Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Saturday, June 1, 2013

Entertainment: Family Style


Family games - mischief made legal

On the ranch in the evenings, particularly the long, winter evenings, opportunities for entertainment were few.
If there wasn't anything on the one TV channel, you pretty much had to come up with your own.
Entertainment, I mean.
This meant music (the make-your-own variety), which we practiced with more or less success. Mostly less.
Reading. My own personal favourite.
Having a drink with the hired men in the bunkhouse. Probably the least recommended for us kids.
Or games and/or puzzles.
Usually we went with games and/or puzzles. One didn't get a lecture from one's parents when one played games and/or puzzles . . .
We had several favourites.
Scrabble. A word game which aimed for word construction creativity.
But only good for four of us six players.
Probe. Another word game. This one, disclosure being the goal.
Boggle. (Or if we were feeling daring, Big Boggle.) Another word game . . .
Huh. I just realized that we played a lot of word games. And three of us ended up being writers.
Go figure . . .
Bridge. A card game played by four players. Unless you're from Southern Alberta where it is played by forty tables of four players.
But that is another story . . .
Rook. A card game resembling bridge and also played extensively in Southern Alberta. (Also known as 'Apostate Rook' if you played 'One High' . . . according to my husband.)
Rummoli. Poker and sequence, all rolled into one happy package.
And finally, the apex of games, Monopoly.
The ultimate in Stringam family fun.
And won, inevitably, by Jerry.
Not that he tried. Or even appeared to try.
He hummed, sang, bounced his knee rhythmically, talked, told jokes and CLEANED OUR CLOCKS.
Almost every time.
Why did we keep on playing? Good question.
Inevitably, I would end Monopoly with a tiny little hoard of cash, very tiny, clutched in one hand as I stared with dismay at my little shoe, parked firmly on Park Place or Boardwalk.
Each with their large, expensive hotel. And each with Jerry's smiling face behind them.
I would hand over my little pile, along with the last of my properties, and quietly fade into the sunset.
Sigh.
Moving on . . .
Puzzles posed a bit less competition.
A more relaxing way to spend time together. Visiting was permitted. Even encouraged. But minutes could go by with soft music playing in the background and not one word said.
Yep.
Relaxing.
Our family's evenings now consist of visiting or playing cards.
Or watching movies.
Not too different from those I experienced growing up.
Family time.
It's a good thing.
*  *  *
On a different note:
Delores of The Feathered Nest gave me an award!
The Semper Fidelis award. (It means Always Faithful or Always Loyal.)
I am humbled and thrilled!
Now it's my turn to pass this magnificent award to five other bloggers whom I find especially entertaining or inspirational.
There are of course, rules to follow in accepting this award.
1.  Add the Semper Fidelis Award logo to your blog.
2.  Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
3.  Nominate five bloggers whose loyalty and friendship you value and who you consider being part of your 'wolf pack'.
4.  Post something special for each one of your nominees and dedicate it to them such as a quote, picture, poem, saying etc....something you think pertains to that person.
5.  Let your nominees know that they are nominated.

So here goes . . .
1. Middle-Aged Mormon Man. Or MMM for short. Enormously entertaining, insightful AND inspirational, all rolled into one fun package. Does it get any better?

2. One Sister's Rant. Bella takes the everyday and makes it extraordinary! With the added bonus of photographic imagery, it's a peaceful, wonderful, restful place.

3. Home on DeRanged. I've only recently discovered this little gem! Melissa takes the everyday of family raising and makes it fun, funny and entertaining. I seldom leave her blog without a smile.

4. Undiagnosed But Okay. Another recent discovery! Kerri takes us on a journey through daily life with two sweet little girls, one of whom has special struggles. Totally inspirational!

5. Coffee Row. My older brother's blog. More stories of growing up on a ranch in Southern Alberta in the 50s and 60s. I just had to mention this because he remembers things WAY better than I do. And makes them so much funnier . . .



16 comments:

  1. Ah Monopoly...I could never get anyone to play that with me...of course I had a severe shortage of players at my house.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shortage of players, huh. Hmm . . . maybe I could finally win!!!

      Delete
  2. Being an older generation than you.........we played a lot of checkers, marbles, (the board game kind) plus snakes & ladders. Our mother wanted us to be perfect spellers, so we also spent time learning to spell. She had little tricks to help us remember. One that I always still use, is the difference between principle and principal--the one with pal was the school principal PAL, because he was our pal. And we thought "In your dreams..." but all our family still uses some of her "remembering" techniques. However most have graduated to Spell Check..........Shirley Jorstad

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hah! Now I will always remember the difference! Ick. And for the same reason.

      Delete
  3. I always lost at Monopoly, too, and I only HAD one brother ... he was always the banker ... I wonder if that had anything to do with it? Nah. I was four years younger. That had EVERYTHING to do with it.

    Word games - now that is my idea of a good evening! Not surprising that you and your siblings liked those, is it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. We're word demons. Huh.
      I think Jerry was always the banker too. Go figure . . .

      Delete
  4. I might add that Jerry and I played a lot with the Meccano set. We designed and built all kinds of mechanical contraptions, some of which actually worked.

    'Semper Fidalis.' The US Marines use the condensed, 'Semper Fi,' which means 'Always Faithful and Never Quit/Never give up.' A wonderful award for anyone to bestow on someone else. Be proud of that, my dearest sister; they don't come easy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember the two of you and that Meccano set. I was absolutely fascinated watching you create little vehicles and things that actually ran! I was so excited to try. But when I realized that I was expected to painstakingly put together little nuts and bolts, I 'bolted'. Back to instant snap-together lego for me! I'm nothing if not impatient!

      Delete
  5. A well-deserved award, Diane. I will check out the fine bloggers you've listed.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Firstly, although we never did puzzles (and I have no idea why), I can remember plenty of evenings with games and cards and reading. Lots of reading. And lots of music. Since I've married and played games with my husband, I've had to swear off Monopoly. Great googly moogly that man and his brothers are waaayyy too competitive for me, lol.
    Secondly, thank you so much for the award! I love the idea of being part of a wolf pack. Which, have you seen "Blaze of Glory"? Some funny bits in there about being in a wolf pack, so if Will Ferrell and I are running in the same circles, my life is freakin' awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd like to sit your Husby at a table with my brother. There'd be the match for the ages . . .
      Will Farrell's in our pack! That IS awesome!

      Delete
  7. Well, I'm from Northern New Jersey, USA-but, I enjoy stopping by here from time to time and hear about your past, Diane. I am from Buffalo, New York on the Canadian border and had many Canadian vacations over a lifetime. Always enjoy going to Canada. As for your evenings as kids, we had three TV channels, and then four-so, we watched TV a fair amount of the time. Of course, we had a pretty good-sized family, so, as an oldest girl, I had plenty of work to do around the house to help out. That and homework. We played games, too. Not so often as you, though. TV cuts into that game-playing time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HeeHee! I was the middle girl. I got out of doing a lot of things because I had an awesome older sister!
      It was a while later before we REALLY discovered TV Than we made up for lost time . . .

      Delete
  8. Diane, I know you will forgive my lateness to the party because you're a wonderful, loving, forgiving friend! I wish it was easier to move around, to do what I have to do without having to take so many "knee" breaks. But alas, my knee has its days. There are so so days and there are bad days. I keep hoping it will get better but so far, nada. I'm starting to feel very disheartened. So imagine my joy when I read your comment! Thank you, thank you for the nomination! I am truly honored and congratulations on your award! Very well deserved, if I may add. You have no idea how much I relish the visits to your blog. Your family feels like family. I feel like I know them personally thanks to your outstanding storytelling abilities! Everyone should have at least a fourth of the adventure you've had, my friend! Hugs! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is so nice to hear from you, Bella, my good friend! I'm so sorry that healing is taking such a long time. Sooo frustrating! I love my visits into your world! Between you and Roxie, you keep my world upright. I look forward to every single visit! So glad to share this award with you. It is so well deserved!

      Delete

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