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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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Treasure(d) Chest

First of many.
Husby likes to build things.
And he’s good at it.
Tables, birdcages, pirate ships, houses.
He’s done them all.
And more.
I didn't realize, when I married him, that I was getting this added bonus.
But I’m very grateful for it.
Let me tell you about his first project . . .
He had bought me a vacuum.
A nice, new vacuum.
Which, because I’m a neat freak, I kept in its cardboard box.
Don’t ask.
Said box soon became . . . tattered.
Husby decided he would do something about it.
And take care of that year’s Christmas present at the same time.
He’s efficient like that.
Moving on . . .
We were spending the holiday with my parents.
Husby squirreled himself away in my father’s shop for several evenings working on my ‘top secret’ gift.
I knew only that a couple of sheets of ¾ inch mahogany plywood had gone into the shop with him.
And a  paper bag or two of stuff.
There was much sawing and pounding and assorted other creativesounds.
Then . . . Christmas morning.
The living room of my parent’s home had been transformed.
I took our (then) two sons into the room, sat down, put the baby on the floor and exclaimed with my two-year-old about the amazing sight of tree, lights and presents.
Gifts began to be distributed.
I helped both boys with the glorious task of unwrapping.
We were bent over, admiring the tractor Oldest Son had just received.
When I realized that I was sitting on something I had never seen before.
A beautiful, leather-topped bench. Carefully crafted and meticulously decorated.
“Oh,” I said. Okay, clever/original/observant, I’m not. I got to my feet and looked down at the piece of furniture I had been perched happily on for the past fifteen minutes. “Oh!” I said again.
I looked over at Husby, who was grinning widely. “Umm, Merry Christmas!” he said.
“Oh!” I said a third time.
Yeah. I’m pretty much hopeless.
But in my defense . . . okay, I have no defense.
It was/is a beautiful gift.
The first of many.
This is its 37th Christmas.
It’s battered and well-used.
Has gone from storing my vacuum to storing assorted children's toys.
Presently, it is the repository for all foam pirate swords.
Ahem . . .
And is still very much appreciated.

8 comments:

  1. It's beautiful, and so thoughtful. The best gifts are those made by a loving hand, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Something you can hand down for generations...um....maybe after you refinish it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hah! So funny!

    And such a handy husby - and a beautiful storage chest.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Such a beautiful gift. Some years before I was born my mother's boyfriend (who would become my father) was helping her prepare for Christmas with her sons. They decorated the tree together, wrapped presents, and he went home.
    It wasn't until he returned the next day and pointed it out to her that she realised that one of the Christmas decorations was not tinsel, but a beautiful turquoise necklace. For her.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's a beautiful chest and so useful.

    ReplyDelete
  6. That's the BEST kind of gift!! Other than an awesome book, of course :D Looks like we've both got one of those now!! Have a great Xmas, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  7. My dad used to be like that. My husband isn't good at things like this, but he does other special things like cleaning and organizing. He's great at surprises. Happy Holidays from my family to yours sweet girl!...and remarkable husband!

    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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