Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Friday, October 21, 2016

Street Miracles

Okay. Yes. This is our preferred mode of travel.
I invented the paving machine.
And I did it with the power of my mind.
Maybe I should explain . . .
In 1964-1965, our family moved to the great metropolis of Lethbridge.
My father was running two ranching operations at the time and he thought it would be easier from a central location.
So, for one glorious year, us kids discovered the joys--and differences--of city living.
Milk delivered right to the door in handy-dandy little bottles.
Ditto cream, cheese, etc.
Weird-tasting water. Let’s face it, who in their right mind would choose chlorine over sulphur?!
Riding the city bus.
Neighbours near enough to hear/see everything your family said/did.
And a whole new crop of friends.
It was a fun year.
Educational.
And over too soon.
Oddly enough, with all of this ‘new stuff’ what I struggled most with were the streets.
Yeah, I know. Strange.
The streets around our new house were gravel.
I was used to good old dirt.
Dirt that didn’t flip you and your bicycle sideways unexpectedly. Scraping flesh off of knees and legs and nether regions.
I learned to curse trying to stay upright in that gravel.
Okay, I will admit that said cursing consisted of ‘stupid gravel!’ and ‘Moooom!’, but that was getting out there. For me.
And then, the day I changed everything.
I was sitting on my bike on the sidewalk, having just pulled myself and said bike onto terra firma from the stupid, rotten (it had been a rough day) gravel street. I was glaring at said street.
Then, in my mind, I pictured a great machine that would simply drive across the treacherous coating of rocks and dirt and death, and coat it in a hard, delightfully smooth, totally bike-welcoming surface.
One a little friendlier to life and limb.
Imagine my surprise when, the very next day, such a machine was spotted one street over from mine.
DOING EXACTLY WHAT I HAD PICTURED IN MY MIND!!!
All of the kids in the neighbourhood pulled their bikes as close as possible to the behemoth and just watched.
It was a miracle!
As soon as the machine and the accompanying out-rollers had moved on, we were riding our bikes on the fabulous new, delightfully smooth road.
I can still remember the heat rising up from the black surface.
The machine continued around the block until it had completely covered all of the streets with the same impermeable, biking-conducive material.
Paradise!
I know you’ve probably witnessed the same miracle yourself.
So, when you are driving on smooth, seamless roads.
You can thank me.
Send money . . .

17 comments:

  1. I will admit, I was drawn to this story by the photo. You tricked me with a horse picture!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! More about the pony! :D

      Delete
    2. Oops. Sorry! But you do know that is my preferred mode of travel, right? :)

      Delete
  2. Wow, that was you who invented that? Forget sending money, you must be a bazillionaire. I need to hit you up for some cash!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't dream up the patent, too, silly me, so some other joker is getting all my profits! :(

      Delete
  3. Can't help you much with the money but I certainly send you my heartfelt thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Haha...that's great! I'll have to admit the timing of your wish worked out perfectly. So, yes, thank you for paved roads :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. So funny!!! Love Karen's comment, too.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You're too funny! Hey, I remember the gravel roads too---plenty of falls and scrapes on my bike from it. But I wasn't clever enough to dream up paved roads at the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure I could have sent them your way. I'm good like that . . .

      Delete
  7. And your genius continues to this day.
    I might have also cursed gravel a time or two. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks so much Diane - that smooth asphalt has made my life a lot more pleasant - did you invent footpaths and cyclepaths too? I love those as well - and I HATE gravel!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some other genius got the jump on me with footpaths and cyclepaths. I'm sure, given the time . . .

      Delete

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