Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



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by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

To the Fathers in My Life

To the wonderful fathers in my life. First my Dad, then my Husby.
And now my brothers and sons.
I love you all!
As a tribute, two of my favourite stories . . .
You know me. What else would I do? :)

Bunnies To Church

What do you wear to Church?
As a rancher, during the work week, Dad was usually seen in work shirts and pants.
Heavy boots.
Leather gloves.
But on Sundays, all of that changed.
He would appear, dignified and tidy, in 'church' attire.
Suit.
White shirt.
Polished boots.
And a tie.
Usually, Dad chose his own ties.
He had good taste.
Well . . . conservative taste.
No garish patterns.
No fluorescent colours.
Yep. Conservative.
But one of his ties stands out in my memory.
One that . . . wasn't conservative.
It was a quiet, dark tie.
With tiny, white polka-dots.
His favourite.
He wore it for three years.
And that is hilarious.
Maybe I should explain . . .
One day, just after church, I was giving my dad a hug.
Something I did often.
But now I was getting tall enough that his tie and my eyes were pretty much on the same level.
I buried my face in his clean, white shirt.
Then I opened my eyes.
And saw . . . dots.
No . . . wait . . . they weren't dots.
They were . . . something else.
I grabbed his tie and examined it closely.
Huh.
“Dad, do you know what's on this tie?”
“Polka-dots,” came the ready answer.
I lifted the end of the tie up to his face and held it there.
He looked. Then took the tie from me and looked again a bit more carefully. “Oh,” he said.
That tie he had been wearing for the past three years, teaching and/or officiating in church before lots and lots of people.
That tie.
Well, the tiny, regular pattern?
Wasn't polka-dots.
No.
It was playboy bunny heads.
Tiny little white playboy bunny heads.
My dad had been a leader in our local church congregation for three years . . .
Wearing a tie with playboy bunny heads on it.
See? Hilarious.
I think he thought it was funny, too.
But the tie disappeared.
Never to be seen again. (I recently discovered that my brother, George, latched onto it and has it safely stashed.)

Dad still has quite a collection of ties.
Long.
Cork.
Bow.
Feather.
Bolo.
But not one of them has polka dots.
Real or imagined.


Eyes, Ears, Mouth and Nose

My Sweetie and . . . Me
Newly married.What a wonderful time.
A time of love. Friendship. Companionship.
A time of discovering for the first time that one has a true and forever friend. Someone to be with.
Always.
It's magical.
Then, too, it is the time to discover those oh-so-human frailties that we have tried so very hard to keep from our sweethearts.
And finally have to admit to owning.
Everyone has bodily functions. Get over it.
My husband and I had been married for a couple of weeks.
On this particular morning, he had risen early and disappeared into the bathroom.
I had stayed where I was. Warm and comfy and still deliciously drowsy.
Soon the door opened and my new husband emerged, but not looking as he had when he went in.
He had blown his nose, while attending to other necessities, and given himself a nosebleed.
Easily fixed. Just stuff a Kleenex into his left nostril.
Oh. He had discovered a pimple in his right ear. Quickly disposed of. And another Kleenex inserted to blot up any discharge.
Now, back to bed to snuggle with his new wife.
I stared at this apparition who was approaching my bed. It looked like my husband. But it had white tissues issuing from nose and ear. Could it possibly be . . .? I braced myself up on one arm. "Is that one Kleenex?" (Hand gestures to suggest pulling something which had been run into the head through the ear and now protruded from the nostril.)
"Harrumph!"
"Was that a 'harrumph'?"
With a glare, he spun around, headed back into the bathroom and firmly closed door.
He never answered my question . . .

6 comments:

  1. I scrolled back up to the picture of the sweeties--and saw the Kleenex! I hope he's still laughing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's spent his life laughing! It's a good thing . . .

      Delete
  2. Two WONDERFUL stories, Diane! Thank you so much!

    I just giggled and giggled over the miming of the "one Kleenex"! Ah, true love ... the really real truth comes as a bit of a shock, does it not :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. A Playboy tie! In church! That's funnier than the kleenex.

    ReplyDelete

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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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