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

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

Giveaway ends April 08, 2017.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

In His Footsteps

My Hero
December. My four-year-old mind was a haze,
I’d been locked in the house as it snowed for three days.
Then quite suddenly, magically, sunlight appeared,
And my Daddy was pulling on snow boots. And gear.

I just couldn’t stand the house one minute more.
I had to get out. I’d help Dad with the chores!
So I zippered and buttoned and pulled on and tied,
Then stood by my Daddy with little-girl pride.

“I’m ready,” I shouted. “Let’s go milk the cows!”
I was set for adventure, quite done with the house.
He smiled and then, turning, stepped into the snow.
And I walked alongside. It seemed quite apropos.

At first the bright sparkles and crisp winter air
Made our walking, adventure, and senses aware.
But then I discovered as most children do,
That snow, though quite pretty, was hard to get through.

I struggled and grunted, broke into a sweat,
Then looked for the barn that we hadn’t reached yet.
My Daddy smiled down at my efforts inept,
“It’d be easier if you tried to step where I step.”

So I did. And my progress was much better then,
Soon we two reached the barn, and the cozy cow pens.
I sat perched on a stool and watched Daddy do chores,
Then followed him home, just like I’d done before.

I learned something that day, as we walked through the yard,
If I stayed in his footsteps, then things weren’t as hard.
His skill and experience, and his guidance, too,
Would make everything easier my whole life through.

Now, to my own kids, when there’s woe to be had
I give bits of advice that I learned from my Dad.
When Life dishes out dollops of good or of ill,
I find that I’m walking in Dad’s footsteps still.

8 comments:

  1. And this, right here, is why you should listen to the stories the older generations tell. šŸ™‚

    ReplyDelete
  2. Another misty-eyed post. You do tell the most beautiful truths.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've gotta stop reading this stuff....I'm running out of kleenex.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's so true for those lucky enough to have good guidance, isn't it? And I'm misting up along with EC and Delores.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Aww...Diane. Well, you made me cry. This is so beautifully written and I will be sharing it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love your Dad stories from when you were little.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh Diane, this is lovely. You father would be so proud!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Diane, this is my absolute favorite poem ever! It was amazing and beautiful all at the same time!

    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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