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

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by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Thank Me Later

Okay. Yes. This is our preferred mode of travel.
I invented the paving machine.
And I did it with the power of my mind.
It was magic.
Maybe I should explain . . .
In 1964-1965, our family moved to the great metropolis of Lethbridge.
My father was running two ranching operations at the time and he thought it would be easier from a central location.
So, for one glorious year, us kids discovered the joys of city living.
Milk delivered right to the door in handy-dandy little bottles.
Ditto cream, cheese, etc.
Weird-tasting water. Let’s face it, who in their right mind would choose chlorine over sulphur?!
Riding the city bus.
Neighbours near enough to hear/see everything your family said/did.
And a whole new crop of friends.
It was a fun year.
Educational.
And over too soon.
Oddly enough, with all of this ‘new stuff’ what I struggled most with were the streets.
Yeah, I know. Strange.
The streets around our new house were gravel.
I was used to dirt.
Dirt that didn’t flip you and your bicycle sideways unexpectedly. Scraping flesh off of knees and legs and nether regions.
I learned to curse trying to stay upright in that gravel.
Okay, I will admit that said cursing consisted of ‘stupid gravel!’ and ‘Moooom!’, but that was getting out there. For me.
And then, the day I changed everything.
I was sitting on my bike on the sidewalk, having just pulled myself and my bike onto terra firma from the stupid, rotten (it had been a rough day) gravel street. I was glaring at said street.
Then, in my mind, I pictured a great machine that would simply drive across the treacherous coating of rocks and dirt and death and coat it in a hard, delightfully smooth, totally bike-welcoming surface.
One a little friendlier to life and limb.
Imagine my surprise when, the very next day, such a machine was spotted one street over from mine.
DOING EXACTLY WHAT I HAD PICTURED IN MY MIND!!!
All of the kids in the neighbourhood pulled their bikes as close as possible to the behemoth and just watched.
It was a miracle!
As soon as the machine and the accompanying out-rollers had moved on, we were riding our bikes on the fabulous new, delightfully smooth road.
I can still remember the heat rising up from the black surface.
The machine continued around the block until it had completely covered all of the streets with the same impermeable, biking-conducive material.
Paradise!
I know you’ve probably witnessed the same miracle yourself.
So, when you are driving on smooth, seamless roads.
You can thank me.

14 comments:

  1. I'm so happy to know who to thank for our smooth roads...good job imagining.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I echo Delores all the way!! I like how you tied the label in to the title today :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you so much - I hate driving (or biking) on dirt AND gravel!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Just a sweet story and I will count it as a blessing to have paved roads to ride bikes on instead of gravel. I remember riding on gravel myself and I didn't like it at all either.
    Blessings for a great story as usual~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See? We think alike! :) And thank you!

      Delete
  5. I have always wondered who the wonderful thoughtful person came up with the paved roads. Do I get to blame you for the invention of pot holes too? LOL
    Great post

    ReplyDelete
  6. Uh oh being blamed for the potholes already! I think we could solve alot of the world's problems if we just listened to the kids! They usually have great ideas may just a tad farfetched but hey!

    ReplyDelete
  7. So you're the one!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're most welcome. I do what I can . . . :)

      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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