them.
In the meantime, the sheep could stay where they had last been seen. Or move somewhere else entirely.
Once the wolves got close to them however, their messenger, running along behind the wolves would yell, “Run, sheep! Run!”
The sheep would scatter and try to make their way back to the designated place of safety before the wolves ‘caught’ them.
Dad says he and his friends spent many, many happy hours playing this game.
It sounded like . . . heaven.
During my own childhood, we had many outdoor games that we played. Tag. Anti-Ei-Over, Frozen tag. Capture the Flag. Kick the can. How had I missed Run, sheep. Run?
Moving on . . .
A few months ago, my Husby and I were at Fort Edmonton Park.
Don’t worry. The two will connect . . .
For those not familiar with it, Fort Edmonton is a reconstruction of the original fort for which Edmonton is named. The fort itself is surrounded by several ‘streets’ of differing time periods, each telling of a moment in Edmonton’s past.
It is a fascinating place. Where people in period costumes re-enact social, political and economic situations.
I know. I sound like a brochure.
I love it there.
The reason for our visit was the fiftieth anniversary of my aunt and uncle.
We visited. Laughed. Ate. Visited. Laughed. Watched their grandkids perform vignettes from their grandparents’ history. Laughed. Visited.
And generally had a wonderful time.
Part way through the day, my Husby and I stepped out onto the boardwalk.
To find all of their grandkids, released from their acting responsibilities, happily engaged in a game of hide-and-seek.
Hide-and seek.
I hadn’t seen kids play that in forever.  Most of the kids I see now have their noses in an electronic device.
But here they were. Ranging in age from 3 to 15, all racing around to find places to hide.
And having a marvelous time.
Huh.
Kids really can (and do) play outside.
Just like my Dad did.
And me.
It gave me hope.


8 comments:

  1. Diane... I have missed your stories... I loved playing tag with my sisters when when I was younger... we had so much fun... children today have missed out on so much.

    I am reading all the entries I have missed while I was in the hospital... but only commenting once to get caught up... thanks for the smile today :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Run sheep Run sounds like a lot of fun. I remember hide and seek, I'd wear green and brown and hide up a tree. I did it so often, yet rarely got found. You'd think they'd learn to look up, but no, I was so safe up there I could read a book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, wow! You take hide and seek to a whole new level!

      Delete
  3. That's a new game to me - good to learn a new one in case of need! I don't have grandchildren, at least not yet, but you never know when you might need to entertain kids!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can never have too many tricks up your sleeve!!!

      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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