Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

X-Citement

Would you put these two together?
Yeah. Me neither.









Growing up in the great outdoors gave me an appreciation for all things . . . outdoors-y.
IE: horses.
But sadly, instilled in me a complete ignorance of the finer points of creating a beautiful home.
IE: embroidery.
My Mom ran a very efficient home.
She cooked, cleaned and organized.
Gardened.
And even, on occasion, helped in the barnyard when the need arose.
With all of that, somehow, she also found time for the pretty things in life.
She embroidered pillowcases and tablecloths.
Runners and handkerchiefs.
Even tea towels.
And did them beautifully.
Unfortunately, the urge to 'pretty' things up had been left out of my makeup.
Or so I thought.
It was merely dormant.
After the birth of my first baby, I was suddenly bitten by the sewing bug.
I had to sew.
A lot.
I started out simply: overalls, pants and shirts for my boy.
Then moved on to more complex: dresses for me.
And blue jeans.
But that is not what this story is about . . .
From sewing practical, functional garments, my next logical progression was to the finer stitching.
My Mom would be so proud.
I got hooked, quite literally, on counted cross stitch.
Pictures.
Wall hangings.
I loved it.
Whenever there was a break in the day's routine . . . and even when there wasn't . . . I was back on the couch.
Stitching.
I should point out, here, that I had always been a 'night owl'.
Preferring the hours after my kids were in bed, to indulge in whatever pursuit was currently consuming me.
Usually reading.
Occasionally watching TV.
Now, my staying-up-in-the-evening time was taken up with those fine little needles and yards and yards of cotton floss.
I made dozens of beautiful pictures and hangings.
Working far into the night to complete some intricate piece.
It was a peaceful moment in time.
Until one evening.
Allow me to describe . . .
It was quiet there in the night.
Everyone in the household was asleep.
All the lights - save the one that snared me and my comfy armchair in a noose of gold - were off.
I worked silently away.
Consulted my pattern.
Switched colours.
Continued on.
Then I started to feel . . . creepy. Like someone was watching me.
I lifted my head. Peered intently into the shadows of the kitchen and hallway.
No one.
Weird.
I went back to my stitching.
Again, that feeling came over me.
Eyes.
Again, I looked.
Nothing.
I was really starting to get spooked.
I tried to concentrate on my work.
I had only put in one stitch when I was nearly overwhelmed by the feeling that someone, somewhere, was silently watching.
I dropped my sewing into my lap and peered toward the kitchen.
Then I turned and looked the other way, into the living room.
And nearly died.
Two eyes were indeed staring at me.
From about two inches away.
I screamed and pressed one hand to my suddenly hammering heart.
It was then I realized that the two large, staring eyes belonged to my son's Bopo the Clown which was standing directly behind my chair.
The eyes didn't blink or move.
They didn't have to.
Just the sight of them staring at me out of the dim light was enough to totally shatter my night.
I did what any normal person would have done.
I 'bopped' Bopo in his large bulbous, red nose.
“Honk.”
I hit him again.
“Honk.”
Sigh. I felt marginally better.
But it was definitely time for bed . . .
The next evening found me back in my chair.
Needle firmly in hand.
And with Bopo turned forcefully to the wall.
Beauty definitely doesn't need a beast.

21 comments:

  1. I thought you were going to say you pricked him with the needle and deflated him! But perhaps that's just me...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now why didn't I think of that? So much more satisfying than simply bopping him in the nose and having his smiling face come right back for more! Take that, you staring-eyed monster! Psssssss. Ahhh!

      Delete
  2. I was hoping you'd illustrate with some of your work, did you keep much of it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hardy any, Carol. :( I think I have two little pieces left. A sampler and a saying about home. Sigh. When I think of the dozens I completed (at threat to life and limb - see above) and gave away . . .

      Delete
  3. This is the perfect story for Halloween time, scary clown in the dead of night, doesn't get any better than that. Oh wait, yes it does. . . good triumphing over evil. Love this!

    ReplyDelete
  4. And this is why I don't like clowns. I love counted cross stitch pieces - they are always so pretty. My mom taught me how, but it's so hard on the eyes these days :)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have the same problem, Lana. I used to stitch while watching TV. No more! Now it's put the glasses on. Take the glasses off. Too much work!

      Delete
  5. Loved this one and I am so smiling.......... I have two of my daughters that do not like clowns at all because of a movie they saw that scared them. Also, they didn't like to have dolls in their rooms for the same reason. Kind of sad in a way! Blessings for the smiles today~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I know the movie. Yikes! Thanks, LeAnn!

      Delete
  6. My grandmother and my mother were exquisite sewers. Even my grandmother's grandchildren had their "store bought" jammie seams covered in pearl cotton feather stitch, to protect their tender skin. I still have just a few.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow. I mean, WOW! I want some of those feather stitched jammies!

      Delete
  7. So, did you pick up all the bits and pieces of your needlework supplies from the floor before or after bopping the clown? :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. My mum was the crafting type too. Embroidered everything except teatowels, sewed, knitted, crocheted and did tapestries. In vain did this woman try to get me interested. Then I knitted and sewed for my first baby, but had so many hand-me-downs from her numerous cousins I didn't really need to. So it was a short lived spurt of creativity. I had a go at counted cross stitch, I sewed the girls school uniforms, knitted a few scarves but never found my real passion. Until I painted my bedroom furniture. I'd painted the kids furniture in the past, but didn't pick up a colour chart again until 2004, painted my furniture and stopped again. now I just read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm totally with you. Reading's my style these days!

      Delete
  9. This is hilarious and let me explain where and what I am doing. I am a definite night owl too. Always have been. I go to bed around 11 sometimes later and get up at 4 am with hubby. Then I have about 3 hours of uninterrupted time to myself for my writing. Which is exactly where I am at this second with only a small desk lamp on and now I'm looking around all creeped out! hahahaha! I can see the back door which are the French door type and I just went and turned on the back porch light because I now feel like someone is watching me! I may need another light! Luckily no clowns here except mom's collection of Emmett Kelly clown figurines so I don't have to worry. It's funny how reading something can affect you feelings like though, I was fine ten minutes ago. I hope I can affect someone like that one day!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I can picture that inflatable clown turning from its corner slowly, slowly and shuffling quietly up to the back of your chair..its horrendous painted eyes fixed on the back of your head....BOOOOO.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gaahh! Now I'm all spooked and it's the middle of the morning!!!

      Delete
    2. AND I'm hearing creepy, screechy violin music . . .

      Delete

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