Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

And Hair We Are

Mom had short hair.
In fact, most of the women I knew had short hair.
I was four. I didn’t know that many women.
But those I did . . .
Even Gramma Berg had short hair. Short, white hair.
But that just shows you what I knew . . .
We were staying with Gramma for a few days.
It was magic.
The great staircase to climb.
Table to scurry under.
Heater grate in the floor to sit on.
Stuffed moose head to run from.
Feather ticks to cuddle under.
Hidden, secret places to . . . hide in.
Exciting attics to get barred from. (Stupid brothers.)
And a whole world of farm and gardens to explore.
And, best of all, Gramma.
She of the marvelous old-world cooking. The loving cuddly arms.
And the Swedish pronunciation of ‘Di-ane’.
It was like a week in Heaven.
I’m sure you’re wondering what this has to do with short hair.
That part’s coming now . . .
I was playing with my cousins.
Some game involving daring each other to go all the way to the bottom of the scary basement stairs.
I lost.
I wandered into the kitchen.
Because.
And there was my Gramma, sitting on a chair, with my Mom standing behind her.
And mom was . . . brushing Gramma’s hair.
Hair that streamed in a silver wave over Gramma’s shoulders and down Gramma’s back.
I stared at it.
Wait a minute. Where did that come from?
It wasn't there before.
My four-year-old brain was working frantically.
Is this a trick?!
I walked over and touched it. Huh. It seemed pretty real to me.
I stroked my hand down. Mmm. Smooth and pretty.
Where had she gotten it? And even more important, where had she been keeping it?
I watched as my Mom began to braid it.
A long braid.
Which she then wrapped around the crown of Gramma’s head.
Oh. How had I missed that?
You know what?
Adults are tricky.
You gotta watch them at every step.
Today, the hair.

Tomorrow, the world.

13 comments:

  1. Oooh those conniving grown-ups. What a lovely memory. I wish I had some of those, sadly, my grandparents were dead or dying by the time I came around. I hope my children though, can make those memories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry you missed them. My younger brother and sister did, too. So glad you can make those memories for your grandkids!

      Delete
  2. lol
    Yup. Thats what you said. Short Hair. lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely wasn't known for my powers of observation...

      Delete
  3. Sometimes I wish it was still customary for women to keep their hair long as they age. One of my great-aunts had long hair which she always wore pinned up. It was beautiful and suited her perfectly. Ah, but short hair is easier these days, with our curling irons and hot rollers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So elegant. And you're right, definitely took some work . . .

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I loved this memory!

      Delete
  5. Awesome! I know I've said it before, but I LOVE the way you write!!! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Morgan, you make me want to keep on writing! :)

      Delete
  6. When I was very young most of the women in my town that were over a certain age had the very same tightly curled short granny perm. From behind you didn't who was who. I promised myself back then that I would be a long haired granny. And I was, for a while. Now it's collar length hair, easier to manage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Long hair is gorgeous, but definitely requires some upkeep!

      Delete
  7. I recentlу wanting to state I peгsonally taκe pleasure in your pеrѕonal writing ability.It's good to check out an individual which has a knowledge of grammar not to mention spelling on-line. I will tell other people about "Hair we are". Many thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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