|The quilt presented to my parents when they moved away...|
It was a difficult time for the entire family, leaving the home we had known for generations and putting down fresh roots in a place eighty miles away.
Okay, yes, our family members came with us.
As did our cattle and horses and daily chores.
But the scenery – and the neighbours – were different.
Especially the neighbours.
No longer did we have anyone who could reminisce with us about our years without phones.
Navigating sketchy gravel roads.
Trips into town.
School bus rides.
Everything that simply went into being ‘neighbours’.
For a short time, we felt bereft. (Ooh, good word!)
Then, slowly, the people who lived in nearby ranches introduced themselves.
They proved to be kind, wonderful people.
All of them.
And we were welcomed.
We attended new celebrations.
Mom introduced the Spring Point community to the concept of quilting and started their first, ever, quilting club.
I met and married my Husby.
They were warm, wonderful years.
Our family was loved.
As Mom’s health worsened, my father took a position in another town and retired from ranching.
The rest of the family followed within a couple of years.
We do tend to stick together.
And the name ‘Stringam’ disappeared from the town rosters.
Moving ahead . . .
I was back in the ‘old stomping grounds’ once more.
I walked the old streets, but recognized no one.
Then I toured Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a World Heritage site which almost directly overshadows the old ranch.
And visited Heritage Acres, ditto.
I was speaking to one of the employees.
I mentioned that our family had lived just below the site.
She immediately asked who I was.
I told her.
“The Stringams!” she exclaimed. “Of course we remember you! Your Mom started the quilting club! It still meets. Every week!”
It’s been over forty years.
In Fort Macleod, there are only a few people who remember the Stringams and their few short years there.
But those that do . . .