Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Friday, June 16, 2017

Barbeque With Spirits

I have to admit that I really never know what my sister is going to do next.
There are probably those of you who would label her ‘Cuckoo’.
And I’m not disagreeing.
But I prefer the term: interesting. And since I moved in with her a couple of years ago, life has never been dull . . .
Reggie and I were sitting, enjoying the first sunshine in four days as it poured like warm honey through the picture window and across the hardwood. For once in what seemed like forever, my feet were warm.
I was absorbed in my latest mystery thriller and Reggie? well he was just absorbed, slowly swaying back and forth as he stared at the wall.
You never know with Reggie . . .
Norma bustled into the room.
I glanced up at her, then dropped my book and stared.
She was wearing a helmet. Old fashioned. Leather. Hockey, I think. Or football. It was obviously too large and had slid down until it almost covered her eyes.
Oh, and did I mention she was clutching a jar of relish? I probably should have.
I felt my eyebrows go up. Likely the most exercise I get in this household.
She was talking to herself. “Now if I just dispense it properly—” Her voice dwindled to a mutter.
Okay, those of you who know Norma are thinking this really isn’t unusual behavior. You’re probably right. But I simply couldn’t leave it alone. “Norma.”
“Hmmm?” She shoved her helmet up and looked at me.
“Ummm—what are you doing?”
“We’re having a barbeque!”
“We are.” Okay, yes, it probably should have sounded like a question, because this was the first I had heard of it, but with Norma, everything ends up a statement of fact.
“Oh, yes! She’s coming and I’ve told her to invite her friends!”
“A barbeque.”
“Yes!”
I wasn't even going  to ask about the guests. “Okay, the relish is explained. But why the helmet?”
She pushed up on her headgear. “Well, you know we need to be cautious when dealing with open flames and a helmet will certainly decrease—” Her voice faded again.
I propped my head on one hand and stared at her. “You’re—planning on sticking your head in the barbeque?”
“Pfff! That would just be silly!” She waved one hand and started forward once more. Then she stopped. “What do you suppose ghosts like on their hot dogs?”
And she was worried about looking silly? Yeah, this was a conversation I never saw me having.
She held up the jar. “I was thinking ketchup and relish.”
“Ummm—”
She propped the backs of her hands on her hips. “A little mindfulness will make any party a success!”
I smiled. I had wondered if the word ‘mind’ would come into this conversation. As in ‘someone’s lost theirs’.
She lifted the jar and stared at it, shoving her helmet up once more. “Perhaps if I—”
Again her voice faded away.
Suddenly something flew out of the open kitchen door. Something distinctly jar-like and yellow.
It hit the floor just in front of Norma, shattering and spattering my sister’s legs as it spread its contents over a four-foot radius.
Both of us stared down at it.
I looked at Norma. “Well, I guess we can rule out mustard.” 


Use Your Words
Each month Karen of Baking in a Tornado give her groupies an exercise. A collection of words from their co-groupies. Everyone submits words. And Karen re-submits. 
My words this month were: dispense ~ decrease ~ mindfulness ~ helmet ~ relish
And were submitted by my friend Rena at: http://theblogging911.com

 Admit it. This is fun.


Care to see what the others have done?
Head on over!
Baking In A Tornado
Spatulas on Parade
Part-time Working Hockey Mom
The Blogging 911                   
The Bergham Chronicles                  
Simply Shannon                            
Southern Belle Charm                       
The Global Dig                                  
Climaxed                                              

18 comments:

  1. There's definitely never a dull mooment at those ladies' house ;-)
    Happy Weekend, Diane!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Tamara! I like spending time with them. There really never is a dull moment.

      Delete
  2. If I was a ghost what would I like on my hotdog.....hmmmm.....vanishing creamÉ Yes, it`s fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Vanishing cream! I saw what you did there . . . ;)

      Delete
  3. Yes, definitely fun. If your sister ever invites me to a party, I'll be sure to wear my helmet!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I do love your ghost stories, Diane - they are so much fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Jenny! They are such fun to write!

      Delete
  5. I like a ghost who knows her own mind. And tastes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You definitely have to respect her for that. Have to.

      Delete
  6. I don't know if I would dare this exercise. But I must say, you did it well! I'll be laughing for hours.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your sister is a riot! I need to meet her!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only in my mind, Marsha! And you're welcome any time!

      Delete
  8. Thanks for stopping by my blog for USe your words challenge. This is my favorite line from this little story, "Reggie and I were sitting, enjoying the first sunshine in four days as it poured like warm honey through the picture window and across the hardwood." Very easy to picture.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love afternoons like that! They are few and far between right now. Sigh.

      Delete
  9. Norma does sound interesting, but you had my attention at the sun coming in through the window and warming your feet.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Norma sounds like living with momma most days! I have to agree on the mustard though!

    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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