Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Saturday, January 2, 2016

Let Them Eat Carrots

Our family believes in good nutrition.

We do.
It just doesn’t always sound like it . . .
My son and DIL were entertaining.
Dinner was winding down and dessert was being distributed.
Yummy dessert.
With ice cream.
Now, I should probably mention here that their kids are known vegetable/fruit eaters.
Oh, they like other things. It’s just that, if given the choice, they have been known to go for the ‘healthy’ alternative.
But I digress . . .
Their mother had made buttered, dill carrots as one of the vegetable dishes with dinner. A noted family favourite.
Eight-year-old Daughter Number Two, hereinafter known as D2, was agitating for a third helping.
A third helping. "Please, please, please?"
“No,” her mother said. “Your sister hasn’t had seconds yet. I’m not giving you thirds until she has had a chance.”
Still D2 continued. "Mo-om!"
“No!” her mother said. “Not until everyone has had seconds.”
More coaxing. "Please, Mom?"
“No! Stop asking!”
D2 is nothing, if not persistent. “Pleeease?”
“Argh!” (real word) “You’re not having more Carrots!”
“But Mom . . .!”
“NO MORE CARROTS! EAT YOUR ICE CREAM!”
Hmm . . . okay . . . not something you hear every day . . .
Sooo . . . which would you choose?


I know what MY choice would be...

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

West Edmonton Mall Miracle

Go here. Have fun.
My SIL is a good, hard worker—steady and dependable.
He provides for his family.
All the necessities of life.
The only thing missing is extra money for . . . extras.
Trips to West Edmonton Mall for a day at Galaxyland aren’t within the scope of their usual budget. Thus it was with great joy that their family received, as a gift, passes for just that. A day ‘doing the rides’ and enjoying the fun at the world-famous park.
They packed up snacks and kids and made the twenty-minute trip to The Mall.
They rode, laughed, screamed and loved everything from the Carousel to the Mindbender. Finally, happily exhausted, they took a break—sitting on a set of steps and enjoying some of the treats they had brought.
Directly across from them was a bank of coin-operated video games. Presented, perhaps, as an alternative to riding/rushing/screaming. Or maybe as a little diversion to someone who is waiting for those who are riding/rushing/screaming. These games offer, as a reward, coupons to be used for the purchase of ‘Galaxyland stuff’.
As their family sat eating and recounting their experiences thus far, a middle-aged man (waiting for kids and/or grandkids) was playing one of the games.
‘Hat Trick.’
He was doing well.
Really well.
The machine lit up. And paid out.
2600+ coupons poured forth.
2600. Plus.
SIL laughed. “Wow! If you’re wondering what to do with those, we can take them off your hands!”
The man turned, smiled . . .
And dropped the entire pile into SIL’s lap.
2600+ coupons.
I needn’t tell you about the astonished faces or the hastily gasped out thanks as the man nodded, smiled again, and left.
Or the normally out-of-reach gifts chosen by several little girls who had just received their first glimpse of Heaven.
I would like to ask one thing of you, the reader, though.
Please pass this story around.
I want this man to know the joy he brought to those little girls.
Maybe, somehow, we can thank him.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Booger Man

The boy.
No, that isn't the right finger, either...
In our house, over the holidays, love and good will abound.
And so does the food.
And the treats.
Especially the chocolate.
With, sometimes, amusing results . . .
A group of us adults were sitting around the table, intent on a game of cards.
Members of the younger set were dashing in and out, equally intent on activities.
Games.
And treats.
We had just opened a new box of exotic chocolates.
A gift from our dear next-door neighbours.
Five different kinds of luscious, melt-able deliciousness, each in a different (intriguing) shape.
Chocolate mousse.
Crunchy.
Espresso.
Crème Broulee.
And pistachio.
Each more mouth-watering than the last.
Our five-year-old discovered the box and immediately seized it.
“What’s this?!” he said, holding it up.
“Chocolates!” I said. “Really yummy ones!”
“Oooh! What’s this one?!” He jabbed a finger into the chocolate mousse.
“That’s dark chocolate.”
“And this?” Another jab.
“Hey!” his dad said, taking the box. “Don’t touch all of the chocolates with your booger-covered finger!”
Da-ad!” he said, disgusted. “That’s not my booger finger!” He held up his other hand, pointer finger erect. “That one is!”
At least he was honest . . .

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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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