Usually, the first thing we kids in the Stringam home heard in the morning was the kitchen radio.
On a country channel.
This was followed almost immediately by the sound of pots and pans.
And . . . cooking.
We instantly knew that Mom was awake and had taken up her front-line position before the stove.
Good food was imminent.
Even now, fifty-some years later, the sound of a radio in the early morning means good food.
Though I may have to be the one making it.
But I digress . . .
Mom’s radio played throughout much of the day. If it got switched off, her country records would take up our air waves.
I loved it.
Have you ever noticed that much of the old-time country music has a certain . . . beat?
A slow, bomp-ba-dum-dum, bomp-ba-dum-dum beat?
Well it did.
And whenever it came on, I would pretend I was riding a horse.
Across the ‘lone prairie’ of the living room.
The beat was perfect.
I could keep this up for hours.
Or as long as the song lasted.
My favourite was Dale Evans’ song ‘Happy Trails’, sung by Roy Rogers.
I would ride my horse and sing at the top of my voice, “Happy trails to you! Until we meet again. Happy trails to you! Keep smiling until then.”
And, somehow, that song and my Mom became synonymous with each other.
Moving forward many, many years . . .
My Husby and I were in Jasper National Park here in Alberta.
He was attending a conference.
I was . . . doing other stuff.
Part of my day included a long, lovely swim in the huge pool.
I know, life is tough.
I had finished my laps and was simply lying back in the water, looking up at the perfect eggshell-blue sky and smelling the scent of pine in the fresh air.
A group of men were doing some work on the roof of the great main building next to me.
The sound of saws and hammering quit for an instant.
And an exquisite (can I use that word here?) male voice floated down to me. “Happy Trails to you! Until we meet again.”
He was simply singing while he worked.
I wonder if he noticed the woman in the pool below him.