Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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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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Monday, June 13, 2016

Ready, Aim . . . Chocolate.

How do you relax after dinner?
Okay, I admit it: Our family is weird.
We like theatrics.
And things medieval.
Case in point:
My husband has a collection of catapults.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Catapults.
He loves them.
Oh, they're not large enough to cause havoc.
And certainly not of a size to terrorize the neighbourhood.
Although I wouldn't mention that to him. It might give him ideas.
Moving on . . .
No. His catapults are small.
Suitable for launching little, foil-wrapped chocolates.
Which he does.
Usually after family meals.
Our family is large.
And we have two tables in our dining room.
One round table, built by my Husby and seen here.
And one smaller table, also built by my Husby, which seats all of the grandchildren.
It is to this smaller table that he retreats after the meal is done.
With his grandkids, his catapults and his stockpile of chocolate balls.
Which he and his little army then proceed to fire at anyone left sitting at the main table.
Remember when I mentioned 'weird'?
That would apply here.
I should point out that the balls of chocolate don't hurt.
The little catapults barely throw them with sufficient force to get them to the other table.
Back to my story . . .
The usual targets of the invading hoards are their wife and/or mothers and/or grandmother.
Who have all learned to duck when needed.
I should also mention that, perhaps fortunately, their aim isn't great.
One day, we had just finished one of Grandpa's sumptuous feasts and he and assorted grandchildren had set up a siege at the kid's table.
Several of the moms were still sitting at the main table.
Visiting.
One of our granddaughters, five-year-old Kyra, came to tell her mother something.
Her timing was . . . unfortunate.
She had placed herself right in the line of fire.
So to speak.
A chocolate ball whizzed towards her.
With unusual, but deadly precision.
Thock!
Right in the center of her forehead.
She gasped and clapped one hand over the spot.
Everyone burst out laughing.
She wavered between laughter and tears for a few seconds.
Then her mother told her that she got to eat the offending chocolate ball.
And any thought of tears was forgotten.
She hunted for, and happily ate, the treat.
Then disappeared.
A few minutes later, she was back.
“Mom, can I have another chocolate ball?”
Her mother looked at her. “You have to let Grampa shoot one at you first.”
“Oh.”
She thought about that for a moment.
Then she put both hands, palms out, over her forehead and stood up tall. “Okay, Grampa! I'm ready!”
Bravery.
It comes in all shapes, sizes and ages.
But never more noticeable than in a weird family.
After dinner.

5 comments:

  1. I love this family tradition. To new people at your table I would love to hear the explanation!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a great grandpa, I bet all the kids love him and his catapults.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The only normal people are those you don't know very well. And some are weird regardless. Which I love.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love this! And EC's comment "The only normal people are those you don't know very well" - how very true :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. You had me at the collection of catapults. I have to say that for once, I was speechless!

    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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