Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

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by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Morningtown Riding

Have you ever felt that if your life winked out tomorrow that would be all right with you?
Because you know that you would be remembered?
Well, that just happened to me.
To understand how I’ve arrived at this conclusion, you have to know two things:
One—that our family has its ROUTINES when it comes to bedtime.
Set in stone.
Don’t mess with this.
There will be cosmic significance.
Routines.
And two—that our family has its yearly vacation at a time share here in beautiful Banff, Alberta.
Also immovable and fixed.
Now let me explain that winking-out-tomorrow part:
First the ROUTINE . . .
There are several steps beginning with the all-important choosing and donning of the PJs. Then the nearly as important bedtime snack (or three) followed by the brushing-of-the-biters. (Probably the least favourite part of the whole getting-ready-for-bed routine.) Once the teeth are shiny, we have prayers, story reading and lights out.
Then the song.
The culmination of the whole sequence.
This song, like the story and prayer, can vary, depending on the mood of the child.
It just doesn’t.
For this part, you need a bit of background . . .
When our oldest grandchild was two, she had her first sleep-over with Gramma and Grampa. Gramma sang her favourite ‘sleepy’ song, Morningtown Ride.
And, unwittingly created a legacy.
And now we get to the ‘die tomorrow’ part of the story.
Because every grandchild, whether going to sleep at Gramma’s or at home, has to have Morningtown Ride sung.
At least once.
How do I know this?
Back to Banff.
I was downstairs, writing.
Our DIL, Barb, was putting her two youngest to bed.
And suddenly, from their bedroom came the familiar words Train whistle blowing . . .
Later, DIL explained that every one of her children—and their cousins—have to have that song sung every night.
Yep. Gramma could die tomorrow.
And she’d be remembered.
Wanna hear the song?
https://g.co/kgs/oRQOsz

9 comments:

  1. It's been so long since I've heard this song. It's an apt choice for bedtime :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I remember that song very well, I also remember my own kids thinking it was silly. They were more into rock and roll. I still like Morningtown Ride.
    It's very sweet that your whole family carries this tradition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was quite surprised to hear my DIL singing it. Then, when she said everyone did, I was even more surprised. And SOOO happy!

      Delete
  3. The Seekers do it so beautifully...but please....don't be on any hurry to 'wink out'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I'll stay around for a good long time yet! :)

      Delete
  4. Great. It's an apt choice for bedtime :)

    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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