Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Saturday, June 27, 2015

Worlds of Cloth

Perfect!
Tenting was my favorite thing in the world.
I could happily sit for hours in my soft, quiet shelter. Immersed in my own little world. Miles away from the business and bustle of life.
Or at least inches away.
On the other side of my blanket.
And my chair.
Oh, and the all-important pillow.
Okay, so tent-making wasn't an art with me. In fact, you could probably say that it was . . . fairly inexpert, invariably consisting, as it did, of a blanket tossed over a chair and held in place by a pillow.
Frank Lloyd Wright, I wasn't.
But I still loved it. Hiding in a shelter erected solely by my own two little hands.
For a short while, I was the queen of my world.
Then, one day, I was introduced to a whole new world. My brother, George, deigned to join me.
Something, I might point out, that rarely happened . . .
And instructed me in the creation of a complex, blanket draped wonder.
George set up chairs and draped them with covers, connecting them to each other and holding each in place by different items, drawing heavily from the various 'objets d'art' that Mom had strewn about the room.
The blankets were pulled over to the couches, secured, and then drawn to the tables. There, they were again weighted into place.
Slowly, our little 'club house' grew until it covered the entire front room.
The two of us stood back and surveyed it proudly.
It had an entrance. And a back door. It had twisting tunnels and little rooms.
It was perfect.
I was quivering with excitement. I couldn't wait any longer. I dove in.
"Careful, Diane!" George said.
But he was too late.
My rash action pulled on one of the blankets.
In fact, the blanket that was being held in place by a large, ornate, plaster vase.
Both slid from the table.
The blanket survived.
The vase didn't.
George and I stared, aghast, at the mass of wreckage.
And then, like a figure of doom, Mom appeared in the doorway.
"What are you two . . . my vase!"
There was no hiding it.
There was our intricate web of blankets, furniture and bric-a-brac.
To one side, a limply hanging corner.
And, beside it, the broken vase.
Even a fool could have figured out what had happened. And Mom certainly wasn't a fool.
"Did you kids use my vase for your fort?"
How did one answer that? I mean, couldn't she see it?
George was braver than me. "It was Diane's idea."
I stared at him. "It was not!" I said, hotly.
"Was too."
"Was not!"
"Too."
"Not!"
Okay, so our arguments could never have been classified as intelligent.
"Too."
"Not!"
"Too."
"Not!"
"Okay, enough!" Mom had worked her way gingerly across the sea of blankets, plucking up breakables as she went.
Finally, she reached the vase.
She set down the other objects she was carrying and stared down at it.
Then she looked at us.
"Ummm. Sorry, Mom," I said. Not entirely original, but it was all I could think of.
Mom picked up the vase. Then the pieces.
She looked . . . sad.
Mom never really had to discipline me. I could do it all by myself. I burst into tears. "Sssooorrry!"
She turned and looked at us once more. "I don't ever want you two playing with my things again."
"Oookaaay!" More tears.
I should have been on the stage.
Mom carried the pieces of her vase out of the room without looking at us again.
And just like that, our fort was no long the wonder it had been. George and I 'folded' the blankets and put things back.
Mom kept the vase, carefully gluing the numerous pieces back together.
To our 'waste not, want not' Mom, it was totally in character.
But it haunted us for years, in fact, it sat atop a cupboard at my Dad's apartment.
Haunting,
I still like to tent.
But fortunately, my husby introduced me to such marvels as . . . tent poles. Pegs. Guy lines.
What it lacks in ingenuity, it certainly makes up for in convenience.
And unbreakable-ness.

5 comments:

  1. I'm a tenter too! Starting with those same forts...I had 4 brothers so they usually got the blame for any broken household items. It was lovely being the only girl haha!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Every now and then a blankie fort has IMMENSE appeal. A blankie fort and crayons. Where I may or may not colour between the lines.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My blanket fort was the kitchen table turned upside down with the biggest bedspread stretched over the legs, pulled down and tucked under the tabletop. Room for two when we were small, then just one until I out grew it. I would sit in there and read until I fell asleep, and somehow always woke up in my own bed.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I loved making forts like this too - and I would crawl inside and read for hours. I always used heavy books to hold the blankets, which sounds like an even better idea now in light of your story. I still love to be in a tent - I always feel like I'm invisible to the rest of the world when I'm in there!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well, this brought back more than a few memories - both of my childhood and that of my children. I never liked making my mom mad - but to make her sad was far, far worse. I am sure your mom forgave you, much sooner than you forgave yourself Diane!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting! Drop by again!

All of My Friends

Daughter of Ishmael

Daughter of Ishmael
Now available at Amazon.com and .ca and Chapters.ca and other fine bookstores.

Follow by Email

Hugs, Delivered.

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?

Google+ Followers

Networked Blogs

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!
New Tween Novel!

Gnome for Christmas

Gnome for Christmas
The newest in my Christmas Series

SnowMan

SnowMan
A heart warming story of love and sacrifice.

Translate

My novel, Carving Angels

My novel, Carving Angels
Read it! You know you want to!

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic
What could be better than a second Christmas story?!

About the Mom

My photo

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 . . .

Join me on Maven

Connect with me on Maven

Essence

Essence
A scientist and his son struggle to keep their earth-shattering discovery out of the wrong hands.

Essence: A Second Dose

Essence: A Second Dose
Captured and imprisoned, a scientist and his son use their amazing discovery to foil evil plans.

Looking for a Great Read?

E-Books by Diane Stringam Tolley
Available from Smashwords.com

The Babysitter

The Babysitter
A baby-kidnapping ring has its eye on J'Aime and her tiny niece.

Melissa

Melissa
Haunted by her past, Melissa must carve a future. Without Cain.

Devon

Devon
Following tragedy, Devon retreats to the solitude of the prairie. Until a girl is dropped in his lap.

Pearl, Why You Little...

Pearl, Why You Little...
Everyone should spend a little time with Pearl!

The Marketing Mentress

The Marketing Mentress
Building solid relationships with podcast and LinkedIn marketing

Coffee Row

Coffee Row
My Big Brother's Stories

Better Blogger Network

Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis
I've been given an award!!!

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award
My good friend and Amazing Blogger, Marcia of Menopausal Mother awarded me . . .

Irresistibly Sweet Award

Irresistibly Sweet Award
Delores, my good friend from The Feathered Nest, has nominated me!

Sunshine Award!!!

Sunshine Award!!!
My good friend Red from Oz has nominated me!!!

My very own Humorous Blogger Award From Delores at The Feathered Nest!

Be Courageous!


Grab and Add!

Search This Blog

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?