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

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by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Un-Chained

Oh sure. He's looks innocent here . . .
Christmas morning, the exciting, present-opening part, was inevitably on hold until the kids could get their father out of his bed.
It wasn't as easy as it sounds.
What began as a mainly physical feat when they were younger, soon progressed into a different sort of challenge as they grew older.
Their Dad got sneaky.
Case in point . . .
I was heading out to do the milking.
I turned to my Husby, who was still in bed and said, “Don't start till I get back.”
He grinned. Something I have learned to treat with respect over the years.
“Oh, I imagine I'll still be here when you get back!” He reached under the bed and pulled out the end of a long, heavy chain. “Could you please hand me the other end?”
Puzzled, I reached under my side of the bed.
Sure enough, there was the rest.
This man plans ahead . . .
I handed it to him and he lapped the two ends over himself and snapped a large combination lock shut through them.
He was right.
He would probably still be there when I got back.
Shaking my head, I left.
Milking was quickly accomplished and I was soon back at the house, pails brimming.
Just as I opened the door, I heard a cheer go up.
'Wow, everyone's sure happy that I'm home!' I thought.
It wasn't me.
They had just finished finding the final number for their father's combination lock.
And had succeeded in freeing him from his chains.
Quite literally.
I set the milk in the milk room and came upstairs just as everyone poured, happily, from our bedroom.
“Mom! We got Dad out of his chains and we're ready to open presents!”
Now there's something you don't hear every day.
“Wow! You kids are good!” Thoughts of future bank robbers and safe-crackers suddenly came to mind.
“Naw! He gave us the first two numbers. Then all we had to do was figure out the last one.”
“Oh.”
“Yeah. We did it by the process of elimination.”
“Oh. Well . . . good.”
“It was fun!”
You have to know that these kids have been exposed to many different challenges over the years.
Duct tape.
Zippers.
Bandages.
Mustard. (Don't ask.)
Air horns.
And Speedos. (Told here.) If you want to read it, we'll wait . . .
I guess a small matter of freeing their father from some pesky heavy chains is child's play.
Well, at least for our child(s).

7 comments:

  1. I went back and read the speedo link. Your husby is a very devious man. Said in tones of sincere admiration.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You guys have so much fun!

    And your husby seems to be at the bottom of an awful lot of it ...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your family is so much fun! Even more so at Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hilarious! Your family most certainly know how to have fun!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hilarious! Your family most certainly know how to have fun!

    ReplyDelete
  6. you seem to make Christmas a really special time in your family - heaps of memories being made!

    ReplyDelete
  7. That's so funny! I could picture him and had to laugh out loud! I think if I were to come for a visit I would never want to leave.

    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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