Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

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by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Snow Boots

The Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for the electoral district of Cardston needed to make sure he received his mail. Daily.
My Uncle Bryce, Dad’s next older brother like to play tricks on Dad.
And my Dad couldn’t get his boots off.
These statements go together. I know; it doesn’t appear to make sense to me either.
Maybe I should explain . . .
Brothers.
For three terms, my grandfather, George L. Stringam served as the MLA for Cardston, living, at the time, in the village of Glenwood – a small, sleepy little town about 34 Km (21 Mi) away. In the year 1930, Glenwood was a fairly progressive place, with many modern conveniences. One of which was the daily delivery of the mail.
As the MLA, Grandpa needed that mail.
His son, Bryce was assigned the task of retrieval.
Now a bit of background: Although motor vehicles were quite common in Glenwood in 1930, the heavy winter snows usually curtailed their use except under certain circumstances. The retrieval of the mail was important. Let’s just say it wasn’t important enough to drag out the car.
Thus the seven or eight blocks to the Post Office had to be covered either on foot, or by some horse-drawn conveyance.
Eschewing the former in favour of the latter, Bryce hitched up a single horse to the small stone boat and prepared to drive across town. Then he invited his youngest brother to join him on the adventure. Seven-year-old Mark happily climbed aboard.
Now, remember where I said that Bryce like to play tricks on his small brother? That would come into play here . . .
Bryce instructed Dad to sit at the very rear of the sled, facing backwards, to avoid getting a faceful of snow. Dad did as he was told and discovered, as Bryce got the rig underway, that it was true. The snow blew past him without any of it getting into unwanted places. Bryce appeared to have his little brother’s comfort in mind.
Appearances can be misleading.
After they had proceeded a few blocks, Bryce steered the horse off the packed main part of the street and into the drifts at the side.
The resulting cloud of snow came over the sides of the boat and straight down onto the small boy happily swinging his rubber-booted feet at the back.
Filling those boots instantly with snow.
Now it wasn’t a very cold day, and the trip was short, so Dad really wasn’t that uncomfortable.
Until they got home.
It was then he discovered that, not only were his boots as full of snow as they could possibly get, but said snow was jammed so hard that the small boy was quite unable to remove them without larger, stronger help.
Dad shuffled into the house and sat there on the floor while a rather shame-faced Bryce quite literally pried the boots off his little brother’s feet.
The good news?
Bryce was right. Dad didn’t get snow in his face.

10 comments:

  1. Hah! Sometimes our pranks come back to bite us!

    ReplyDelete
  2. No snow in the face, but did his feet get frostbite from being packed in snow?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was my first question, too. He says not. Of course he was seven at the time . . .

      Delete
  3. Being the older sister who tortured her younger brother, I will warn that they grow up and exact their revenge. To this day I have a fear of vampires and we'll leave it at that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that story needs to be told, Kim! :)

      Delete
  4. Goodness! Where did you get this picture?
    Love,
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am the repository of all that is photo. (Actually, I scammed it out of Dad's book!)

      Delete
  5. Poor little guy...but then I have a little brother so I get it!

    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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